Peter Tosh A man of the past, living in the present, walking in the future

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Peter Tosh A man of the past, living in the present, walking in the future

Peter Tosh. With the name comes a certain stigma and uneasiness in Reggae circles. Peter Tosh was a crusader and warrior in a musical forum more known for it’s mellow and passive resistance. As former college and producer Lee Jaffe simply put it "A lot of people were afraid of Peter, they did not know how to deal with him."(Stepping Razor, Red X: the Peter Tosh story, Bush Doctor Films). He traveled the globe for roughly thirty years preaching his message of equality and justice for every man. He was preaching against powerful forces and societal brainwashing and misinformation. The so called downpressorman or Babylon. He fought against these forces, with bravado, undaunting passion, and an arrogant open style that many people did not know how to deal with. He had a strong conviction of what he viewed as right and wrong. When he saw something as unjustified watch out. He attacked his viewed oppressors with the veracity of an attack dog. As reggae artist of international superstar status, this was a dangerous thing, because he reached the masses.

The way that Tosh fights these oppressors, is with Word, Sound, and Power not physical violence, as one Rasta elder asserts this the Traditional Rastafarian way, "Word, Sound, and Power, is a symbol of man. Seen? That is what we use amongst Babylon. We don’t use a stick, nor a stone, nor a gun" (Stepping Razor, Red X: the Peter Tosh story, Bush Doctor Films). He sings songs witch he believes to be divine. The message of Jah channeled through him. He gains inspiration from the sacrament, the sweet gift of Jah, Herb. Tosh does not try and make the messages sweet and trite, about love affairs and such. He makes sure each and every song is meaningful and to the point. Then like a musical architect as he describes it, he decorates the message with the musical intricacies of his trade. The blunt message is delivered in angelic harmony, surrounded by a heavy hitting bass, the ever-present drums, and the exultant trademark lead guitar that influenced a generation of reggae guitarists to come. The intent was to draw a listener in with the music, so that he or she then had to pay attention to the words. Tosh’s music was a call to arms against Babylon and a vehicle to unit the downtrodden of the world.

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