Peter Tosh Magazine was created to highlight the life of Peter Tosh and bring together recent and past news about one of the most important artists of the 20th Century. With the use of various types of media, I hope to gather special content that can only be enjoyed by publishing this type of magazine online. There are youtube videos and links to audio content which will often feature a full unreleased concert. A big thanks to all the many archivists and collectors of Peter Tosh material and their generosity to share it with myself and also with others on the net. 15 years ago it was next to impossible for the average person to see rare Peter video footage or listen to a rare concert of Peter's like the one in this issue from the Youth Consciousness Festival in 1982. Thankfully now so many of Peters inspiring historic performances can be heard online helping expose Peter's messages and music to millions.
Many thanks to Michael Watson and Tammy Beveridge for their help. Also thanks to all photographers, videographers, and archivists for helping preserve historical material about Peter. Please do not use this magazine for profit. Made by a fan for fans for passion not profit. Created by John "Dubwise Garage" DuBois
A Conversation with Niambe McIntosh Mike Ragogna: What do you think of Peter's impact on reggae music? Niambe McIntosh: I think that Peter took reggae music to places far beyond the traditional topics of love, friendship and cultural amusements, and into the realms of three primary and powerful areas: (1) songs of freedom, awareness of the world around one, and the Global struggle for equality and justice, and against oppression, (2) songs for the search for truth and for personal and spiritual knowledge and enlightenment and accountability, and selffulfillment, and (3) songs about legalization and medicinal benefits of marijuana. I will further note that as he had also written, published and performed the first song, "Apartheid," ever released on a major record label, which specifically addressed and criticized apartheid laws in South Africa, I think that he had a major impact on all popular music, and perhaps on World opinions in general. MR: What are some of your favorite memories of both the artist and how his music affected you?
NM: As the youngest of my ten brothers and sisters and being only five when my father passed, all of my memories of my dad are from the stories of him that have been shared with me as I grew up. Amongst family and friends, my father was a man of many facets; he was serious, loving, and very humorous. People recall seeing that tall, handsome and lanky Rastafarian on his unicycle, guitar in his arms, fresh mangoes in his pocket, and often a bird or two on his shoulder, singing and strumming and peddling his unicycle around the streets of Kingston, handing out fruit to children who flocked to behold this strange sight! And that was after he had already become a so-called international superstar! I love my father's music, and became even more fond of his songs in my late teenage years and even now as an adult. I can listen to his songs -and he wrote many, many songs in his life -- without growing weary. Maybe that is aided by the messages in his works, as they seem to have an added dimension. They have guided me throughout my life, including in giving up a lucrative young career in engineering, to become a public school teacher in inner-city schools. I saw that as a part of my calling. And the same applies to my becoming the administrator of the Peter Tosh Estate. As my father had urged, I want to "live clean and let my works be seen." MR: Why do you think Legalize It and his other popular works resonated with the public? NM: First, with Legalize It, it is important to understand that marijuana grows -- both cultivated and in the wild -just about everywhere in Jamaica, and every day of the
year. Hemp is a very resilient plant! And on top of his Rastafari beliefs, he also saw that, as he also saw other medicinal and other qualities and benefits from and in this organic herb, and also saw the sad state of the Jamaican economy. So why was -- and is -- this organic plant classified as a "dangerous drug," and so many other truly dangerous substances are not? And he also then saw how politicians and organized criminals were profiting from the laws that classified that herb as illegal, and realized there was something even larger and darker than mere ignorance at work, so he used his gifts for music and songwriting to create the all-time classic song for legalization of marijuana -- as is still recognized, even today, by Rolling Stone and other modern journals. On the second part of your question, in addition to writing repetitively on his three different powerful messages of which legalization of marijuana was one, see my descriptions above. Throughout his career, he further toyed with other songs as well -- I again remind you of Peter's sense of humor and whimsy. Peter wrote wonderful melodies, was an incredibly versatile and accomplished musician, as Eric Clapton saw fit to mention in his recent autobiography, and had an extraordinary voice and always worked along with the very finest musicians, whether in the studio or on the road. MR: What do you think of the state of reggae? NM: Reggae continues to grow and evolve. The level of popularity for reggae -- and sometimes it becomes hard to
