I was waxing nostalgic today and thinking about the first time I ever heard the Peter Tosh version of Johnny B. Goode. Linda and I were actually in Jamaica with a group of friends. I spent a lot of time sitting around on the beach and my hotel balcony, sipping Red Stripe and rum coolers and just watching the world go by. A good bit of the time I had my Walkman plugged in and listening to Reggae music on the local FM stations. That’s when I first took notice of Peter Tosh. His version of “Johnny B. Goode” came on and at the time I thought it was the coolest sound I ever heard.
When I first heard of his passing I remember reading that he was assassinated while visiting with his “herbalist”. In the US or just about anywhere else we would have said he was visiting his “dealer” but that’s just one of the interesting things about the oddities of Jamaican news. I found it very unusual that the Jamaicans seem to be much more interested in the “blood and gore” involved in a situation than we are. I was shocked to say the least when I was listening to a local report from a crime scene when a Jamaican reporter was sparing no details about how deep the knife wound was, which internal body parts were exposed and how much blood was surrounding the corpse. The printed word seems to be a little more conservative as evidenced in Peter’s Obituary.
I find it interesting that Peter once played a concert in Kingston where over 30,000 people attended including the Prime Minister of Jamaica. Knowing full well the Prime Minister was in the audience, Peter spent about 30 minutes blasting him for his stance on the legalization of Marijuana. In spite of his openness of disobeying Jamaican law by frequently smoking huge spliffs (giant Joints) on stage, he appears to be somewhat of a national hero to the Jamaicans. Although not as well visited as Bob Marley’s tomb, Peter’s family has erected a monument to him near his home of Negril Jamaica.
Not a very high resolution video but shows a small sample of the creativity of Peter Tosh.