Didn’t know Bob’s sons Ziggy, Rohan and Robbie rode motorcycles? Me either, but the Marleys took a squadron of Ducati Multistradas to Africa where they revisited the land their reggae legend father took his family in 1980 to perform a landmark concert to celebrate the independence of Zimbabwe.
“Marley Africa Road Trip” was directed by David Alexanian, the director/producer of eminent motorcycle-related films “Long Way Round” and “Long Way Down” starring Ewan McGregor. Sponsored in part by Ducati – hence our invite – the six-part docu-series filmed in South Africa has now been released on DVD. It can also be seen on The Africa Channel this summer.
Without yet having time to view the film, you’ll have to rely on the description from the production company.
“This highly spirited series captures the insightful and amusing encounters that the Marleys experience as they travel on Ducati Multistrada 1200s and return to the land their father loved. Inspired, the brothers decide to audition local musicians, teach them to play Bob Marley’s music and put on a free concert in Soweto in record time.”
Look back here for a review along with exclusive interviews in the nearish future. In the meantime, check out the film’s official trailer below.
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The series features more than 25 of Bob Marley and Ziggy Marley’s live and recorded tracks along with rare archival footage.
"It was important for me to honor the message of my father,” Ziggy said of the trip. “African unity is something I want to sing about and something I believe in. It's one of my real passions to do whatever I can to bring the idea of unity in Africa back to the table. Nobody's talking about it. Nobody's even thinking about it. But in my heart, I have to know that I did my part.”
“The world lost Bob Marley many years ago,” said director Alexanian, “But not only did we feel his spirit remain in the people we met as they recounted the impact he had on their lives, it was also uncanny – you could almost see and hear him reappear as Ziggy performed his music live.”
Ziggy, a five-time Grammy winner, led the ride on the Multistrada he rode in the film, beginning in Glendale and snaking up the infamous Angeles Crest Highway to Newcomb’s Ranch Roadhouse. Brother Robbie, who lives in Miami and is quite the stunt rider on his Honda CBR1000RR, mounted a new Ducati Panigale for the ride.
I’d like to report that we rode like lightning up the Angeles National Forest mountain road, but it was actually more of a procession. However, the payoff arrived once we got to Newcomb’s. Ziggy and a small acoustic band performed a terrific, albeit short, set of Marley songs.
Proceeds from the event will benefit Life Rolls On and The Chepstowe Basic School, attended by young children located in the economically challenged Jamaican parish of Port Antonio. The school is one of the beneficiary projects of U.R.G.E., a non-profit organization founded by Ziggy Marley that benefits a wide range of charitable children’s causes in Jamaica and other developing nations.
It was truly a great day to be a motorcycle and music fan: warm, sunny weather; a cacophony of Ducati V-Twin music; plus the warm and soulful music only a Marley could deliver.