Roger Steffens interview with DJ Carlos Culture

Prominent Bob Marley Historian Talks About The Acclaimed Book "So Much Things To Say - The Oral History of Bob Marley" and So Much More
Roger Steffens
By Bob Radio, 94.9 HD2
The Rolling Stone review of "So Much Things to Say - The Oral History of Bob Marley" remarked that out of the 700 books on Tuff Gong this could be the best one ever. Roger Steffens is a world reknowned historian of Bob Marley, Reggae Music and African Music. While working in Los Angeles radio with Hank Holmes the two were invited to got on toir with Bob Marley for two weeks. We talked about that journey,  the jounrnies that are and have taken him to the four corners of the world with his video presentation about the life of Robert Nesta Marley, "The Archive" and "soon" to be museum in Montego Bay, Reggae Music, Dub Music and more.

Roger Steffens

For the Bob Marley's 75 Anniversary he presented:  6 Feb 2020 Roger’s Marley 75th Birthday talk at Goldwyn Library, Hollywood

So Much Things to Say Book Cover

Roger’s Library of Congress talk Nov 2, 2017

Roger Steffens speaks about his book, "So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley," exploring the history and mythology surrounding the musician and the people who knew him.



Here is a summary of what contributions he has made to Reggae Music - (Lots of video links at the bottom) :

