Remembering Neville Garrick with Gladstone “Gilly Ras” Gilbert

Usually, when Bob Marley’s legacy is discussed, his band The Wailers gets their share of credit. But the legendary singer/songwriter had other ‘soldiers’ critical to his success, and Neville Garrick was among them.

Garrick, who designed several of Marley and The Wailers’ album covers, died on November 14 at age 73 in Los Angeles, California. A statement from his family gave the cause of death as cancer.
The lanky artist lived in LA for some time. He last visited Jamaica in March when he was an advisor to producers of the ‘Bob Marley: One Love’ movie, for which scenes were shot in Kingston.
Garrick was reportedly hospitalised shortly after returning to LA.

His close friend, Gladstone “Gilly Ras” Gilbert, was Marley’s traveling chef for four years. The three men shared a passion for healthy lifestyle, football and Rastafari.

Speaking to, Gilly Ras said he last spoke to Garrick two months ago. While aware that he was ill, news of his death hit him hard. “Him was a good bredrin, heartical, always have a good vibe. Neville Garrick bring dat whole artistic vibe to di Gong (Marley’s nickname) thing,” he noted.

Gilly Ras first met Garrick in Kingston during the mid-1960s when they were teenagers. But it was not until the latter returned from college (University of Califonia at Los Angeles) in the United States in the early 1970s that they became close friends.

He brought his culinary skills to the Marley camp in 1977, three years after Garrick joined. The previous year, Garrick designed his first jacket for Marley — Rastaman Vibration.

His creativity can also be seen on the covers for Babylon by Bus, Exodus, Kaya, Survival, Confrontation and Uprising, other albums Marley recorded for Island Records. Garrick also designed album covers for Bunny Wailer’s groundbreaking Blackheart Man, Man in The Hills by Burning Spear and No Nuclear War by Peter Tosh.

For Gilly Ras, who lives in South Florida, Rastaman Vibration and Kaya are Garrick’s outstanding works.
“Dem capture di message wha’ di Gong did a send to di world,” he said.

Neville Garrick, who was the first head of the Bob Marley Foundation, is survived by three children, three grandchildren and a brother. He was awarded the Order of Distinction, Jamaica’s sixth-highest honour, in October.