Monday, August 30, 2010

Nesta Robert Marley - a detailed look at "the man".

Looking back I'm trying to remember just when in my young life I was exposed to Bob Marley.  I'm pretty sure it was sometime around 1989 when I was a junior in High School.  My friend had the Legends CD, released by Island records on May 8, 1984, and wanted me to have a listen.  We used this CD as a backdrop to summers of outdoor volleyball the next few years.

Since my early exposure to Bob's music I've learned much about the man, his band and his influence around the globe.  In fact, he's the reason that I first went to Jamaica in 2001 and my 5 subsequent trips back to the island.

Early Years

Bob Marley was born February 6th, 1945 in a small village of Nine Mile in Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica.  Nine Mile Google Map.  His Father, Norval Sinclair Marley, was a white Jamaican of English descent.  Norval spent time between England and Jamaica but while back in Jamaica he met a then 18-year-old Cedella Malcolm, a black Jamaican woman - enter Bob Marley.  No other children arose from this relationship and Bob Marley never really came to know his father.  Bob was about ten years old when Norval Marley died of a heart attack in 1955 at age 60.  As a youth growing up, he suffered racial prejudice, because of his color, and faced questions about his identity.

He once reflected: "I don't have prejudice against meself. My father was a white and my mother was black.  Them call me half-caste or whatever.  Me don't dip on nobody's side.  Me don't dip on the black man's side nor the white man's side.  Me dip on God's side, the one who create me and cause me to come from black and white."

In 1959 a 14 year old Bob Marley started his musical career with then friend Bunny Wailer and with Joe Higgs, a local singer and devout Rastafarian. On some of these jam sessions he met future Wailer Peter Tosh.  In 1962 they recorded their first two singles, Judge Not and One Cup of Coffee with local producer Leslie Kong but these recordings got very little attention.

(Bob Marley as a teen in the very early 1960's)

 By the year 1966 a 21 year old Bob and his new friends had gotten "Bob Marley and the Wailers" in full swing.  After a few years of band member musical chairs and band name changes (the names "The Teenagers", "The Wailing Rudeboys" and "The Wailing Wailers") they were getting their groove on as "Bob Marley and the Wailers".  Also in 1966, Bob got married to a young Rita Anderson with his friend and fellow band mate Peter Tosh by his side.  1966 was a big year for Bob - for a short time he moved to America to be near his Mother in Delaware where he worked under the name Donald Marley at a DuPont lab and a Chrysler assembly line.

(Peter Tosh, Rita Marley and Bob Marley in 1966 for Bob's marriage)

Soon life in America became dull so Bob plus his new bride moved back to Jamaica where Bob then decided to join the Jamaican based Rastafarianism movement. He then started letting his hair grow out to dreadlocks that we know today.  From 1966 to 1973 Bob and his band mates experimented with their sound and cut many tracks.  The band was not super solid during these years as members came and went leaving Bob Marley being the foundation of the group.  But by 1973 The Wailers' first album, Catch a Fire, was released worldwide and sold well.  The following year they released their second album Burnin', which included the songs "Get Up, Stand Up" and "I Shot the Sheriff".  Eric Clapton made a hit cover of "I Shot the Sheriff" in 1974, raising Marley's international profile.

(Bob and his growing dreadlocks in 1974 checking out a soccer ball)

 In 1975 the band put out Natty Dread producing a HUGE hit "No woman no cry".  It was an international breakthrough with his first hit outside Jamaica.  This was followed by his breakthrough album in the United States, "Rastaman Vibration" put out in 1976, which spent four weeks on the Billboard Hot 100.  It contained such well known songs as "Positive Vibration" and "Roots Rock Reggae".

With all of Bob's success he was living the life.  However, in December of 1976, Bob Marley was shot by gunmen two days before a planned "Smile Concert" that was to be held in Kingston in support of Prime Minister Michael Manley.  (ever hear of Manley Airport in Montego Bay?)  Manager Bob Taylor and Marley's wife sustained serious injuries, but later made full recoveries.  Bob Marley received minor wounds in the chest and arm.  The shooting was thought to have been politically motivated, as many felt the concert was really a support rally for Manley.  All the same, Bob pulled through and went ahead of the concert.  

When asked why, Marley responded, "the people who are trying to make this world worse aren’t taking a day off. How can I?".  He did have to use a different band at this concert as the Wailers went into hiding fearing further violence.  80,000 people watched as Bob Marley and the replacement band "Zap Pow" wow'ed the audience.