Roger Steffens Books

Founder, Roger Steffens’ Reggae Archives, which includes over 300,000 titles on tape, record and CD, and the world’s most extensive collection of Marley/reggae memorabilia, plus hundreds of thousands of other reggae- and Rasta-related items in seven rooms.
 Author  So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley W. W. Norton 2017,  #1 Amazon reggae bestseller (with French, Spanish,         Dutch, Chinese, Hebrew and Brazilian editions); first place Best Historical Research in Recorded World Music from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections, 2018. “Definiutive…a landmark…might be the Best Bob Marley Book Ever,” Rolling Stone, Oct. 2018
Lecturer,  Library of Congress, Washington D.C.  November 2017
Curator “The World of Reggae featuring Bob Marley: Treasures from Roger Steffens’ Reggae Archives,” an exhibition of 6,000 items at the Queen Mary, Long Beach, CA from January through September 2001. Author of its catalog (Global Treasures 2001)
Founding Editor The [Reggae and African] Beat magazine; editor of its annual Bob Marley Collectors Edition 1982 – 2009;   columnist, photographer and critic.
One of the Top Ten Most Influential People in Reggae Music  chosen by the Jamaica Observer 2008
Music Consultant for Kevin MacDonald’s documentary motion picture, Marley, 2012
Opening Act  for The Wailers 2013 Survival Revival international tour, January and February 2013
Co-author Bob Marley and the Golden Age of Reggae with Kim Gottleib Walker
Roger Steffens and Peter Simon’s Reggae Scrapbook (Palace Press/Random House, 2007; reissued 2015),Silver Medal Winner,  ForeWord  
Magazine  “Best Music Book of 2007” and  Publishing Executive & Printing Impressions Gold Ink Award;  
Bob Marley and the Wailers: The Definitive Discography, with Leroy Jodie Pierson (Rounder Books, 2005) - first place award for Best    Research in Folk, Ethnic or World Music from the Association of Recorded Sound Collections, 2006;  “The most lovingly Herculean
feat of record-collector archaeology ever,” Rolling Stone 2018
Bob Marley:Spirit Dancer, with Bruce Talamon (Norton 1994; new edition 2003);
One Love: Life with Bob Marley and the Wailers with Lee Jaffe  (Norton 2003)
Co-Founder: Reggae School, Kauai, 2009; Instructor: University of Hawaii on-line reggae course
Producer/booklet writer Peter Tosh trilogy: Live at the One Love Peace Concert; I Am That I Am; Live at the Jamaica World Music Festival (all JAD/Intel Diplo)
Asst. Producer/ Co-compiler & booklet writer Honorary Citizen, the Peter Tosh box set (Columbia/Legacy)
Co-compiler/booklet writer The Complete Bob Marley and the Wailers 1967 – 1972  (JAD) a fifteen disc series
Creative Director/Writer/Narrator  Soul Almighty:Bob Marley, the Formative Years CD/CD-ROM, 56 weeks on Billboard’s reggae chart
Founding Chairman, Reggae Grammy Committee, NARAS from its inception in 1984 through 2011
Co-Host Reggae Beat, with Hank Holmes, KCRW, L.A. Called by the L.A. Weekly “the most popular non-commercial radio program in Los Angeles.” Top station fund-raiser ($44,000 in eight hours). 1979-1987.
Co-Host Reggae Beat International, broadcast on 130 stations worldwide 1983-1987
Co-Host Morning Goes Makossa, KCRW, L.A. 1980-1984
Host Sound of the Sixties, KCRW, L. A. 1985-1987 and Poetry for People Who Hate Poetry, KCRW 1987
Host Offbeat: the Roger Steffens Show, KCRW, L.A. 1987-1989
Co-Host Planet Reggae, Groove Radio L.A. and syndicated internationally 1993-1997
Host  L.A. Reggae, cable TV series 1980-2003
Founding Member RAW #H1, Reggae Ambassadors Worldwide, the international reggae fraternity
Reggae Encyclopedist New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians (UK, 2001); All Music Guide, Miller Freeman, 1992; RAS Records catalog 1997; Encyclopedia of African American Folklore (2005)
Reggae Discographer Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock, 1992
Reggae Lifetime Achievement Award  D.C. Reggae Music Awards, 2006
Most Popular Reggae DJ in the World  Award from Martin’s International, 1986; first American winner; nominated also in 1984 and 1985.  International Commendation Award for service to reggae music, 1991
One of the “Forty Who Matter in L.A. Arts,” chosen by the Los Angeles Reader
National Commentator on reggae and African music for NPR’s Future Forward series 1984-1985, acquired for the permanent collection of Museum of Radio and TV, NYC/LA (which also archives numerous other Steffens’ radio broadcasts)
Writer Bob Marley Trading Cards, Island Vibes/Bob Marley Music Inc. 1996
Reggae & World Beat Columnist SPIN 1985-1987, and BAM Magazine 1983-1984
Associate Editor/writer Reggae International, Knopf 1984
Researcher Bob Marley: The Biography by Stephen Davis, Doubleday 1985
Researcher Catch A Fire by Timothy White, Holt Rhinehart 1984
 Artifact Contributer,“Bob Marley Messenger” Grammy Museum, L.A., 2011
Consultant/Interviewee/Content provider for Netflix “Remastered: Who Shot The Sheriff”; VH1’s Behind the Music series episodes: “Bob
     Marley,  “Peter Tosh,” “1970” and “Alan Freed”; VH1 Confidential “Tosh and Marley”; Ultimate Albums “Legend”; Fortune Files:
    ”Holding on to Jah”(narrator); BET’s American Gangster; and for Bob Marley:Rebel Music and James Brown on PBS’s American Masters
     series; Soundtracks: Kent State/Vietnam” CNN
Contributing Writer of “Bob Marley: Rasta Warrior” in Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader Temple Univ. Press 1998
Decolonizing the Caribbean Record: An Archives Reader Litwin Books 2018
Global Reggae Jamaica 2012;        Reggae Vinyls  Paris 2017
Dictionnaire des chansons de Bob Marley, Editions de Tournon, Paris, 2005
“Reggae in the Seventies” in Rolling Stone’s The Seventies          Jamaica Jamaica  Paris 2017
 Introduction to Bob Marley Reader DaCapo 2004;
A Magio do Reggae, Martin Claret Pub.,  Sao Paulo, 1997
“Nine Meditations on Jimi and Nam” in The Ultimate Hendrix, Macmillan, NYC
Writer-narrator, Dreadlock Rock, 2012, documentary history of reggae music
Contributing Photographer Couleur Reggae, Editions Tana, Paris, 2001
Jamaica, Lonely Planet Guide Book, 2000;        Bob Marley, Taschen  Germany 2009
Sur la Route avec Bob Marley, Mark Miller, Scali, France 2007
Bob Marley: Le Reggae et Les Rastas Hors, France 2010       Bob Marley De Voetballer Holland 2012
Guest Emcee Sunsplash Festivals, Montego Bay 1983-1986
Emcee of nearly every major reggae and African music concert in Los Angeles 1980-1987 and sporadically through the present at the Greek Theater, House of Blues, Hollywood Palace, Roxy, Whiskey, Palladium, Key Club, Santa Monica Civic, Long Beach Arena annual Bob Marley days, Universal Amphitheater, Billboard Live, El Rey, Getty Center, Santa Monica pier, Dub Club, Club Nokia, Reggae on the River & dozens of other festivals, etc.


Lecturer on The Life of Bob Marley at hundreds of venues including the Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institution, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (its first and most frequent speaker, 9x), Experience Music Project, American Film Institute, American Cinematheque, Red Rocks-Denver, University of the West Indies and University of Technology (Kingston, Jamaica), Schomburg Center for Black Research of the New York Public Library; Missouri History Museum, and Universities of Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Delaware, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Colorado, Utah, California, Hawaii, Martinique; at the Ritz, Joe’s Pub, Irving Plaza and S.O.B.’s in NYC; the Milky Way, Amsterdam; in Paris, Caen, Rouen, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa Blues Fest, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Tokyo, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Guam, the Newcastle (UK) Opera House and the Padmore Society in London. Plus a 12-show, seven-city tour of Australia in 2004, including Arts Centers in Brisbane, Darwin and Melbourne, and three performances in Sydney. A six date tour of Israel took place in January of 2006, followed by gigs in Hawaii and four days at the Houston International Festival, and three days at the Montreal International Reggae Festival. In 2007, a dozen shows were held throughout Australia and New Zealand. He was a principal speaker at the Global Reggae Conference at the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica in February of 2008. In 2010 he sold out the Teatro Hildalgo in Mexico City with an audience of over 800 people, and played to an SRO audience at the Grammy Museum. In 2011 he toured major reggae festivals in Spain, France and Poland. He has also lectured on poetry and on Vietnam at Harvard University, Stanford University’s Hoover Library, and at more than 1,000 other venues. In 2015 he gave the annual Bob Marley Lecture at the University of the West Indies. The Library of Congress invited him to read his Marley oral history book in November of 2017.

