Bob Marley estate remembers the legend’s last show, in Pittsburgh 39 years ago |

Bob Marley estate remembers the legend’s last show, in Pittsburgh 39 years ago

Stephen Huba
Jamaican reggae singer Bob Marley performs on stage during a concert in Bourget, Paris, on July 3, 1980, two months before his final show at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh.
Tuff Gong
The cover of the CD "Live Forever" by Bob Marley & The Wailers, released in 2011.

On Sept. 23, 1980, reggae superstar Bob Marley and his band, the Wailers, played a sold-out show at the Stanley Theater in downtown Pittsburgh.

No one knew then that it would be his last concert.

Almost eight months later, he was dead.

On Monday, the official Twitter account of the Bob Marley estate tweeted a remembrance on the 39th anniversary of that show. It includes the cover of the CD “Live Forever,” a document of the Pittsburgh performance released in 2011.

The story of the show at the Stanley (now the Benedum Center) is well-known. Two days earlier, Marley had collapsed while jogging in Central Park in New York City. At the hospital, he learned that his previously-diagnosed cancer had spread to his brain.

Undeterred but seriously ill, Marley went ahead with the show. The set list included material from his latest album, “Uprising,” as well as “No Woman, No Cry,” “Burnin’ and Lootin,’” and “Them Belly Full (But We Hungry).”

Online marketing guru David Meerman Scott, a student at Kenyon College at the time, was at the legendary concert that night and blogged about it in 2012.

“Bob came out to thunderous applause. He was dancing the entire 90-minute show except for the acoustic ‘Redemption Song,’ which he performed laid back and solo. They did three encores as if Bob just didn’t want to leave the stage. Nobody in the audience knew that Bob was sick. His energy level was extremely high and he had total command of the audience,” Scott said.

Scott took pictures of the Pittsburgh show and was able to make them available to the producers of the documentary “Marley” in 2012.

Stephen Huba is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Stephen at 724-850-1280, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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