(actual concert footage)

His later years

  After the Smile concert and his near death in 1976 Bob decided to bail to England, where he spent two years in self-imposed exile.  During this time he recorded his Exodus and Kaya albums.  These two albums included four UK hit singles: "Exodus", "Waiting in Vain", "Jamming", and "One Love".  He also injured his big toe playing soccer in 1977 and refused doctors orders to have it amputated not wanting to go against his Rastafarian beliefs. (more on this later)

In 1978 Bob decided to return to Jamaica where he once again headlined another political concert called "One Love Peace Concert" where he played his hits and even got Michael Manley and his political rival Edward Seaga on stage where they shook hands.

 (Bob trying to bring peace to Jamaica)

His Death

It's amazing this man who helped change the world's view of Jamaica could be taken down not by the bullets of assassins but by the injury from his big toe.  As I mentioned, his toe got injured in 1977 but Marley refused treatment and kept on going with his concerts and his life.  By 1980 his cancer had progressed and while flying home from Germany to Jamaica, Bob's vital organs were starting to fail. After landing in Miami, he was taken to hospital for immediate medical attention.  He died at Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Miami on the morning of 11 May 1981, at the age of 36.  :-(

His final words to his son Ziggy were "Money can't buy life."

(Bob Marley in his final concert 8 months before passing on)

Bob Marley's final concert was September 23rd 1980 held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  By this point cancer had spread all over his body and Bob was past the point of being saved.   The album "Uprising" was put out in 1980 and was Bob Marley's final studio album.  It is one of his most religious productions, including the well known hit, "Redemption Song".

Marley received a state funeral in Jamaica on 21 May 1981.  He was buried in a chapel near his birthplace with his red guitar, a soccer ball, a cannabis bud and a Bible along side him.  Several months after his death, Jamaica issued a series of postage stamps honoring Bob Marley.


  • He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • Bob was 5'8 tall
  • His last child, Makeda, was born 11 days after he died.  Her Myspace
  • He was a vegetarian
  • Tuff Gong was his nickname, he was strong
  • Was taught to play the guitar by Peter Tosh
  • Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994

So Bob Marley left us at an early age but he didn't forget to bless us with songs of hope and peace.  According to his official web site, Bob also left us with 11 children including Rohan Marley who married Lauryn Hill and produced 5 children which would have been, of course, Bob Marley's grandkids.

I'm going to leave this post with a new knowledge and appreciation for a man I learned a little more about today.  Feel free to listen to one of my favorite Bob Marley songs, "Could you be loved" below.  Ironically, it was not one of his favorites, but they recorded it with the intention of using it as a cross over hit in America.  Well Mr. Marley, it worked for me.

One love...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Irie FM - your best audio fix for being back in Jamaica.

I love Jamaica and I miss Jamaica when I'm not there.  My solution?  Irie FM!   Irie FM is the islands premier radio channel with all the best in news, talk shows and of course the amazing local reggae and dance-hall music you just can't here here in America.  

(straight from Kingston, Irie FM)

Well, now you can!   You can jump onto Irie FM's website at, IrieFM, and do one of several things.  You can try them out for free with a 3 day trial.  You can also subscribe to a months worth of Irie for either $3, $6 or $9 depending on what quality of sound you want.   For the $3 plan you get 32 kbps which pretty much is fine if you don't need the high quality.  It sounds like a cheap radio.   For the $6 plan you can use the 32 kbps OR listen in at 64 kbps or 96 kbps.  The higher the kbps number the better the sound but it also uses more bandwith so if your connection at home is nasty, use the lower numbers.  The $9 plan also gives you the option of 128 kbps sound.  

(the new I-phone app for Irie FM)

If you're cool like me and got an I-phone or I-pod you can download, for free, the Irie FM app from I-tunes and listen in on the go!   Play it in your car, at work, at the gym.  Whatever!   I got the $6 a month plan and so far so good, great tunes and if I had a drink on the beach I'd swear I was back in Jamaica.

You can also choose from just buying one month at a time up to 6 months in bulk saving you some money.  Also, you can just pay for a month or have Irie FM bill you monthly and your music will always be by your side.

If you need to purchase a I-pod, click below and get one from Amazon for $173.

Apple iPod touch 8 GB (2nd Generation--with iPhone OS 3.1 Software Installed) [NEWEST MODEL]

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A new Google Voice app might come in handy!

When Google Voice was still in it's beta phase I jumped on for it's awesome and FREE services.  Now it's open for everone and it's got new features.  I blogged about it here, Google Voice, back in March and that'll be your main read about GV's services but let me point out a few new things!