define what may be classified as "reggae" -- may ebb and flow, but there is definitely a global fan base, that is becoming more globalized all the time. And I must point out that at the Earth Strong Celebration for my father's birthday, in Belmont, Jamaica, on October 20, we saw some of Jamaica's very finest talent, some new and some familiar, and they are artists who are definitely world-class! MR: Are there any artists out there who seem to either emulate Peter's approach to music or have the same musical or topical approach? NM: There are many, many artists who have similar, but different approaches to my father. Peter was around for the first streams of Afro-Pop music, like King Sunny Ade, Fela and Lucky Dube. Many rappers clearly were influenced by Peter and some, if not all, of his messages. Musicians, like Dead Prez, Nas, Lauryn Hill, Black Starr are a of fraction of them. MR: Regarding Peter's material, is there something about it that separates it from the rest of reggae? NM: He was a pioneer, and a rebel, but above all else, he was hugely talented, and also was "a character." People would go to his concerts, or line up to buy his latest record, not knowing quite what to expect. But his music showed you could be cool and tough, without being violent or a hoodlum. That resonates with me as a teacher of inner-city students. He sang that you could be "The Toughest," and that swagger really still hits home for so many teens, but
then he sings of righteousness: "Stop from doing wrongs; Change your foolish plans; Stop from doing wrongs; Live up like a man." MR: What do you think Peter thought of his having been part of one of the most popular musical acts in history, The Wailers? NM: That's a good question, as it's a complicated one. In many ways, The Wailers was the most important influence on his life, and he kept and wrote about the lessons he learned about the record business and music industry, issues of trust and friendship and other changes that developed as a result of his experience with The Wailers. The Wailers was started as band of three youths -teenagers, really -- who were best of friends, and so interdependent that their relationship was reflected in their three-fisted logo. They were young and na誰ve, and wanted to do things together, and it didn't matter if one person had an idea for a song, as the others would join in on the writing, and help to shape it and the lyrics. They were starving, but they were energetic, young and proud, and they were inseparable friends -- and they were really, really good! But things were balanced -- as Bunny and Peter were more skilled at singing harmony, they were relatively unconcerned if Bob therefore more often sang the lead; after all, they were all best friends for life, right? And then, suddenly, everything had changed, and songs that had been collaboratively written suddenly were being attributed to one person or the other, and new works were no longer handled with the same degree of collaboration, and the
sound wasn't as pure, and outside forces -- in Jamaica and in Europe -- were pulling them apart, in different directions. I was not yet born, of course, but friends, family and others have all led me to believe that had all weighed heavily on my father's heart. He had held The Wailers, of which he was an indelible part, as was Bunny, as almost an invincible icon, and yet it had been shattered, just as the band was emerging from poverty and into a world stage. Fortunately, both Peter and Bunny decided that it was best to interpret the forced metamorphosis of The Wailers into "Bob Marley & The Wailers" as a sign that they should move in their own predetermined directions -- as Peter would later sing, as men "of the past, living in the present, and walking in the future." And of course, Bunny and Peter continued to be friends and to collaborate long after they left The Wailers. MR: Did Peter feel that his music was helping to create change? NM: I think he did. I know that he hoped that it would. He saw himself as having received a gift from Jah (his voice and his songwriting and instrumental talents) and that he had a responsibility to follow through on that. He also had an extraordinary intellectual talent -- he was an avid reader, followed current events very carefully, and even taught himself not only various martial arts (he ultimately received black belt certification) and aspects of herbal medicine (and not just ganja!) and Rasta vegetarian diet, but even taught himself Amharic, the language of ancient Ethiopia (Abyssinia). So I think he wanted not only to write and
