Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bob Marley (reggae in general)

My wife and I met four weeks before I was to move to St. Louis for graduate school. Things were going well and to make a long story short, we decided to try the long distance relationship thing. A couple of weeks after I moved down there and got settled, I asked her to come down. While she was there I was in absolute heaven. It was a nice diversion from being alone in a city where I knew not a single soul. While she was there we decided to go out. I had scoped a few places to go before she had got there. There are several bars along Delmar Avenue directly west of where I lived in an area called University City. It was where the Washington University students hung out (I was going to St. Louis University). We ended up at Blueberry Hill, a 50's themed bar and restaurant that played what else, oldies on the jukebox. We decided to eat first and then after dinner we went down stairs to the see what band was playing. It turned out to be a very good reggae band. I had never really been that interested in reggae before but after this night, I would definitely become a fan. The only reggae I knew was Inner Circle (the Cops theme), and the Steven Segal movie Marked for Death. I am not even sure if the band played any Bob Marley that night but it was great reggae anyway.

At first we just sat idle. We were still a new couple and I am sure there still some nerves between us. I knew she liked to dance but I was not sure if she would get into this kind of music. But after a few drinks I got up the nerve to pull her out to the dance floor and she did not resist. The place was not that big and it was packed with people. I remember it being very hot down there. We got out on the dance floor and immediately we felt as if we were in our own world. The music took a hold of us, the lights put us in a trance and we just flowed together as the music played. We were swaying and sweating in rhythm with the band, along with the rest of the dance floor. It was pure bliss at a time when we both needed it; unsure about our long distance relationship. It was a bonding moment for us and helped get us through being apart most of the time, for a while at least. Well it all worked out because we are now married and have been for nearly 12 years. She looks back on that night with smiles too, as if it is a private joke between us. Its just one of the many memories we have between us.

To this day, when I am having a bad day, I will sometimes put on Bob Marley and it takes be back to that night and puts me at ease, along with a smile on face. What does reggae, or Bob Marley, do you for you? Please let me know.


  1. I am really happy for you and your wife. You are the first couple I know that the long distance relationship worked out.

    Bob Marley has a lot of good music. I do like Raggae music. It has a relaxing feeling for me.

  2. Thanks Tender Heart Bear. It was not always been easy but we stuck it out. There is something about Reggae that just makes you feel relaxed. It takes me to a calm place when my hectic world is spinning around me. Great Stuff.

  3. My wife & I also started out as a long distance relationship. And it was music that brought us together (in an indirect sort of way). In college I put together a website for one of my favorite singers, Joseph Williams (lead singer of Toto 1986-89 & 2010-present). A fellow fan from the Chicago area signed the guest book, I responded to him via email and we discovered that our tastes in music were very similar. Our similar tastes in music kept us in correspondence for several years. In 2002 I was getting over a bit of heartbreak and he had a female friend who was going through a similar 'bout of jaded cynicism about romance. He jokingly suggested we get in touch with one another. We both figured what the hell. That was April 2002. We did the long distance thing for a few months but by October 2002 I'd moved from Northern Ohio to Chicago and in 2005 we married. Our mutual friend that introduced us was the best man.

    As for Reggae, check out the Easy Star All-Stars. They've put out a handful of albums that are reggae covers of other bands music. Their Dub Side of the Moon is particularly enjoyable. Their most recent album was released earlier this month and is the first album that is all original music by them-- no covers. I believe they've also done some Led Zeppelin covers.

    Another band I LOVE that isn't reggae per se, but they include some elements of reggae in some of their songs is Cat Empire. They're an Australian horn band. Their music is a truly original blend of jazz, ska, reggae, Latin, and other influences. Their first 2 albums are their best but their 2003 debut is nearly impossible to find outside of Australia. Their 2005 follow-up Two Shoes is ALMOST as good as their debut and is much easier to find. Their more recent releases while still enjoyable have less Latin, ska, and reggae influence and are more jazz oriented. I still dig their later releases but those first 2 albums are great fun and perfect party music.

  4. Perplexio, thank you so much for the story. That is exactly what I am trying to do with this blog; get people to use the music I post as spark to a memory. That being said, congrats on getting married (a little late I guess) and having the long distance thing work out. It was rough for a while for us but we made it through and are going strong today. Like I mentioned to Tender Heart Bear, reggae just seems to put me in a better mood when I hear it. It suddenly makes you want to dig your toes in the sand and dance. I can't listen to it all the time but reggae makes for good medicine. As for the bands you mentioned, I will check them out. Thanks for the recommendations.