#LiveMarley Contest Winner: Jeremy Hopwood/Caravan Skate Shop

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As a part of the #LiveMarley contest on our Facebook page, we’ve been asking you to submit stories of how you have personally been inspired by Bob Marley’s values. The first winner of one of our sick new watches is Jeremy Hopwood, a 27-year-old skater from Seattle, who is also the owner of Caravan, a mobile skate shop.

OK. Your first thought was “What’s a mobile skate shop?” Right? Well, Jeremy was tired of the old skate shop model — he wanted to move it out into the streets. Instead of waiting for someone else to do it, Hopwood bought a van, tricked it out with a quarter pipe and stocked it full of decks, wheels and trucks. Forget the ice cream man… Kids are now running to the Caravan Skate Shop van. We spent some time talking to Jeremy about the shop, his charity work with Skate For Change and the future of the van.

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What was the reason that you started Caravan?

Caravan evolved out of boredom and a desire to do something meaningful. The whole idea didn’t come to me at once, but it was a feeling that I had… A burning. After I thought of the mobile skate shop idea, it took me a few months before I actually bought the vehicle. It was Earth Day 2012. My friend and I went out for a day trip here in Issaquah, Washington, starting at 6 or 7 AM. We actually didn’t know it was Earth Day until we got back from the trip.

How did the charitable element come into play?

The charity aspect came out of pure desire to continue what I started. I went to a local skate shop with the idea and the owner and I began converting the van to have a better aesthetic and functionality for skateboarding. I got word of Pam Miller (a skate event organizer) and her work, and was able to go to that first event at Samammish Park and volunteer with set-up/breakdown for the event. I passed out water and had tools and extra bearings/hardware for people skating. It slowly evolved to where I was accepting donations of skateboard equipment and shoes, and then going to events and giving them out to kids who needed them.

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How did you become involved with Skate For Change?

Getting involved with Skate for Change (a non-profit group of skaters who give back to low-income families and the homeless) was another blessing from Pam Miller, and the skate park competition circuit she runs. I took the Caravan out to Woodinville Skatepark with a pack of younger rippers, Jaeden Ovenall, Kyle McQueen and we entered the contest as a team. It was the first contest I had been in since I was 18 or so. So Skate for Change had a booth set up and it was about as natural as it could have been. I was already doing the charity aspect of Caravan and it was a perfect fit.

What kind of projects are you working on with Skate For Change?

Caravan and Skate for Change are starting to come together, but it hasn’t happened just quite yet. Mike Smith [the founder of Skate For Change] travels the country and speaks at high schools, and is gaining a huge following. They just won the State Farm $25,000 grant for the second year in a row, and just recently opened up the Bay in Nebraska, an indoor skate park/youth facility. So as far as my part, I go out with SFC Seattle most Sundays and spread the word about what we are doing in our community. Besides that, I am working to recycle used skateboards by shaping, sanding, and painting them, and by leading by example.

What’s the connection between skateboarding and making changes in society?

I’ve had conversations about the connection between skating and society since I was a lot younger. The first skateboard video I was in was called Wood Relation. To me that title says a lot on its own; skateboards are a vehicle for positivity and growth for individuals. They don’t pollute the environment, at least their carbon footprint is much smaller than most other modes of transportation. Beyond that, skating is an outlet for creativity, in art, in the physical form and with photography/filmmaking. It’s an extremely positive activity, but I believe anything active can be good. A lot of skaters don’t like scooters, rollerbladers, bmx or traditional sports. I think those are great and much better than kids playing Call of Duty any day.

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Some people just don’t understand skaters. They think they are lazy. They think they are destructive. “A skater comes down the street and it’s loud… It shocks people,” Hopwood says of skaters’ reputation. “They think you are reckless and are going to run into them.” Through his work with Caravan and his latest adventure (a summer spent acting as a counselor at a Massachussets sports camp), Jeremy is doing his part to keep the skate community in a positive light. He’s even considering making Caravan a bi-coastal project with a new van on the East Coast.

If Bob Marley’s vision for a better world has inspired you to hit the streets, plant trees, pick up trash or spend time helping others in your community, then we want to hear your story! Visit the #LiveMarley contest page on our Facebook profile and tell us what you are doing locally to improve the planet for a chance to win a new watch.

 

The Women of Bob Marley’s Family Tree

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Bob Marley didn’t just land on the planet one day like some sort of musical superhero. Most people know he was born in Jamaica, but what else do you know about the Marley family tree? In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re taking a deeper look at the strong and independent women who carry on Bob’s vision.

