UPDATE: The interview discussed below is now available online at this link.
In honour of Bob Marley’s birthday, I thought I’d recount the day I conducted a surprise interview with his wife, Rita:
A few weeks ago, in preparation for this month’s issue of Zoomer magazine, I was asked to conduct an interview with Rita Marley — singer, Rastafarian, and widow of the legendary Bob Marley. The interview, was to be conducted via email, so I did my research, wrote up my questions, and sent them to Mrs. Marley’s publicist. On the day that I was to receive the answers to my questions, my cell phone rang. When I answered, I heard this on the other end: “Please hold for Rita Marley.” The next thing I knew, Mrs. Marley was on the line, ready to be interviewed for our magazine.
At that moment I was working on another assignment and didn’t have the questions I’d sent to Mrs. Marley on hand. Luckily, she’s a very kind, intelligent woman and for the next 40 minutes I conducted a telephone interview with her as I recalled the questions I’d sent her while simply going with the flow of our talk and coming up with new ones as the conversation progressed.
Mrs. Marley was incredibly gracious with her time, and aside from being an intelligent and well-spoken interviewee, she was also very funny. When we finished the interview and hung up the phone, I sat back in my chair and closed my eyes and simply tried to take stock of the situation: Rita Marley, Bob Marley’s wife, just called me on my cell phone and we talked for 40 minutes. I couldn’t believe it.
I’ll always be extremely grateful to Rita Marley for calling me that day, as it was truly one of the biggest thrills of my career and a moment I know that, as the years go on, I will never forget.
My interview with Rita Marley appears in the March 2012 issue of Zoomer magazine, which should be on newsstands very shortly.
RasTa: A Soul’s Journey: Up right now on the Zoomer website, however, is my review of RasTa: A Soul’s Journey, a fantastic documentary by Bob and Rita Marley’s granddaughter Donisha Prendergast in which she travels to eight countries around the world, tracing the history of the Rastafarian movement, all the while taking part in her own personal journey to discover who she is, where she came from, and where she’d like to go. Click here for my review of RasTa: A Soul’s Journey.