Writing and/or Photography:
Library of Congress, NY Times, LA Times, High Times, Vogue, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, Spin, Musician, Pitchfork, Village Voice, Vice; Record Collector, Mojo and The Guardian (UK), Option, BRE, Relix, Jamaica Observer, Jamaica Daily Gleaner, Jamrock, Riddim (Germany), So It Goes (UK), Player and RM (Japan), Best, Nova, Natty Dread, Liberation and Reggae Vibes (France), Moda and Etnica World Music (Italy), Il Talehti (Finland), Diana Photo Review (Sweden), Reggae News (Brazil), Caribbean Week, LA Style, Montreal Gazette, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, LA Weekly, LA Reader, The English Journal, Lady, Inked (Black Tattooing), Tattoo, American Contemporary Art, Reggae Festival Guide, and on the official websites of Keith Richards and PBS. Plus hundreds more.


Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, Rod Stewart, Bunny Wailer, Jimmy Cliff, Burning Spear, Culture, Frank Zappa, Fela Kuti, Miriam Makeba, King Sunny Ade, Ray Charles, Robert Moog, Little Richard, Mick Fleetwood, Nina Simone, Matt Groening, John Ritter, Richie Havens, Dion, Solomon Burke, Eric Burdon, Ginger Baker, John Densmore, David Byrne, Joe Cocker, Timothy Leary, Olatunji, Jonathan Frakes, Rick Berman, Jerry Goldsmith, Luciano, Toots Hibbert, Lee Perry, David Crosby, Sinead O’Connor and hundreds more.


Liner Notes: Bob Marley & the Wailers (entire catalog 1963-1972), Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh (entire primary catalog), Keith Richards Wingless Angels, Andrew Tosh, Marcia Griffiths, Herbie Hancock, Monty Alexander, Jimmy Cliff, Toots Hibbert, Prince Buster, Steel Pulse, Burning Spear, Black Uhuru, Culture, Gregory Isaacs, Sly & Robbie, U Roy, Ras Michael and the Sons of Negus, Mad Professor, Israel Vibration, Sunsplash ’92, Barrington Levy, Techniques, Jacob Miller, Pablo Moses, Alton Ellis, Mighty Diamonds, Dean Fraser, Skatalites, Delroy Wilson, Joe Higgs, Ken Boothe, Heptones, Original Wailers Reunion, Tapper Zukie, Mandators,  Scientist, Fully Fullwood, Tony Chin, Rusty Zinn, Ansel Collins, Vernon Maytones, Blue Riddim, Garth Dennis, Reggae Salutes the Grateful Dead Vol. II,  Vusi Mahlasela, Reggae in Hifi, Is It Rolling Bob? A Reggae Tribute to Bob Dylan, and scores more.


Recordings Miriam Makeba:The Sangoma Interview with Roger Steffens Warner Bros.
World Music Sampler writer/narrator, Warner/Reprise/Sire
David Byrne: Rei Momo:Words and Music, interviewer, Sire
Dragonfly Taxi, Matt Jenson and the Liquid Revolution, RDM cd, 2013
The Ridiculous & The Sublime, John Hostetter 2014
For the Future, The Alchemystics, 2015
Beat Generation: Hep Cats, Hipsters & Beatniks 1936-1962 – Fremaux Anthology (France Centre Pompidou 2016)
National Promotions Director, Island Records, 1982-1983, in charge of all reggae and African music promotions including Bob Marley Confrontation, King Sunny Ade Juju Music and Synchro System, Gregory Isaacs Night Nurse, Black Uhuru, Ini Kamoze and Michael Smith
National  Reggae Promotions, Elektra Records, 1982; Steel Pulse True Democracy and Sunsplash ’81: Tribute to Bob Marley
National Reggae Promotions, EMI-America, 1985-1986, first two Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers albums
National Reggae Promotions, Slash Records, 1986, Burning Spear People of the World
 “If Bob Marley is Jesus in these times, Roger Steffens is Peter” - Carlos Santana