Rita Marley

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Remember the “three little birds” from Bob’s song? He was actually talking about the I-Threes, The Wailers background singers, which featured his wife Rita Marley. Marrying Marley in 1966, Rita was Bob’s wife until his passing and became mother to six of his children. Continuing her husband’s charitable efforts, she has given help to children all over the world through the Robert Marley Foundation and the Rita Marley Foundation.

Cedella Booker Marley

BobMarleyFamilyTreeKnown as the “Keeper of the Flame” and matriarch of the Marley family tree, Cedella Booker gave birth to Robert Nesta Marley at the age of 18. A singer herself, she took care of Bob by herself after his father passed away when he was only ten-years-old. As the historian of Bob’s life and author of two biographies, Cedella spent most of her life raising her son’s family and keeping his spirit alive.

The Marley Daughters

BobMarleyFamilyTree3During his life, Bob Marley had four daughters that would follow on his path of creating art in many different mediums. Through music, fashion and museum work, Sharon, Cedella, Karen and Stephanie all made significant contributions to the Marley family legacy. Banding together with their brothers Ziggy and Steven, Sharon and Cedella toured together as singers in the Melody Makers.

The women of the Marley family have been able to do some amazing things throughout their lives while still keeping Bob’s legacy alive and intact. Just like the Marleys, mothers all over the world are capable of doing incredible things. We honor and thank them for all of the contributions they’ve made to our lives.

Bob Marley’s Kaya Celebrate 35th Anniversary

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Separated. That’s how Bob Marley must have felt while making his album Kaya. Forced to flee from Jamaica after an assassination attempt, Bob created a record in England that was more in tune with the more peaceful times of Trenchtown. Yet, no matter how great the music… Jamaica was still 4,000 miles away.

In celebration of the album’s 35th anniversary and Bob’s return to Jamaica, Island Records is releasing an expansive two-CD set of Kaya. Perfect for the beach or any place summertime relaxing can happen, the album is full of heavy grooves and motivational words.

Kaya’s earth-friendly lyrics have had a huge influence on the direction of our brand’s Earth-friendly headphonesportable audio systemsbags and watches. Check out some of our favorite cuts from the album below and commemorate this amazing anniversary with a listen to music that will satisfy your soul.

“Easy Skanking”

Setting the pace for Bob Marley’s Kaya, “Easy Skanking” features a slower, more reserved groove than many of The Wailers early tracks. With the promise of “taking it easy, taking it slow,” Marley creates a new vibe for his band that would last for the rest of his career.

“Sun is Shining”

Amongst a number of songs rerecorded for Kaya, “Sun is Shining” trades in its sparse sounds for a heavier guitars and bass. Offering up the line “Sun is shining, the weather is sweet / Make you want to move your dancing feet,” Marley captures the beauty and spirit of nature in Jamaica.

“Smile Jamaica”

As the inspiration for our Smile Jamaica in-ear headphones, this song is new to the latest edition of Bob Marley’s Kaya. Written as an uplifting anthem for Jamaica, Marley first played the song at a concert of the same name shortly after an assassination attempt in 1976, prior to leaving for England.

“Get Up Stand Up (Live from Rotterdam 7/7/1978)”

In addition to the full Kaya album, the new edition of the album features some odds and ends like a live concert from Amsterdam. With the Wailers in fine form after countless recording sessions, this version of “Get Up Stand Up” acts as an eternal document of Bob’s energy-filled live shows.

“Time Will Tell”

Kaya‘s closing song “Time Will Tell” is a relaxed meditation on the history of Jamaica’s citizens. Beckoning to his people that they should “weep no more,” the music of this song signifies some of the newfound freedoms of Jamaicans in the late 1970s and their closeness to Jah.

Celebrate Record Store Day With Rare Bob Marley Records

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The smell of a record store is a distinct one. As a celebration of the scent of decaying vinyl and musty basement, record stores across the US are celebrating Record Store Day on April 20, 2013. With over 700 record stores participating in special sales, there has never been a better time to start collecting Bob Marley records.

While most pieces of vinyl like Kaya and Exodus are easy to find, some Bob Marley records are incredibly rare. During your Record Store Day adventures be on the lookout for some of the harder-to-find albums mentioned here. Throw on a pair of over-ear headphones and start studying up on some of the rarest Bob Marley records around:

Bob Marley “Judge Not”

As the very first recording of Bob Marley, the song “Judge Not” is still a popular item amongst collectors. Released by Island Records in 1963, the vinyl grooves captures 17-year-old Marley contemplating the concept of judgment. In the song, Marley states, “Judge not / Before you judge yourself / Judge not / If you’re not ready for judgment.”

