Bob Marley planned to sleep rough in London

Bob Marley planned to sleep rough when he first came to London.

Bob Marley was penniless in London

Bob Marley was penniless in London

The ‘One Love’ hitmaker had been left stranded and penniless when he went to the UK in 1970 but befriended music executive Nigel Burlinson – who died last month aged 86 – and the Rondor Music Publishing administrator happily bailed the Jamaican singer out so he could find somewhere to sleep.

In a tribute to Nigel for the Times newspaper, Lance Freed, former president of Rondor, recalled: “Marley was sitting alone in our offices looking rather lost and out of place.

“While serving him tea and biscuits Nigel learnt that he had no money and planned on sleeping in the park, so he immediately gave him £20 from his own pocket and helped him find a hotel.”

Lance previously revealed before the reggae legend died in 1981 that the singer had told him Nigel’s “many kindnesses in those early days” led to him agreeing to choose Rondor as his publisher.

In another tribute, Lance remembered his late friend – who also worked closely with the Beatles and Sir Elton John in the early days of his career – as a “remarkable person who was generous in spirit and kindness”.

He told MusicWeek: “Nigel Burlinson was an integral part of Rondor Music’s success in the 1970s.

“He was director of royalties in the formative years at our UK company and he was a large factor in the affection Bob Marley felt for the company. He was a gentle man who was loved by every one of us. I remember him as a remarkable person who was generous in spirit and kindness.

“He will be long remembered and celebrated by all of us who had the privilege of working with him. It’s not often that simple human kindnesses like that can set the standard for a company, but Nigel set the bar so high we all admired and loved him. The news of his passing will have a profound effect on all who knew him.”

Originally published at

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