perform songs that would change people -- and accordingly, the world -- but also to lead by way of personal example. MR: If he were alive today, what kinds of topics would he be writing about? NM: Wow, that's a tough one. Peter had written a song called "Crystal Ball," and that would require me not just to look into it, but also to understand whatever I saw! But one of his sons, my brother Jawara, is currently in jail in New Jersey on ganja charges, and I think Peter would probably write and sing about that. After all, in his last studio album No Nuclear War, for which he received a posthumous Grammy -- the first ever awarded for a reggae album -there was the song "Nah Goa Jail" for "ganja no more." And also, his mother, my beloved grandmother, Mrs. Coke, only just passed away on October 27, at age 96. I like to think he would write a song about the lessons one can learn, and the debts one must appreciate, for one's family and their elders, in loving memory and tribute to her. Despite the branding of my father as a "firebrand," he really was more like a really powerful and effective teacher and leader, in my eyes. MR: What is Peter Tosh's legacy? NM: In 1978, after Peter had been severely beaten by 8-10 policemen with Billy clubs, in a locked Kingston jail, for allegedly having been found outside of a recording studio, with the end of a marijuana cigarette in his hand, which
apparently he had blown away, when an officer had grabbed him, and Peter was finally left for dead, after his skull had been shattered in numerous places, most of his ribs had been broken, and his hands had been crushed. I have been told -- who knows if it is true -- that after that, Peter was taken to the hospital, clinging to his life; he would be there for months. Bob Marley had visited him, seen his battered body and wept. I have further been told that Bob had pleaded with Peter that he must move away from Jamaica -- it was a miracle he was even alive -- and that Peter had murmured "No Mon, I no leave Jamaica. I no afraid of dem, I no afraid of nobody, and Babylon no chase me away. I not afraid of dying, as Jah is with me." To me, that sort of bravery, and harmony with oneself and with the World, is the true legacy of Peter Tosh. His harmony was based on his belief that he was not going to give up, and that he would keep fighting, whether it was until Africans are free, or there would be equal rights and justice for all, or people will not go to jail for ganja anymore. MR: What advice do you have for new artists? NM: Listen to my father's works. It may seem odd or "uncool" for young artists to listen to songs from the 1970s and 1980s, but his works are really timeless. He was, and still is, an original, and the thousands of people who flock to the sleepy and very lovely area of Belmont (near Negril) in Southern Jamaica, to pay their unfailing respect to Peter, are testimony to that timelessness. He really is walking in the future! Interview by Mike Ragogna
Friends of Peter Tosh share their favorite Peter songs Fikisha Cumbo >Well my favorite is Let Jah Be Praised but I also love Jah Guide and Rastafari Is. Love his spiritual songs. Donald Kinsey > my favorite is....Ras..Is...its giving glory to the most High.. Danny Clarke of the Meditations...Favorite Song by Peter Tosh is "Legalize It"...Why? because Jah created many herbs. Herbs are used for the healing of the nation. Natural Herbs, no chemicals. Marijuana is one of those natural herbs.Grass as some people call it is for cows and horses. Herb is used for many ailments and healing, and that is what Peter is talking about when he sings "Legalize It". (thanks Dawn) Winston Rodney (Burning Spear) > Glasshouses ....... If you live in a glass house don't throw stone. That is the name , that Spear favorite. (thanks Sonia) Robert Lynn >Really don't have a favorite,but if I had to answer,I guess ''Rastafari Is''.Merely that it was a bit different than his others,and I remember that it had a 'vibe' on the live shows.
Pete Juliana > "COMING IN HOT"....before the Wanted tour..I had Peter's management send me the album so I could become familiar with the music...this helped me work up what I would need as far as outboard gear to mix Peter live...I used a tape echo for delay and a spring reverb for reverb...."COMING IN HOT" was a show stopper everytime... Nambo Robinson > GREETINGS DUBWISE FAVORITE PETER TOSH IS A HARD ONE FOR ME CAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY Squidy Cole > You Can't Fool The Youths
Peter Tosh was asked to play in South African many times but refused because of his firm feelings against Apartheid and the South African government. Instead he played for a crowd of more than 25,000 in neighboring Swaziland for two nights in a row during December 1983. The cultivation of cannabis sativa (known as insangu in Swaziland, dagga in Southern Africa and marijuana in much of the world) has been practised here for thousands of years, but was outlawed during the colonial administration and is still illegal. In certain circumstances, individuals may be given permits to possess the drug cannabis. Peter Tosh was given a permit on religious grounds as a rasta during his concert here in Swaziland. Rare Audio Interview of Peter in Swaziland LINK and Video Footage LINK
If your interested in getting a feel for what Peter Tosh was really like then you will really enjoy this book. The stories from people who knew him are so personal and intimate it helped me get a better understanding of the real Peter Tosh. The Toughest wasn't always tough. He was a warm, friendly, funny and kind person who was also on a mission to chant down babylon and uplift people through his music and words. Below is a review from Amazon.