The Wailers “Diamond Baby”

After coming in for a Sunday night audition, The Wailers signed a five-year contract with Coxsone Records in 1964. One of the group’s first hits for the label was “Diamond Baby,” which subsequently would become one of the hardest Bob Marley records to find on vinyl. This song was originally written by Curtis Mayfield for his group, The Impressions, whom the Wailers would continue to cover throughout their careers.

Bob Marley and The Wailers “Selassie is the Chapel”

There have been several different pressings of this early Wailers hit, which means that the value of later releases is near non-existent. However, for hardcore record collectors, there is something fascinating about a first pressing. The rarely seen white label version of this record can fetch nearly $2000 at auction.

The Wailers The Wailing Wailers LP

Still commanding anywhere from $500 to $1000, The Wailing Wailers LP is the first full-length appearance of the group that would eventually become Bob Marley’s backing band. Collecting early singles and covers, the album also includes an early take of the masterpiece “One Love.” Although radically faster, the song is still intact for the most part.

Bob Marley and The Wailers Lighter Box Set

When Bob Marley’s album Catch a Fire was initially released, the vinyl came with a gatefold cover that acted like a lighter with a flip top. In 2003, Universal Records recreated the packaging on a bigger scale including 12 Bob Marley records inside of a large Zippo. The box set is limited to 100 pressings, making it one of the rarest pieces of Bob Marley memorabilia.

The Inspiration Behind Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry”

Dive deeper into your Bob Marley records! Feel the grooves of the vinyl and look closer at the labels. Notice anything weird? Here… Take a look:

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Bob Marley is known for his unmatched songwriting, but who is Vincent Ford? How did his name make it onto a Wailers record? Did he really write “No Woman, No Cry?” The answers can be found within Marley history.

Improving the lives of others was constantly on Bob Marley’s mind, a lesson he learned from Vincent Ford. Finding a refuge in Ford’s soup kitchen, Marley discovered how charity worked firsthand from his Kingston mentor.

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Nicknamed “Ta Ta,” Ford did more than just feed local kids. He taught them to pick up guitars and write about the world that surrounded them. Looking around the Jamaican streets, Marley found inspiration during a conversation with “Ta Ta” one day. He strummed and sang:

“I remember when we used to sit
In the government yard in Trenchtown
Oba, ob-serving the hypocrites
As they would mingle with the good people we meet
Good friends we have had, oh good friends we’ve lost along the way
In this bright future you can’t forget your past
So dry your tears I say

No woman, no cry”

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When the song was released, Bob Marley gave Ford credit for writing “No Woman No Cry.” By giving away his songwriting royalties to his mentor, Marley ensured that generations of Kingston children would be able to eat.

This story is the birth of the #LiveMarley movement. How are you making a difference in your community? What actions are you taking to create a better tomorrow? The House of Marley wants to hear all about it. Head to our Facebook page, click on the “Share Your Story!” tab and tell us how you are making a positive impact on the world that surrounds you.

 

 

 

The Rastaration of Bob Marley’s Land Rover

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Can you hear it? That’s the sound of Bob Marley’s Land Rover firing up in the distance.  After sitting idle for decades, mechanics have brought a piece of the Marley legacy back to life.

Stripped to the bone and reimagined by the ATL Automotive group, the Land Rover project has been a labor of love. Down to the smallest detail, auto designers and technicians have worked months to make everything the way Bob Marley would have wanted it.

Further putting the Marley stamp on the project, Bob’s eldest daughter, Cedella Marley has created the upholstery for the car’s interior. While the project is still in the final stages of completion, the car has come a long way since its rust-ridden condition of 2012.

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Bob Marley was known for driving his Land Rover around the streets of Kingston, Jamaica and finding inspiration to write his lyrics. Can you imagine being in the car with Bob, witnessing the creation of songs like “Get Up Stand Up,” “I Shot The Sheriff” and “One Love?”

Celebrating the Marley heritage and repurposing items from the past inspires us to create new products, whether it’s Earth-friendly bags, portable audio systems or over-ear headphones. What inspires you? Share your muse with the House of Marley on our Facebook page and tell us what makes you want to #LiveMarley.

BONUS: ATL Automotive is documenting the process of rebuilding Bob Marley’s Land Rover through a unique video series. Check out the video below and watch the ATL team strip the Land Rover to its core.

Celebs React to Bob Marley Tribute During the 2013 Grammys

Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

In celebration of what would have been his 68th birthday, the 2013 Grammys featured an all-star Bob Marley tribute including some of music’s hottest stars. Directly connecting the dots between today’s sounds and the reggae legend’s illustrious career, the performance proved that Bob Marley has the ultimate staying power.

