Stir It Up: The CIA Targets Jamaica, Bob Marley and the Progressive Manley Government by David Dusty Cupples

Stir It Up: The CIA Targets Jamaica, Bob Marley and the Progressive Manley Government by David Dusty Cupples

Stir It Up: The CIA Targets Jamaica, Bob Marley and the Progressive Manley Government

David Dusty Cupples

397 Pages

Published in 2012

ISBN: 9781477519899

Two days before Bob Marley & The Wailers were to perform at the Smile Jamaica concert on December 5, 1976, gunmen swarmed his home and rehearsal space at 56 Hope Rd in Jamaica and shot Bob along with others in an attempt to kill him. The questions have always been; why and how did these young ghetto gunslingers pull off this assassination attempt and who put them up to it. “Oh not the brothers, but the ones, who set them up…”  These are questions that people have been asking since the incident and although many theories have been developed and tossed around over the years, no definitive answers have ever been offered.  Although we still have no definitive answers, with the publication of ‘Stir It Up’ we now have what is probably the most likely scenario of  the events leading up to the shooting, why the shooting took place and who was behind it all.

This book may be disturbing to some, a confirmation of beliefs to others and a real eye opener for many.  The author, David Dusty Cupples, did some thorough research in order to lay out a very concise scenario of not only what was happening with Bob Marley at this point in history but also Jamaica, the entire Caribbean community, the Cold War and the attitude many on the right including the CIA had. The book is a true page turner and how Cupples moves the story along is quite impressive while also very entertaining.

So basically this novel portrays fictional and actual characters.  The main character is Scott Mitchell, an American teenager who is dragged around South America and eventually Jamaica by his CIA employed father in the mid 70′s. Although his dad always tells him that he only works the Visas in these countries, for some reason whenever they arrive in a country chaos ensues. After arriving in Yard, Scott soon forms a friendship with Bob and unknowingly becomes intimately involved with the shooting. It’s only after help from a California psychologist after four years of burying the memories that Scott is able to tell about his days in Jamaica and what he discovered after the shooting.

Without giving the story away, I will say, this is by far the most in-depth scenario presented as to who shot Bob, his wife Rita and manager Don Taylor and why. For years, some such as Alex Constantine, have perpetuated conspiracy theories that link the Smile Jamaica shooting and Bob dying of melanoma cancer nearly four and a half years later.  I have always dismissed this as pure nonsense and thankfully, Cupples steers clear of any of that type of drivel.  The claims by Constantine have always been that somehow, Carl Colby Jr, who was hired by Island Records to film the concert, brought Bob a pair of boots after the shooting embedded with a wire containing cancer that poked Bob’s foot as he tried on the boot.  The cancer was then injected into Bob and that’s how he got cancer.  Of course that’s utter nonsense and the lack of a mention in this book tells me others, much more intelligent than myself, who have done their homework, feel the same way as I do.

This novel has nothing to do with Bob’s cancer and how he got it.  This book lays out the most likely scenario behind the Smile Jamaica shooting of Bob. They are two completely different shituations and are in no way linked.

I recommend this book to all Marley fans who are seeking answers to the assassination attempt on Bob as well as those interested in the CIA, left and right wing politricks and the tactics employed by deranged lunatics.

by Joe Jurgenson

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  1. I spent time in Jamaica in the 79-83 era and hung out at the original Tuff Gong studio location. People that knew Bob well said that he was shot because of a race horse scam that one of his close friends was involved in
    The friend claimed that Bob was the financial backer for the failed scheme and when Bob didn’t pay, he got shot

  2. First of all I would like to say terrific blog! I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not
    mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head
    before writing. I have had a tough time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out.
    I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually wasted
    just trying to figure out how to begin. Any suggestions
    or hints? Thanks!

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