This book captures the thoughts of many of Tosh's closest confidants and generals to take you inside the mind of the genius Bush Doctor. It will help you discover the man, the music and the magic of one of the most important musicians in history. - Native Wayne Jobson, Producer of the Peter Tosh film Stepping Razor/Red X Ceil Tulloch's important and timely Peter Tosh compendium reminds that Tosh was a major figure, not only in the realm of reggae, but in the realm of contemporary music more generally. - David Katz, Reggae historian, author As one-third of the Wailers, icons of reggae music, the late Winston Hubert McIntosh, better known as Peter Tosh, continues to gain many fans all over the world. By way of his hugely successful solo career, many people knew Tosh to be a hard-hitting, unapologetic and controversial artist, who spoke the truth in his lyrics and brought attention to the plight of the poor and downtrodden, both at home and abroad. However, not many people saw the private side of Peter Tosh, a man who is described by those who knew him best as humorous and compassionate. Remembering Peter Tosh is one of the first books to be dedicated solely to the life of the great reggae icon Peter Tosh. This book is filled with engaging remembrances from colleagues of Tosh and gives insight into the man Peter Tosh really was - both on and off the stage. Little known facts about Peter Tosh, such as his affinity for animals and a love for cooking are revealed in anecdotal fashion, sprinkled with images of Tosh at work and at play. Contributors include: Jayne Cortez • Dr Omar Davies • Lowell 'Sly' Dunbar • George 'Fully' Fullwood • Revd Canon Ernle P. Gordon • Dermot Hussey • Donald Kinsey • Chuck Krall • Herbie Miller • Norman O. Richmond • Desmond Shakespeare • Robbie Shakespeare • Dennis Thompson • Roger Steffens • Doug Wendt • Dick Wingate You can purchase the book from Amazon HERE
On Feb. 21, 22, & 23, Fans and Family gathered in Jamaica to Celebrate the Life of Peter Tosh The festivities took place in Belmont, Westmoreland, and featured a symposium, band tribute and select performances from artistes such as Andrew Tosh, Bushman, Jah Bouks among others.
Tosh1, Peter's youngest son, performs an amazing acapella at the Peter Tosh Day Festival
Thousands gathered to hear performances and give thanks for life and legacy of the Bush Doctor at the Peter Tosh Memorial Garden
Andrew Tosh reasoning about legalization at the Peter Tosh Day Festival. Belmont Academy High School honors their hometown hero.
Youth Consciousness Festival Dec. 25, 1982 Peter Tosh conceived and staged the Youth Consciousness concerts in 1974 to promote awareness of political issues and to discourage partisan violence among Jamaican youth. In 1982 his performance at the Youth Consciousness festival is concedered by archivists as one of his best and contains one of Peter's Livatribes (Peter's word for speeches). "No way can Youth Consciousness arrive unless the Youth know the TRUTH, Without the TRUTH there is no Consciousness,"
Setlist: Intro, Pick Myself Up, African, Coming In Hot, Not Gonna Give It Up, You Can't Blame The Youth, Dem Ha Fe Get A Beaten, Rastafari Is, I'm The Toughest, Bush Doctor, Johnny B. Goode, Livatribe, Ketchy Shuby, Brand New Second Hand, Babylon Queendom, Legalize It You can listen to the complete Audio here > LINK and Video footage here > LINK
Here is Peter's liveabribe from the Youth Consciousness Festival. Thanks to Tammy for transcribing it. PETER TOSH – YOUTH CONSCIOUSNESS – DECEMBER 26, 1982 I wanna know what happen to them Yes Got to realize It feels as if Because I am branded The most controversial man On earth When I come on stage Hear me mon I don’t want a make _____ You see when I come here To play for you people Is because I love all of you people I want to learn that Because you know what I see happening to we people Not we people cause I love you too You people If I don’t sound love I don’t feel a vibration like it was It no joke Everybody Hol hol hol hol hol up Ho up man All I want to come here with no negative element Cause for see What a Ministers of Propaganda and Public Mischief Here is open to him right now Is just to hear me say The first of my foreign language But I want to learn this man I am an intelligent diplomat Among men And I don’t care what men want to say About me
