Roger Steffens

Roger Steffens

Roger Steffens (born June 17, 1942) is a Brooklyn, New York born actor, author, lecturer, editor, reggae archivist, photographer, producer. Roger is perhaps best known for his reggae archives, in particular his archives of Bob Marley. Six rooms of his home in Los Angeles house his archives, which include the world's largest collection of Bob Marley material. Based on these archives Roger lectures internationally with a multi-media presentation called "The Life of Bob Marley". Roger's radio career began in New York in 1961, and was co-host of the award-winning "Reggae Beat" on KCRW in Los Angeles and was syndicated on 130 stations worldwide in the 1980s.



Steffens has been involved with a large amount of acting and narration work, both credited and uncredited. He provided narration in The Flight of the Gossamer Condor and the television documentary , and he portrayed Ben Veelchez in Dean Quixote, Daniel Golan in the 1999 film Deterrence, and a radio technician in Rollercoaster. In addition, Steffens has been involved with many other films and television shows in an uncredited role, including Forrest Gump, Ghosts of Mississippi, The Making Of Batman Returns, CHiPS, Empty Nest, and cite web
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Steffens co-hosted "Reggae Beat" on KCRW from 1979 until 1987, and "Reggae Beat International" from 1983 until 1987, which was syndicated internationally to 130 stations. He also served as a syndicated weekly contributor from 1993 to 1997 for "Planet Reggae" on the radio station Groove Radio 103 in Los Angeles. Steffens also worked on several other radio shows, including "Offbeat: The Roger Steffens Show" (Host, 1987-1989), "Sound of the Sixties" (Host, 1984-1986), "Morning Goes Makossa" (Co-host, 1980-1984), "Future Forward" (ethnic music commentator, 1985-1986), and "Poetry For People Who Hate Poetry" (1983 and 1987).

Steffens was named "Most Popular Reggae DJ in the World" by Martin's International Awards in Chicago, 1985, and "One of the Forty Who Matter in L.A." by the Los Angeles Reader.

Audio Books

Steffens was a reader for the audiobooks "Bill Gates' Business @ the Speed of Thought" (Time Warner), "The Man From St. Petersburg" (Warner Audio), "Big Two Hearted River: The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway" (North Star), and "Mother Earth Father Sky" (North Star). He also provieded the corporate voice (all wrap-arounds) for Time Warner Audio Books from 1996 until 2003.


Steffens' stage experience includes work with the Pittsburgh Playhouse, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and his one-man show, Poetry for People Who Hate Poetry which was performed to over two million people from 1966 to 1976 and was used as the basis of TV series 1968-69 Armed Forces Vietnam Network.


*Carnegie-Mellon, Pittsburgh
*American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NYC
*Iona College, NY, winner of its first drama scholarship
*National Defense Information School, honor graduate

Interviewee, Adviser and/or Content Provider

Steffens has been interviewed and served as an advisor on many television programs, including "American Masters" three times (on the subjects Rebel Music, James Brown, and Waldo Salt), VH1's "Behind the Music" four times (for the subjects Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Alan Freed, and 1970), "VH1 Confidential: Tosh & Marely", "VH1 Ultimate Albums: Bob Marely's Legend", "Stand And Be Counted", "The Voice" on Channel Four, and "Soul Britainia" on the BBC.


* - (first place award for Best Research in Folk, Ethnic or World Music from the Association of Recorded Sound Collections, 2006)
*The World of Reggae featuring Bob Marley: Treasures from Roger Steffens Reggae Archives
*One Love: Life with Bob Marley and the Wailers
*Roger Steffens and Peter Simon's Reggae Scrapbook (winner, ForeWord Magazine Silver Medal for Best Music Book of 2007)

Contributing Writer

*“Bob Marley: Rasta Warrior” in Chanting Down Babylon: The Rastafari Reader Temple Univ. Press 1998
*Dictionnaire des chansons de Bob Marley, Editions de Tournon, Paris, 2005
*“Reggae in the Seventies” in Rolling Stone’s The Seventies
*Introduction to Bob Marley Reader (DaCapo 2004);
*A Magio do Reggae, Martin Claret Pub., São Paulo, 1997
*“Nine Meditations on Jimi and Nam” in The Ultimate Hendrix, Macmillan, NYC

Contributing Photographer

*Couleur Reggae, Editions Tana, Paris, 2001
*Jamaica, Lonely Planet Guide Book, 2000
*Sur la Route avec Bob Marley, Mark Miller, Scali, France 2007

Lecturer on The Life of Bob Marley at hundreds of venues including the Smithsonian Institution, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (its first and most frequent speaker), Experience Music Project, American Film Institute, 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, 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 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 Kinston, Jamaica in February 2008.

Writing and/or Photography:NY Times, LA Times, High Times, Rolling Stone, Spin, Musician, Village Voice, Record Collector (UK), Option, BRE, Relix, Jamaica Observer, Jamaica Daily Gleaner, Jamrock, Player (Japan), RM (Japan), Best , Nova, Natty Dread and Reggae Massive (France), Moda (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, Inked (Black Tattooing), Tattoo, Reggae Festival Guide, and on the official websites of Keith Richards and PBS. Plus hundreds more.

Interview Subjects

Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Keith Richards, Carlos Santana, Bunny Wailer, Jimmy Cliff, Burning Spear, Culture, 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 and hundreds more reggae, world beat, and pop artists

Liner Notes

Bob Marley & the Wailers (entire catalog 1963-1972), Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh (entire catalog), Andrew Tosh, Marcia Griffiths, Herbie Hancock, Monty Alexander, Jimmy Cliff, Toots Hibbert, Steel Pulse, Burning Spear, Black Uhuru, Culture, Gregory Isaacs, Sly & Robbie, 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, 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


*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


*The Beat Magazine (Founding editor)


*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, 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

ee also

*Bob Marley


External links

* [ The Beat Magazine]
* [ The Roger Steffens Archive]
* [ Roger Steffens Report]

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