Bob Marley is definitely one of the most recurrent names in our London’s playlists as he has lived in Bloomsbury, Kennington/Brixton, Notting Hill and Chelsea. It has been announced today that his house in Chelsea at 42 Oakley Street, where he sought refuge after the trauma of an assassination attempt in Jamaica is to have an English Heritage blue plaque installed.
The one-bedroom flat on Oakley Street, off King’s Road, was where Marley lived in the mid of the ‘70s and were he composed his hit “I shot the Sheriff”. He soon after moved to another acquaintance's home in Old Church Street, Chelsea, where he was joined by members of his band The Wailers. When they were not recording they would make the short trip over the Albert Bridge to play football in Battersea Park. Bob Marley composed the huge hit in this very house.
The historian David Olusoga, a trustee of English Heritage and blue plaques panel member, said he was particularly excited by the Marley plaque. Marley, he said, remained “one of the most loved and most listened to musicians of the 20th century. He was one of the first superstars to come from a developing country. He is one of the most famous faces in the world, one of the most recognisable faces in the world, and he blazed a trail for other artists from developing countries.”
Marley once said he regarded London as his second home and his stay provided much-needed stability after the horrific events of 1976, when politically motivated gunmen shot Marley, his wife Rita and his manager Don Taylor.
Learn more about the connection between Bob Marley and Chelsea in our Chelsea Unexpected Tour.