Because When Christ was on the cross He was between two thieves And when Pontius Pilate Pirate says Who do you want They say give us Barabas If the CMP will a crucify him And you see because I defend the truth The whole truth and nothing but the truth Saying these words it reminds me daily Of going to court Every Policeman from Jamaica know me come from court to hold the Holy Bible Say I solemnly swear the evidence I shall give shall be the truth The whole truth and nothing but the truth So help me God So help I Jah Cause I donâ€™t do God Seen there is a difference between God and Jah You see my words is the truth and the truth causes offense But no way can youth consciousness Arise unless the youths know the truth Without the truth there is no consciousness And there is no hypocrisy about that Cause is the general shystem And shituation continue to exercise itself daily And you see because InI Who was lost in fantasy Seeking to find reality From it Realize what is We do not intend To walk backways Our grandfather did His grandfather did My mother did My father did So give us no one in the family to direct I unto the light
How good and pleasant it is at this psychological moment to sit down humble and learn Because in these days where is no one tellin the truth everyone come say die and go to heaven give me one tenth of your earning The truth is not for sale It cannot be bought Especially by the poor Because due to unfavorable financial condition of the psychological moment Is the reason why the state government is not run Jam as it should be But because this is just the beginning Of progress We wanted to see What it would work out to be And now that Jah have shown InI The progress of prosperity within this consciousness It is just the beginning InI Who is sent of the Most High Irrespective of what the Ministers of Propaganda and Public Mischievousness say about I InI walk with divine qualities and integrity And these things cannot be bought You don’t get them in the drugstore ______ a serious time And I don’t want all of you think That the seriousness of the time means faith Go to church Give your heart to the lord Jesus Christ and your soul can be saved That can’t save your souls If you live in the church it can’t save you If the parsons a father Can’t save you An every man when you wake up an you eat one bite a week I still can’t save you The truth is here So learn this brother and sister InI Who follow the line of Strength and the Way Brought up in the education and nature Where we were educated
Which the prefix if you commutes to bring out Many of you who have your own A, B, and S and ZEN letters Also that And you have achieved the highest academicals levels In your mathematics And your metrics And your technology You see me I can talk from now to till next year So I don’t want to get fed up at all The truth must be spoken my brother This moment Is an event that Never happened in 400 years And we in this generation must be proud and glad for this moment Especially we who are here at this moment This thing that is happening right now You know what it is Illegal What we talking about Consciousness is illegal in the world of fantasy and illusion Lies are their motive And hypocrisy is the order of the day Most people can’t deal with that because I love the truth I was taught in school to say Speak the truth and speak it ever Cause it what it will Cause he who hide the wrong he does, does the wrong thing still Many of you with your education and achievement Is lost in the darkest part of fantasy If you put your hand before your face you don’t see it That’s how lost your are And InI Who is called Rastafari Which the prefix Ras means Head and the suffix Tafari means Creator When you put them together and it means the HEAD CREATOR We are not the worshippers of God And we praise the Truth and Living Let His Name be praised With dignity His Ages
InI have been Abused Accused Condemned Incriminated Discriminated Brutalized And when people hear this They say Peter and the police again They never say Peter and the Devil But anyway we gonna clap them with some music gone cry Yes Only in Jamaica things like this happen And before I start to play to because when I start hol up Reggae music is the greatest music in the world I this man you see standing here Have many signed certificates Given to me by mayors and counselors of the United States of America And they say that I am an Honorary Citizen The 23rd of August in Bedfordsitis, New York City Is Peter Tosh day Many people don’t know that That has been gone on for about 5 years But you see because the system is designed the shystem as I should have said Is designed in every way especially to defamate my character I will continue to walk in my integrity I care not what men want to say Cause I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations Neither are you here to live up to mine I hold no one no obligation No I don’t mean none So everything is fine
Peter Tosh Magazine Vol. 1