Bruno Mars kicked off the festivities by practically lighting the stage ablaze with his reggae-influenced track “Locked Out of Heaven.” Sting, Rihanna, Ziggy Marley and Damian Marley then joined Mars for the Marley classic “Could You Be Loved,” rocking the crowd into reggae oblivion.

What did celebrities think of the Bob Marley tribute? Twitter was filled with positive reactions from across the world.

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We want to know what you thought of the Bob Marley tribute at the 2013 Grammy Awards. Did it do the legend justice? If you missed the performance, watch the video below and head to our Facebook page to share your opinion!

New Ziggy Marley Album Out Now!

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In stores today, the new Ziggy Marley album, simply titled, Ziggy Marley In Concert, finds the reggae artist and his band in an especially tight groove from years of touring internationally.

Perfect for being jammed on the new Chant portable Bluetooth speakers or Rise Up over-ear headphones, Ziggy and his band exemplify what they do best by playing taut live renditions of hits like “Justice,” “Love Is My Religion” and “True To Myself.”

Keeping the #LiveMarley spirit alive, Ziggy shines a spotlight on his father’s legacy by covering two classic Bob Marley tracks. Jamming spiritedly on “War” and “Is This Love,” the new Ziggy Marley album shows that there will always be a place for his father’s timeless music in today’s world.

Ziggy’s next project sees him setting his sights on a one man solo album, but not before working on a charitable endeavor with the Rotary International’s End Polio Now campaign. Prior to the next Ziggy Marley album, the Jamaican artist will be donating his song “Personal Revolution” to a new benefit record. Having helped in the fight to eradicate the disease from Jamaica, Ziggy is hoping these new efforts can help achieve the same result in Africa.

Working to keep the ideals of his father alive, Ziggy Marley and the House of Marley have found that through philanthropy, passionate music and an upbeat spirit, it’s possible to make an impact on this planet.

NYU Examines Why Bob Marley Is Important

For the House of Marley, there is no question as to why Bob Marley is important. Through his music, Marley has inspired listeners everywhere to spread the love, promote unity and, in general, think about the world in a different way. And for students looking to learn more, New York University is offering a new course to teach why the last legacy of Bob Marley is important.

Taught by Vivien Goldman, Bob Marley’s trusted biographer, the class will focus on how Bob Marley shaped the post-colonial world of Jamaica and helped to cause change elsewhere in the world. The course guide offers a brief summarization as to why Bob Marley is important: “Often described as ‘a prophet,’ the pioneer Bob Marley transcended the genre he helped develop, Jamaican reggae, to become a musical and revolutionary leader of the 20th Century. On the way, the bi-racial Marley smashed restrictions of race and class imposed on his generation by the colonial system.”

Similarly themed classes are taught at the Berklee College of Music and Amherst College, but with the focus being mainly on the Marley musical legacy. Aiming to show why Bob Marley is important in the socio-political realm, the semester long class at NYU with Goldman will offer a unique and illuminating perspective on the cultural icon.

Bob Marley has certainly had a lasting impact on modern society, and the House of Marley strives to carry on his legacy. Through our over-ear headphones, on-ear headphones, in-ear headphones, and portable audio systems the impact of Marley’s music lives on. Anyone who’s felt one of his songs knows why Bob Marley is important.

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Cho! Your Support With Cedella Marley Clothing

Cedella Marley, daughter of Bob and Rita Marley, has been designing clothing for the better part of the past decade. Adding philanthropy into the mix, the Cedella Marley clothing line is presenting a holiday fundraising campaign to raise money for a good cause.

cedella-marley-clothing-1Dubbed Cho! 4 Charity, this campaign is aiming to help the maternity ward at the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston, Jamaica. Partnering with 1Love, the Cedella Marley clothing line will be donating all proceeds from the sale of the newly designed Cho! t-shirts to the hospital. The money made from this t-shirt drive will be specifically used to purchase baby cots to provide mothers and newborns with a comfortable environment.

cedella-marley-clothing-3The need for our support in Jamaica is more important now than ever before, as the country is still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Sandy. “On one of my recent visits to Kingston, I was overcome with emotion seeing the need for essential materials in the ward,” Cedella Marley says. “I immediately knew I needed to do something.”

cedella-marley-clothing-2Join the House of Marley, Cedella Marley and 1Love by purchasing a Cho! t-shirt and helping to send your support down to the Victoria Jubilee Hospital in Kingston. Please visit the Cedella Marley store and help bring some much-needed comfort to the more than 70,000 women and 9,000 newborns that travel through this hospital every year.

VISIT THE CEDELLA MARLEY STORE TO SUPPORT CHO! FOR CHARITY