Bob Marley’s Best Friend On Movie Omissions.

Photo: Soccer played a large part in Marley's life.
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The omissions of some key characters and the downplaying of others in reggae legend Bob Marley’s new biopic ‘One Love’ have raised some eyebrows, including those of the icon’s best friend, confidant, and road manager, former Jamaican footballer Allan ‘Skill’ Cole who was recently interviewed by Caribbean National Weekly.

Speaking to Caribbean National Weekly from Jamaica, when asked if he’s seen the box office hit, Cole answered, “No, really and truly I was invited but I declined the invitation.” He continued, “Because I just feel like I’m not interested to look at that movie. I think the road that they took was not the right road, so I sort of stay away from it.”

Reminiscing about Bob, the man he calls a “Jamaican treasure” he added, “If you’re going to do a story you must be as truthful as much as you can.”

With no mention of what was a long and enduring friendship that originated from their youthful days in Trench Town up until the legends’ premature passing, Cole was questioned as to why there was no reference to him in the biopic. “I wonder why? I ask why too.”

He admitted, “I’m reading all the different comments of what’s taking place,” and said
people have told him about a scene of Marley running on the beach which makes him remember fond times of introducing the reggae crooner to those locations and playing football with him.

“Unfortunately most of the people who were around, who were an integral part [of Bob’s life during that time] are gone to rest,” he said. “It would only take people like myself
to get the real happenings of what transpired then.” He, however, wasn’t consulted.

“I guess they [the writers and filmmakers] can get away with it [the film’s portrayal] because these young people who are going to see the movie don’t understand and know nothing of the history, so anything they show on the screen they will gravitate to it.”

Allan ‘Skill’ Cole said he harbors no ill will. “I don’t want to get involved. I don’t want it to seem like I’m a spoiled sport or anything like that. I’m not upset or nothing about what they did. It is just sad to know that these things happen”

Of One Love’s authenticity, Marley’s son Ziggy who is also a producer for the film in a recent interview with Billboard said, “Everything true. What we did was we took things from different timelines though, so not everything that happened in this movie happened in this timeline. But what was important for us is to show Bob’s character.”

In an effort not to give too much away for those who haven’t seen the film, the companionship between Bob and his wife Rita, played by Latasha Lynch, reigns supreme in the movie. Cole spoke highly of Bob’s widow who with the help of her children and his other offspring has posthumously made the name Marley bigger than ever. Of Rita, he said, “She knows the truth.”

Anyone who had the opportunity to be around the genius that was Bob Marley holds the truth of what their interaction with him was and how they want the world to know about it.

Allan ‘Skill’ Cole just wishes his truth was told, but also acknowledges that he isn’t the only one whose impact on Bob’s life was misplaced in the film, as former Miss World, one of Bob’s girlfriends and Damion ‘Jnr Gong’ Marley’s mother Cindy Breakspeare, a Miss World winner in 1976, who is said to have lived with ‘Tuff Gong’ during his time living in London while in exile after being shot in Jamaica, is barely seen or mentioned in the popular movie about two years in the life of Bob Marley in which he stayed in London and recorded the hit album Exodus.

As reigning Miss World, Breakespeare would have been required to live in London for a year to undertake engagements.

Breakspeare remains a personality in Jamaica, occasionally featuring in local media, but she is not known to have commented on the movie Bob Marley–One Love.

Also missing is any mention of the Kaya album, a paeon to ganja and Jamaican life also recorded in London during a similar point in time. It was recorded in early 1977 and released in 1978, meaning it happens over the exact time period that Bob Marley: One Love takes place, making the omission quite noticeable.

“Maybe one day we will get to do the right story,” said Cole. He pauses as if inspired and manifesting a dream, “We’ll get the story done because I have the story.” With aspirations of completing his memoir which will include his time with his dear friend Bob, he says, “The true story will unfold one day man. Nuh worry.”

Allan Cole (born 14 October 1950), often called “Skill” for short, is a Jamaican former footballer who played at both professional and international levels as striker.

Cole played in the NASL with the Atlanta Chiefs, and in Brazil with Náutico.

He also represented the Jamaica national team at international level.[2] appearing in three FIFA World Cup qualifying matches for them. During his career, he was Jamaica’s “most celebrated player”.

In addition to his football career, Cole was also the tour manager of the Jamaican reggae star Bob Marley and his band The Wailers during the 1970s. He was credited as co-writing the 1976 song “War“.

Sources: Caribbean National Weekly, Wikipedia.
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