On Wednesday Google launched a new Gmail feature that lets you place phone calls via Google Voice right from your Gmail inbox. Overall, the new service is a great addition to Gmail, and may even convince some users to give up their Skype accounts in favor of Google Voice.  The service is currently limited to users in the United States, and all calls to the U.S. and Canada will be free until at least the end of the year.  Fees for international calls start at 2 cents per minute.  Google Voice users can also receive calls directly in their Gmail inbox using their Google Voice number.

Friday, August 27, 2010

My last "summer of music" post... summer winds down it's time to wrap up my summer of music posts.  To see them all just click on the "music" tab on the left to see all posts related to music.  It's been a hot summer and now a new season awaits us.

Hearing these great tunes always make me feel as if I'm back in Jamaica chilling with Irie FM while nursing a cold drink.  It's been a great summer of 2010 y'all!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Zozi is giving away free travel - $500,000!

Zozi travel web site, Zozi, is a new website that markets discounted activities in 16 U.S. cities, is picking up a $500,000 tab for experiences ranging from kayak trips to bike tours to dance classes for those who register on the site by Friday -- or until the $500,000 limit is reached.  Boooo ya!

 The free-activities deal requires you to register a credit card number (to block spammers) and only one freebie per person is allowed.  Hurry up tho, yesterday they had one new user per second coming on board.  HURRY HURRY HURRY.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A cool solar travel bag!

This intelligent travel case features patent pending technology that allows its solar panel to charge iPods, PDAs, cell phones and most small electronic devices in approximately two hours all under one setting.  It has a storage capacity of up to two full charges and includes adapters for iPod/iPhone, mini-USB that supports most PDA devices.  It is made of durable ballistic 1680 denier nylon and has extra heavy-duty stitching throughout.  This bag supports notebooks up to 15.4 inches and has two pen loops, a key clip, multiple accessory compartments, and expandable file sections.

 V-Dimension V-OPT-CORP Corporate Travel Solar Case 

This bag could be super handy while on the road - vacation or not!   Prices start at $65 and when you're out in the middle of nowhere or on the train wishing you had power you'll be glad you dropped a few bucks on it.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The InterContinental New York Times Square

This new hotel just opened up last month and there's nothing shy about this hotel.  Rising 36 stories in the heart of Times Square, the hotel has 607 guestrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows (voyeurism!), 42"-inch HDTVs, walk-in rain showers and plush beds (where the magic will happen.) 

Additional hotel amenities include a Concierge Lounge; 24-hour business and fitness centers; wired and wireless internet in guestrooms and public areas; 42-inch HDTV flat panel televisions and touch-screen computers in all guestrooms; and a courtyard viewing garden in the lobby complete with a reflecting pool and sculptures.

Expect to pay at least $300 a night, excluding New York City taxes.  Their official website, where they have specials from the mid $200's is at :  InterContinental New York

Smooth Girl's Traonne is shot in Jamaica!

Here's another smoking hot model for Smooth Girl Magazine at my favorite spot on earth, Hedo II!  I'm not even sure when these pics were taken but I'm glad that I can share them with you.

(remember to click on the pic to enlarge)

Monday, August 23, 2010

The "GO Pool" at Vegas's Flamigo hotel is no longer topless!

Las Vegas has many topless pools from the MGM, to The Mirage to The Stratosphere.   But one place you can now scratch off that list of topless pools is Flamingo's pool called "Go Pool".

(seen this month at the pool)

You can still go there of course, just make sure your lovely brings her top!  The hours at the pool are from 9am to 7pm daily and the cover charge USED to be $20 for guys, $10 for hotel guests and ladies were getting in free.  Has this changed with the new policy?  

(Happier times in Vegas - click the here, PIC pic for the unedited version)

With 15 acres of tropical paradise, the pool at Flamingo Las Vegas still sprawls and winds, palm trees and grottos provide shade, music provided by live DJs floats on the breeze, and there's even a volleyball court to really bring on the beach atmosphere.   So if you want a nice "kids" free pool where you don't have to worry about the clothing free aspect, it's still a good spot.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Hedonism III aka Hedo 3 is now closed. :-(

As reported by a recent guests at Hedonism III in Jamaica...

"We Just got back last night from Hedo 3 and can confirm the resort did close early, without any real word to the guest until we got there.  Anyone that booked past yesterday was automatically moved to H2, rumor has it some didn't even know until they got to the airport check in.  If your flight left later on Sunday you were transferred to Breezes at 11 am because they would not be serving anymore food after breakfast.