“Roger, thank you for turning me on to so much good music, in particular Ladysmith Black Mambazo” - Paul Simon

“Whenever I see your show I always learn something new about my son” - Cedella Marley Booker

 “Roger Steffens is ahead of ahead” - Little Richard

 “Roger is the Alan Freed of Reggae music” – Tim Hauser, Manhattan Transfer

“Roger Steffens is the Dominick Dunne of reggae” – Stephen Davis, author, Reggae Bloodlines; Hammer of the Gods

“Roger Steffens has done more to preserve the myth of Bob Marley than anyone in the world” –   Chris Blackwell, Founder of Island Records (at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007)

“He needs no introduction. Everyone in Jamaica knows Roger Steffens!” – Olivia “Babsy” Grange, Minister of Culture, Jamaica (at the Global Reggae Conference, UWI, Kingston, 2008)

“Roger Steffens is to reggae music what the Smithsonian is to America’s national identity.” Packy Malley, founder, Mid-West Reggae Festival

“[Interviewer] Steffens is a combination of Piers Morgan and Charlie Rose” - Dermot Hussey, Sirius/XM, Dean of JA broadcasters

“I often think that you are the ideal Sixties’ spirit embodiment, truly the finest of what America has to give.” – Bruno Blum,

Dean of French reggae journalists; director, producer, editor, author, composer, musician and artist “[Steffens’ show] is a colossally enlightening showcase” – The Royal Gazette, Bermuda

 “Roger’s voice is like comfort food” – Jack Kennedy


RE: THE FAMILY ACID, Steffens’ first book of photographs, published in 2015

“Candid shots of one of the most captivating lives in American history.”  BBC-tv World News

“The Family Acid captures the spirit of California in the Seventies better than any photobook I’ve ever seen. Steffens is a sort of Zelig figure of the period. ” – Blake Andrews, photo-eye blog

“The Family Acid presents Steffens’ often transcendent vision and life as a psychedelic pioneer on the order of Timothy Leary and Hunter S. Thompson coalescing into a body of work that both parallels and defines the countercultural ethos of Steffens’ generation.” -

“The Forrest Gump of LSD” – Boris Muller, blog.tagenzeiger (Switzerland)

“A mind-blowing collection, thousands of images deep…some of the most visually intriguing and detailed documentation of the counter cultural movement of the 1970s on, out of the U.S. and beyond.” – The Adventure

“An extraordinary archive of images that document a pivotal period in American history [including] stunning psychedelic double exposures of landscapes in Big Sur and beyond.” – Chris Campion, The Guardian Sunday magazine (UK)
“The doubles are testament to a deliberately extra-dimensional way of seeing the world.” – Rebecca Bengal, New York Times
 Sunday Style Section
“The 1960s and the ‘70s have never been documented with such an honest, spontaneous, curious and yet non-judgmental approach.” Widewalls Photo Magazine, Switzerland
“To put it simply, The Family Acid is everything you’ve ever wanted, and then maybe just a little bit more…It’s like falling down the rabbit hole and blazing through Wonderland. It’s like a tea party with Hunter S, Thompson, Timothy Leary, and Joan Didion…a reminder of the pleasures of life, of personal freedom, and the power of self-determination as seen through the eyes of an artist. Each photograph pulls you in so much so you start wondering if you’re having an out of body experience. Have I been here before, or is this just a dream?”- Miss Rosen,
“The Family Acid captures the surreal, psychedelic and utopia-minded aspects of counterculture California and other places in the ‘60s and ‘70s with a perfection approaching cliché.” NY Times review of Benrubi Gallery exhibit, August 2016
“…thousands of atmospheric photographs…as seductive and happy-go-lucky as Steffens’s image of a yellow balloon floating in front of the sun above San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.” The New Yorker review of Benrubi Gallery exhibit, Aug. 8, 2016
“A treasure trove of unreal psychedelic images from a counterculture icon.” – July 2016
“An important voice in counterculture documentary photography of the 1960s and ‘70s” – American Photo, summer 2016
The Family Acid: California – “I like a project that blurs lines that we don’t expect to get blurred. It’s the kind of thing where the blurring the line between the web and the print book between the history of California and contemporary California. It's doing all of these things and the images are exquisite.”  David Ulin, Alta Magazine, Fall 2019



THE MUSEUM OF NEON ART, GLENDALE, CA (permanent collection)




PARIS PHOTO LA at Paramount Studios in Hollywood







Videos & Internet Materials

A life-spanning biographical interview with photographs with Michael Parker of “Antidote” on, March 2016:

A 50 year collection of Roger’s worldwide slides on Instagram, featuring daily postings and stories:


 A dedicated youtube channel which features home movies, plus Roger’s radio and tv interviews:


A video report on Roger’s photo book The Family Acid on BBC World News tv:


Huffington Post bio by USC professor Eric Trules: 
Vogue Magazine’s website: