Smile Jamaica pays tribute to the man who put the militant wrath to Roots Reggae. Peter Tosh born Oct. 19, 1944.
Let us honor him by spinning his music today pon your Hi Fi. Vinyl Preferred
<Smile Jamaica Peter Tosh Listening Day; Oct. 19; 23 sec.>
Huge huge influence on me. Not just for Reggae Music but my personal politics. Tosh did not do “Lesser of Two Evils”.
He defined support for the Seven Leaf with Legalize It. No pussy footin’
<Peter live in the studio: Don’t Wanna Get Busted; 2 min 26 sec.>
Here are my personal Tributes in the form of Reggae History Lesson vox files from the Smile Jamaica Ark-Ive Podcasts.
No. 1: Tosh History Lesson: Oct.. 18, 2014
Peter was murdered in terrible circumstances on the eerie foreshadowed date of Sept. 11, 1987.
On 11 September 1987, just after Tosh had returned to his home in Jamaica, a three-man gang came to his house demanding money. Tosh replied that he did not have any with him but the gang did not believe him. They stayed at his residence for several hours and tortured him in an attempt to extort money from Tosh. During this time, Tosh’s associates came to his house to greet him because of his return to Jamaica. As people arrived, the gunmen became more and more frustrated, especially the chief thug, Dennis “Leppo” Lobban, a man whom Tosh had previously befriended and tried to help find work after a long jail sentence. Tosh said he did not have any money in the house, after which Lobban put a gun to Tosh’s head and shot once, killing him. The other gunmen began shooting, wounding several other people and also killing disc jockeys Doc Brown and Jeff “Free I” Dixon. Leppo surrendered to the authorities. He was sentenced to death, but his sentence was commuted in 1995 and he remains in jail. The other two gunmen were never identified by name.
I remember how I found out about this tragedy. My sister was in SLC and I went to pick her up at the airport. I pick up a newspaper and at the top of Page 2: “Reggae star murdered in Jamaica”
F-Bomb! I had just bought his album, No Nuclear War, and expected I would get to see him on tour to promote it. Nope.
Ah, but the story doesn’t end there. 38 days later, on Peter’s birthday, Oct. 19th, 1987 the Stock Market suffered the greatest crash since The Great Depression in 1929.
Black Monday refers to Monday, October 19, 1987, when stock markets around the world crashed, shedding a huge value in a very short time. The crash began in Hong Kong and spread west to Europe, hitting the United States after other markets had already declined by a significant margin. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) dropped by 508 points to 1738.74 (22.61%).
I like to think that Peter Tosh got in his licks from beyond this world. Praise Jah, his birthday fell on a Sunday this year. Because the conditions are ripe for another crash.
De-dollarization is what Ukraine is really about. Russia doesn’t want to sell energy in the reserve currency: dollars. They will accept rubles, yuan (Chinese currency) or gold. Tosh predicted this with his tune The Day the Dollar Died.
<Peter Tosh: Livicated to his legacy, prophecy and his supernatural powers; 1 min 55>
No 2 Peter Toshisms. Peter had a unique lexicon of word mashups that twisted convention into cynical reality. Here are a few off the top of my head:
- “No such thing as a diatribe, I preach livatribes”
- ““The Crime Ministers who shit in the House of Represent-A-T’ief”.
- America – A-sad-ica; because there is nothing “merry” about America
- <Toshism: America = A-sad-ica>
- Edward Seaga – head of right wing Jamaican Labour Party – Edward CIA-ga
- House of Representatives – House of Represent a Thief
- Poltics = Politricks
- Prime Minster – Crime Minsister
- System – Shitstem
No. 3: Reggae History Lesson: Peter Tosh pays a steep price for “Legalize It, I will advertise it” at the One Love Peace Concert
This concert was held during a political civil war in Jamaica between opposing parties Jamaican Labour Party and the People’s National Party. The concert came to its peak during Bob Marley & The Wailers‘ performance of “Jammin'”, when Marley joined the hands of political rivals Michael Manley (PNP) and Edward Seaga (JLP)
The One Love Peace Concert brought together 16 of Reggae’s biggest acts, and was dubbed by the media as the “Third World Woodstock”, “Bob Marley plays for Peace” and simply, “Bob Marley Is Back.” The concert attracted more than 32,000 spectators with the proceeds of the show going towards “much needed sanitary facilities and housing for the sufferahs in West Kinston.” The concert was kicked off at exactly 5:00 PM with a message from Asfa Wossen, the crown prince of Ethiopia, praising the concert organizers’ efforts to restore peace in Jamaica. This introduction to the event is important in illustrating the growing prevalence of the Rastafari movement in everyday Jamaican culture. The concert was divided into two halves, with the first half devoted to showcasing some of Reggae’s newer talent, and the second half devoted to the more established artists.
Tosh harangued the audience from the stage. Taunting the cops and poltrixters on legalizing herb and supporting colonial states like Rhodesia and South Africa. The cops caught up to him later and beat him nearly to death.
Here is my take on the story:
Here is Peter himself telling the story: