November 1979. Bob Marley is already stricken with the cancer that will soon kill him. He’s in the middle of a US tour that will take in 47 dates in 49 nights. By the time he reaches the Santa Barbara County Bowl, he’s exhausted. He looks tired and has a cold he can’t shake off. The throb in his cancerous toe is a constant reminder that he’s dying.
And yet he sounds magnificent. The bowl is a glorious natural open-air amphitheatre, and the sun is shining as he glides his way through a buoyant “I Shot The Sheriff”, an atmospheric “Concrete Jungle”and a menacing “Crazy Baldhead”. Then, as twilight falls, the Wailers break into a majestic version of “Exodus”. It’s followed by “Jamming”, “Kinky Reggae”and “Stir It Up”as they build towards an insurrectionary climax with Toshs'”Get Up, Stand Up”. Within six months he will be dead. But The Legend?Live, expertly re-edited by Don Letts, ensures that his music lives on.