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The Session from the Trench Town Rock Experience


The session, people at a concert oil on canvas 24x24

The Session

Errol McKinson

Oil on canvas 24x24

Concert gathering during a Bob Marley concert in Pittsburgh 1980. The day before Bob Marley and the Wailers were scheduled to play a sold-out concert at the Stanley Theatre in 1980, promoter Rich Engler got an ominous call from the reggae star's agent."There might be a problem," the agent told him. "Bob is not feeling very well. I don't know what's going on. I'll keep you posted.

"Marley and the Wailers had just played two shows on the Uprising Tour opening for The Commodores at Madison Square Garden on Sept. 19-20. The next day he collapsed while jogging in Central Park and, during a hospital visit, was told the worst: The cancer he was diagnosed with three years earlier had spread, and he was advised to cease touring.On the morning of the Sept. 23 show in Pittsburgh, Mr. Engler got another call.

"They're headed there," the agent said, "but I would be surprised if he plays."

"Around 2ish," Mr. Engler says, "they came in to do a soundcheck. I was looking around for Bob and found him in the dressing room, sitting on the couch, looking depressed and ill. I said, 'I heard you're not feeling well. I