Concert and Symposium in honor of Peter Tosh


By: Joseph Cunningham
PETER TOSH.jpgBullet! Kaboom! Bung bang beng! These are the most popular slang's in the Dancehall arena currently. Well, whatever are the intensions of the current crop of Dancehall acts, one thing is certain, and that is, they are not the first “fearsome” characters to grace the world stage.

Peter Tosh, the "Stepping Razor" epitomized and exemplified how lethal "lyrical shots" can be! His approach was unquestionable, and meant to solve political and social issues through music.

His character was a controversial one being unarguably the first real "Reggae Rebe," never afraid to address issues that had many of his counterparts running scared! Reggae music has always been a genre that has represented and amplified the voice of the poor and the oppressed, and Peter Tosh used the genre to do just that.

Worrel King, the brain behind the upcoming event, Tribute to Peter Tosh does not like the title promoter, so Yardflex addresses him as show organizer. He agrees that Tosh effectively used Reggae music as a tool to empower himself and the world. Worrel said, “His mind set was that financial reward was not the ultimate achievement. He was on a mission, like a minister of music. Just like men who were inspired by God to write the bible, Peter Tosh was anointed by God as a musician.”

During a one-hour interview, King thoroughly described Tosh’s character. He revealed that he never had a daily relationship with Tosh, but studied his works very closely.

It is the unexplored musical and general genius of Tosh that has been inspiring King to make "the presentation" for the last 15 years. "He never went through the formal educational system, but he was a scholar in the school of life" King said. He made reference to a line from one of Tosh's songs, which said, "If you wanna live treat me right." The song itself explains that by loving each other and respecting life, we will remain alive even in death, through the memories of persons whose lives we've touched.

As well, King recons that Tosh's physical appearance was by special divine ordination. All who saw and knew Tosh spoke of the thrilling sensation that his very appearance and presence transmitted, and King said, "He had an air of mystery about him."

Peter Tosh attained black-belt qualification at Karate. He would also ride a unicycle while onstage, brandish a guitar with the shape of an M-16, and utter spell binding vocals. Furthermore, Tosh can be called a prophet as well! In his song "When the dollar dies" he foretold the demise of the local currency and the day when money has no power! He preached and prophesied about the freedom of the black race, about the day when colour would be no restriction and blacks in South Africa would be respected.

Tribute to Peter Tosh will take place at Independence Park in Westmoreland on October 19, and will be preceded by a candle vigil in Belmont, his birthplace in Westmoreland. Mint tea will be served throughout the vigil, an herb greatly loved by Tosh.

A symposium will be held at the University of the West Indies (UWI), which will include film festival in Tosh's memory. Guest presenter at the symposium will be Herby Miller, Tosh's lifetime manager.
On the 19th the day's activities will commence at 10:00 am with interviews and Peter Tosh selections all day, until 6:00 pm when live performances begin. A special feature during performances will be the appearance of Bushman, who has recently completed an album called "Bushman sings the Bush Doctor".

Additionally, King revealed that the quality of Tosh's music has been garnering phenomenal attention with the current resurgence of Reggae on the international mainstream. Notably, he says word has reached him that an Anglican Bishop is lobbing that two Reggae songs, one from Bob Marley and Peter Tosh be included in the Anglican hymnal.

"Peter is still living within the cosmic of himself," he asserted.