JM: I learnt a great deal about his baptism into Black Nationalism, his involvement with Johnny Nash and Danny Sims and his roller-coaster antics with the Rolling Stones… I found all of that fascinating, and likewise his brushes with obeah, the trips to Africa, his relationship with Yvonne Whittingham and time spent in Trench Town with Bob and Bunny. Writing this book was a real journey of discovery for me, despite having grown up with his music and seen him perform including once with Marley on the Catch A Fire tour.
Looking back, I was appalled by the bad press he received and especially here in England. This younger generation of music lovers will hopefully view him in a different light, and with more understanding of what he was trying to achieve. He was an idealist who believed in what he was doing and how rare is that? But he also had a great sense of humour and often made me laugh when combing through interviews or hearing people talk about him. MR: Is there anything you had to omit either because it could not be substantiated or because it was too controversial?
JM: No, nothing like that. I had to deal with a lot more controversy when writing my book on the Wailers — this one was plain sailing by comparison! MR: Were there any parts of the book that had to be edited out due to limitations on space?
MR: Did you approach Marlene about being interviewed? If so, what was her attitude towards talking to you and the book in general? MR: Other than Marlene, did you manage to speak with everybody you wanted to. If not, who proved to be unobtainable, and why? MR: Did you edit out any of the details of what happened during the night of the murder?
Santa has previously spoken in detail about what Peter was actually saying and how he was behaving but none of that was mentioned in the book. JM: I researched everything I could about the murder including comments made by Santa, and wrote the story accordingly. Those like Peter with well formed and often challenging views certainly arouse strong opinions in people!
Some felt threatened by him, whilst he clearly delighted others.
MR: It was interesting to read that Peter was such a prolific session musician. Do any of the labels have a definitive list of which tracks he appears on. MR: There is a massive amount of unreleased Marley material sitting in the vaults. You mentioned tracks like Too Much Rats and Wicker Man — are you aware of the existence of much more unreleased Tosh material?
What are the chances of these tracks ever being released? First we have to make the case that Peter — and the tracks themselves — are important enough to merit money and time being spent on them. In the meantime most of them are probably on YouTube already so why worry? MR: You did a fine job of incorporating the social and political influences that were relevant to the story, putting everything into context.
Is it fair to assume that this was a deliberate attempt to make the book accessible to a more mainstream readership — kind of like Peter attempted to do with his music? MR: What were the main differences between the way you approached this project and Wailing Blues — your book about The Wailers?
JM: The fact that Family Man and the other surviving Wailers are still alive and Peter is no longer with us proved to be a major difference! I spent many hours with Family Man especially, talking, listening to music and even touring with him. We knew there would be little reward other than getting the story out, and letting people know what had happened.
With hindsight I would have approached it differently, and made the book more accessible. I still feel that Wailing Blues is actually two books trapped between single covers, and that I should have separated them somehow. I see Peter Tosh as a major voice of the seventies — not only musically, but because of what he stood for. He wanted to see an end to injustice and inequality, and a reliance upon corrupt institutions, whether financial or otherwise.
He stressed the values of education and of knowing ourselves; of self reliance and freeing our minds from prejudice and hate. He also promoted healthy living, the legalisation of marijuana and concern for the environment. Bob use his style to give his message, I have to continue with mine. I no want to fit in a any slot. I deh pon earth to preach, I am a walking speech. This year marks the 16th anniversary of the death of Peter Tosh, which abruptly ended the life of a man who was determined to speak for the poor and disadvantaged.
But Tosh went a step further. He badgered what he considered to be a corrupt Jamaican government system, not just in song but in live performances as well. Besides his legacy of music, Tosh left a consciousness that highlighted social injustice and the need for basic human rights.
This awareness was evident from early in his life. From the beginning, their music was punctuated with social commentary, with biting words against political manipulation.
However, with all this success, there were hints of conflict between the two strongest personalities in the group Marley and Tosh. Many felt Tosh had the better voice, but Marley was considered more saleable to the U.
When you are an extremist and a radical like he was, it takes time to understand people like Peter Tosh. He did not have the mass appeal like Bob Marley did.
Bob was very charismatic, flamboyant and friendly…. He was a radical, he stood up for the cause. Tosh went on to have a successful solo career. However, he did not get the same recognition Marley did. His political cynicism and radical views continued to be the major messages in his music. He also worked with The Rolling Stones, producing albums that were widely accepted in the U. In fact, the U.