If you’re a reggae fan or specifically a Bob Marley fan and you haven’t yet taken a look at the book Wake Up and Live, you may want to do so. As we wrote back in June, this is the latest book to try and capture what makes Bob Marley so special, and it’s a very inventive attempt at that. Effectively designed as a sort of comic book, published by Omnibus Press and complete with colourful, engaging illustrations, it’s about as unique as it is informative. Author Jim McCarthy had previously written graphic novels dealing with other famous groups and artists such as the Sex Pistols and Kurt Cobain, and it’s easy to imagine such works being very effective. This type of story simply appeals to a different audience than that which would pick up an ordinary biography.
We noted in the write-up about Wake Up and Live that many forms of media have been used to further immortalise Bob Marley. But the idea of this graphic novel following similar works revolving around other iconic names from the music industry begs the question of where else we could see similar tributes. When we look more broadly at where and how media supporting classic artists is emerging these days, we can see a few more ways in which Marley could reach new audiences.
There was a Bob Marley documentary not very long ago that received a lot of positive attention. It was a thorough and fascinating movie, and one that fans of the artist would likely watch again and again. But one of the unfortunate things about documentaries – particularly about people – is that despite being educational, they’re usually most appealing to people who already know about the subject matter. A biopic, with a script and recognisable actors, can have a little bit more universal appeal. This backs up the success of some recent musical films, most notably Straight Outta Compton. It’s an idea that could benefit and spread the legacies of numerous performers. Indeed, Fandango even put together a whole list of musicians who need biopics! We’d add Marley to that list. The right director and lead actor could work wonders with the music and story of Marley’s life.
Games like these don’t tend to attract quite the same level of attention as mainstream biopics (or in some cases even documentaries), but that doesn’t mean they aren’t popular. In particular, we’re talking about the emerging category of musician-based slot arcades online. NetEnt is the developer responsible for these games, which have revolved around a few different classic rock groups and, perhaps most relevantly, Jimi Hendrix. Another innovative, genre-altering artist who passed away far too soon, Hendrix features heavily in his own game, which will have you tapping your feet to the beat of some of the artist’s biggest hits. One can imagine an almost identical game built around the Marley aesthetic and featuring songs like “Get Up, Stand Up,” “I Shot The Sheriff,” and “No Woman, No Cry” in the background.
Calling hologram performances a type of media may be a stretch, yet it’s still an interesting way that some classic and/or deceased artists are being remembered. The most famous example was when rumours of a full Tupac hologram tour began to circulate online. But the history of the musical hologram has since expanded, with the likes of Michael Jackson and Gorillaz also having been portrayed this way. Some argue that it’s a little bit upsetting to see such lifelike representations of artists when the artists themselves are unable to perform. Yet it’s hard to imagine a better way to get new audiences excited about Bob Marley than to run concerts using his likeness!
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