Exclusive! Unseen Photos From Bob Marley and the Wailers Live Santa Barbara 1976 | MIDNIGHT RAVER
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Exclusive! Unseen Photos From Bob Marley and the Wailers Live Santa Barbara 1976

In 1976 Bob Marley & The Wailers dropped in on the Santa Barbara Bowl. It was part of The Rastaman Vibration tour which began at the Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, on April 23, 1976, and ended in Manchester, England, on June 27, 1976. Along the way, they stopped in Santa Barbara and played to a sold-out crowd.

These, never before published photos, are from the collection of Randy Erikison, staff photographer of a generation of music lovers and a devoted Marley fan.

He’s captured the essence, not only of a laid-back concert scene with fans hanging out on stage, but of the Marley known and loved the world over.  

Marley played with his full line-up: Bob Marley, vocals, rhythm guitar; Aston Barrett, bass; Carlton Barrett, drums; Donald Kinsey, lead guitar; Earl “Chinna” Smith, lead guitar; Tyrone Downie, keyboards; Alvin Patterson, percussion; The I-Threes, backing vocals.

Santa Barbara director Russ Spencer captured the essence of the show from Mike Allen and Kim McDaniel.

“I saw Bob Marley in 1976 with a lawn full of friends and potent smoke: group-blitzed and certain that those syncopated Wailers were one with us, riding peaks of euphoria. Marley’s mix of hedonism and revolution was ours, too, we thought.”

The Santa Barbara Bowl is a 4,562-seat amphitheater, located in Santa Barbara, California.

The Santa Barbara Bowl is open for concerts from approximately April through approximately October with an average of about 27 concerts per season. Booked exclusively by Nederlander Concerts in Los Angeles, the Bowl hosts primarily popular music concerts. Since 1991, the Santa Barbara Bowl has been managed by the not-for-profit Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation.

Joni Mitchell‘s 1980 double live album and concert film, Shadows and Light, was recorded at the venue in September 1979 on the tour supporting her Mingus album. Her all-star backing band was made up of prominent jazz fusion musicians Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays, Jaco Pastorius, Don Alias, and Michael Brecker.

The British band Tears For Fears performed at the amphitheatre in May 1990, which was filmed for their Going To California concert video (the American vocalist/pianist Oleta Adams appeared with them).

The British band Depeche Mode performed at the amphitheatre three times: the first one was on August 5, 2001 during their Exciter Tour. The second one was on August 20, 2009 during their Tour of the Universe, in front of a sold out crowd of 4,937 people. The third one was on September 24, 2013 during their Delta Machine Tour, in front of a sold out crowd of 4,959 people. The 2009 show was recorded for the group’s live albums project Recording the Universe.

The show which broke the record for playing past the City of Santa Barbara, California‘s 10pm noise ordinance curfew was the 2015 performance of Neil Young & Promise of the Real, who played until 10:38pm before leaving the stage.




  1. Harry Stuut says:

    Nice, and you can see and hear that he was at his best during 75 76 77 and 78; looks very fit and no sign off his illness that made him looking worse during 79 / 80…in my opinion was his voice chaning during 79, less powerfull seems it.
    But again new stuff…Great that they shareit with you and us

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