The resort started shutting down while we were there.  They cut the menu down and shipped the rest of the food to Breezes.  They seemed to run out of the top shelf liquor much quicker then normal.  And there was no coconut rum for the 1st 3 days of our stay.  Rumor is a guest went and bought a couple cases."

(peace out from Hedo 3)

So there you have it folks, it was a good run but it's over.  It's a sad day.  :-(

Friday, August 20, 2010

Do you got 4 months and 24k per person?

If so, jump aboard Holland America's 1,380-passenger Amsterdam cruise ship for a "around the globe" cruise!   It's the ship's seventh circumnavigation in 12 years.

Kicking off January 6th, 2011 out of Fort Lauderdale this big boy cruise will take you all around the globe on a 112 day/16 week/4 month cruise and leaving you at least $23,799 lighter in the pocket.  But think about all the money you'll drop in places like:  Brazil, Vietnam, Greece, Italy, Spain and about 100 other stops.  Ports of Call - Holland America.   After all of this you'll be dropped off back in South Florida with a pair of MAJOR sea legs and a new appreciation for the world.

To book YOUR trip click here:  Holland America Cruise.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

This Saturday is "Go Topless Day" all across the US!

A few months back I blogged about Venice Beach, Venice Beach, and touched on the topic of topless women baring all at Venice in an annual event to promote topless equality.  Works for me!   Well that very event is taking place this Saturday the 21st of August all across the US.   Denver, Chicago and Miami and Venice will all be included in this years event.  

(Miami's event in 2008 - click for the real pic) 

It does seem strange that men, even men with very large man boobs, are legally permitted and socially encouraged to walk around shirtless and women are not.  Either way, check out their website at and contribute to the cause, it's appreciated by guys everywhere!  :-D

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wanna fly all month for $699? Call up JetBlue.

JetBlue is bringing back it's "All You Can Jet" program for $699.   The pass costs $699 and allows customers to book a seat on any available flight between Sept. 7 and Oct. 6, 2010.
Here's how it works:

Buy the $699 pass by Friday, or before it sells out and you'll get a month's worth of unlimited flying between any of the airline's 60 international and domestic destinations. The pass covers travel between Sept. 7 and Oct. 6.

JetBlue says pass holders "will have no boundaries -- every available seat on every flight between Sept. 7 and Oct. 6 will be available with no blackout dates -- to travel to more than 60 international and domestic destinations in JetBlue's route network as often as they like."

JetBlue says domestic taxes and fees are included in the price of its AYCJ Pass, though taxes and fees for international flights and flights to Puerto Rico are not included.   

 They also have another plan that's both cheaper but you can't fly on the weekend for $499.  But since I don't work for Jetblue you should visit their site for more details @ All you can Jet.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Facts about the Luxor light in Las Vegas

The tip of the pyramid contains a fixed-position spotlight  that points directly upward and is claimed to be the brightest beam in the world at over 42 billion candle power.  It is visible from anywhere in the Las Vegas valley at night, and can be seen at flight level from above Los Angeles, California, over 275 miles away. At ground level, on clear nights, the beam could also be seen as far south as Laughlin and even as far north as Mesquite or Beatty. The beam is visible straight ahead when driving northbound on US 93 in Arizona, north of Kingman before reaching Hoover Dam. 

 In the spring, the bright light attracts huge numbers of moths into the light beam, creating a phenomenon that has been likened to snow.  Light is generated using 45 Xenon arc lamps of 7 kilowatts each.  When turned on, the lamps heat up to over 800 degrees Fahrenheit.  The hourly cost, including lamps, electricity, and repairs, is US$51.  Hotel engineers, as well as the hotel's own website also claim that the light can be observed from space.

*  The above text is compliments of Wikipedia®.


Monday, August 16, 2010

A cool travel product - protect your booze!

So last time we were in Jamaica at Breezes Resort and Spa, the old Grand Lido, a guest gave us a wicked cool bottle of wine that was rather costly.  We could either enjoyed it there or took it home for a special evening.  Well, we did fly it back home but we were worried it could bang into other stuff in our suitcase and break it.  Luckily for us, this didn't happen. 

The solution for next time?

WineHug Self-Inflating Protective Travel Pouch

This bag is sweet.  For $17.50 you can transport around your favorite bottle of spirit without any worries.  This bag offers self-inflatable technology and even the inside reminds you of the easy 6 step process on how to make sure your bottle is safe. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Underboobs" are not allowed in Vegas!

Did you know that Nevada has declared “underboobs”, the exposure of the lower half of female breasts, illegal in 2008?  The Gaming Commission prevented the Palms Casino in Vegas from having burlesque performers reveal the lower part of their breasts.  So now hotels and casinos in Las Vegas have restrictions on which part of the boob you can expose, crazy.
Perhaps the ladies should start using flesh colored bra's to keep the casino cops happy.  Geez.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

An update on the soon to be world's tallest hotel

You might remember my post a few months back about the soon to be world's tallest hotel that's set to open this December, the Ritz in Hong Kong, World's higest hotel.  Sitting 102 stories above the earth this will be officially the world's highest hotel!

As far as an update goes, here's a way cool virtual tour provided by Wide Eye Productions.  Consider it a sneak peak of things to come.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Way cool I-Pad sleeves for your travels

Mobile Edge, released six new iPad Sleeves under its Sumo brand. The stylish and fun neoprene sleeves are designed specifically to cradle Apple iPads from bumps and scratches while on the road.

This new iPad Sleeve Collection is both innovative and sleek akin to the iPad. The soft padded neoprene material acts as a cushion protecting the large Multi-Touch screen. The Apple iPad easily slides into the pliable neoprene for quick storage. 

(The 8.9' pink sleeve for $19.75)
MobileEdge Sumo - 8.9" Graffiti iPad, Kindle DX, Netbook Sleeve - Pink 

“Sumo’s designs are all about being fun and edgy, we provide a simple and stylish solution that complements the iPad,” said Jim Hart, Sumo’s co-founder. “The iPad consumer wants protection, but is also looking for a travel case as individual as they are, Sumo fills that need.”

The Sumo iPad Collection comes in two pattern styles, each with three color schemes; Camo: Red, Black and Green, Graffiti: Pink, Black and Pink, all with an SRP of $19.99 and each backed by a Lifetime Warranty.

A travel survey finds more people willing to take a "nakation"

According to this survey put out by TripAdvisor, Survey on nude vacations, more and more American's are willing to consider dropping clothes while on vacation.  Is American becoming less prude?  TripAdvisor asked 22,091 U.S. travelers if they would bare all at the beach and 48% said "yes."

(guests at Sea Mountain Inn enjoy the sun)

 Last year, in the same the same nude beach survey, 31% of respondents said they would "love to see and be seen" at a clothing-optional destination.   The numbers are on the rise.

Monte Carlo must be SLOW...

...because they keep offering amazing deals at their hotel and casino!   Monte Carlo has a summer sale with rates as low as $38 per night.  I guess they figure you'll spend all the money you save in the casino.  Either way, if you have any amount of self control here's your chance to do Vegas on the cheap!

Go get your splash on kids!  Get in before summer slips past us.  Here's the pool action below.

Either click on the promo pic above or visit them at: Monte Carlo Pool Special to get in on the deal.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Flying Pasties - a cure for the airport peeping tom!

Where a lot of us enjoy being naked while on vacation some of us may not like just anyone being able to see you!   Next time you're flying you might consider this product, flying pasties!

These stickers claimed to keep the prying eyes of TSA employees off your private bits when you stepped into the full-body scanners.  But it's not 100% clear if they work, some people have reported that these new high tech scanners won't be stopped by some sticker.  Will you spend the $20 and see if it works?

Visit their official site at:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Practice putting while at the airport!

Hey, being a sports nut I like this one!   There are around 27 million golfers in the US and plenty of airports. Why not mix to the two of them up?  

At the Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, Fla., there's a popular 9-hole putting green located pre-security, in the center of the terminal.  For a few dollars, travelers – and non-travelers waiting for loved ones to arrive – can buy a souvenir golf ball and borrow a golf club from Sam Snead's Tavern, which is right nearby. 

(Natalie Gulbis gets ready to tee off)

Travelers with late-night flights out of Los Angeles International Airport often make their way to the Westchester Golf Course, which is on airport property, less than 2 miles away from the terminals. "The course is lit at night and we stay open till 10 p.m.," says golf shop employee Dane Christopher. "People will check out of their hotels, come here, store their luggage, play golf, get a bite to eat and then call a cab to take them to the airport."

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sagia Castenada reps Miami well!

Latina model Sagia Castenada did a photo shoot in Florida for my personal favorite magazine, Smooth Girl Magazine.  I'll just let the pics speak for themselves now...

*remember, click any pic to enlarge!


Monday, August 9, 2010

Jamaican Independence Day - three days too late!

From Vacation Barefoot Blog we proudly wish Jamaica a very very happy Independence Day.   Jamaica first raised its own flag 48 years ago on August 6, 1962.

Keep going strong Jamaica!
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