Stephen “Cat” Coore Remembers Bob Marley’s Death 40 Years Later

Stephen "Cat" Coore Remembers Bob Marley's Death 40 Years Later
Bob Marley

by Howard Campbell

[SOUTH FLORIDA] – The day Bob Marley died 40 years ago, Third World guitarist Stephen “Cat” Coore was driving in Kingston, Jamaica. What seemed to be an electrical omen lit up the sky.

“It was starting to rain and I saw a bolt of lightning. It was like a signal telling us that Tiger (Marley) was gone,” said Coore.

The reggae star died May 11, 1981 in Miami at age 36 from cancer. For a decade, his unique brand of message music and relentless touring made him the face of reggae.

Marley, from many reports, was heading to his native Jamaica when his condition worsened and he was admitted to Cedars of Lebanon Hospital where he died.

He was previously in West Germany for seven months receiving radical treatment at the Bavaria clinic of Dr. Josef Issels.

Diagnosed with terminal cancer eight months before, the Rastafarian singer/songwriter was given weeks to live.

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Stephen “Cat” Coore

Coore first met Marley in 1970 when he (Coore) was a member of Inner Circle. They backed him at a show at the State Theatre in Kingston.

Third World, which Coore co-founded in 1973,  opened for Marley and his band The Wailers at their famous shows at the Lyceum Theater in London in 1975. He remembers them becoming even closer friends.

Coore said there is a little-known fact about Bob Marley, the fiery rebel who wrote some of pop music’s revolutionary songs including Exodus and Zimbabwe.

Bob’s Love For Cartoons

“Him used to love watch cartoons. He loved the big chicken (Foghorn Leghorn),” Coore recalled, laughing.

He remembers speaking to Marley by phone two days before he died.

“He sounded alright, it was a casual discussion and he sounded a little weak. I guess we all knew what was happening,” said Coore, who described Marley’s brand 40 years after his death as “very, very strong”.

“His endurance is permanent. He’s a gift that God gave to the world,” he added.


South Florida Caribbean News

The SFLCN.com Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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