Stir it up: Bob Marley beer on the way

Marley the man, years before Marley the brand
Marley the man, years before Marley the brand

Bob Marley's image has long been misappropriated by white middle class students toking their way through nebulous degree courses armed with a copy of Legend and a poster of the great man firmly affixed next to Che Guevara.

According to BBC reports, in an attempt to combat bootleggers, the late reggae star's family have struck a global merchandising deal with private equity firm Hilco.

Bob Marley lager and coffee are set to be among the first wave of products launched, while headphones, shoes, musical instruments, electronics and snowboards are all on the way. Yes, that's right, snowboards.

Also planned is a global chain of One Love cafes where people can "come, eat good Jamaican food, talk about the music, listen to the music, live bands". And presumably order doughnuts with jam in. Ahem.

"We're open to licensing just about anything."

Although this news will likely result in fist-chewing levels of displeasure amongst many of Marley's fans, his daughter Cedella claims that the family's motives are honourable:

"This is a big business for bootleggers," said Ms Marley. "We want to stop some of the nonsense, and make sure the great stuff upholds our standards. We're in control.

"We're open to licensing just about anything. If it is not right, we will not do it."

Now take a deep breath, count to ten and join us in a journey from the ridiculous to the sublime:

Chris Vinnicombe worked with us here on the MusicRadar team from the site's initial launch way back in 2007, and also contributed to Guitarist magazine as Features Editor until 2014, as well as Total Guitar magazine, amongst others. These days he can be found at Gibson Guitars, where he is editor-in-chief.