Have you ever wished you could talk to an artist, an entertainer or some other influential person who is no longer with us? Wouldn’t it be great if you could just pick their brain for a couple of minutes to get their thoughts on certain issues? I always wondered what it would be like to reason with Peter Tosh. After all, I am huge Peter Tosh fan, and there are a lot of things I wish I could have discussed with him.Well, since it’s impossible for me actually to reason with Tosh. I decided to pose some questions and use his quotes and lyrics as answers to those questions. I took the quotes from interviews, while the lyrics are from some of his songs. Check out my interview with Peter Tosh below:
Ren: Thank you for taking the time to do this interview Peter.I know you are a very busy man.
Tosh: Igziabeher Let Jah be praised.
Ren: People often try to compare you to Bob Marley. How do you feel about the comparison?
Tosh: Comparisons are part of this political world. Where there is one, there is no conflict. Where there is two or more, there is conflict. Two is the devil. Conflict begin with the devil.
Ren: Talk about the original Wailers. Tell me something about the original Wailers that a lot of people don’t know.
Tosh: Well we didn’t start as a trio, we started as a seven-o. About seven people was in the group dem time deh. Even Joe Higgs used to sing with us once upon a time.He and his partner and two girls used to sing with us one time. Braithwaite used to sing with us, Vision used to sing with us. So we started from a huge group which was a family like. But due to unfavorable financial condition at that time, even until this time.We would not be able to cope with a group that size. Zeen, even if we was getting 5 million dollars a week, zeen. So we couldn’t cope with that unfavorable financial condition caused the group to disintegrate and break down to three and when it broke down to three once upon a time or twice or trice upon a time, Bob left the group. Due to the same unfavorable financial condition and he went to America to work. And at the same time, we couldn’t get to go to America and music was my career, my way of life and my way of obtaining and achieving. So I couldn’t make because he went away I stop singing. We continued the group and Vision, who was a part of The Soulettes at the time. The Soulettes was not in functioning so he would gladly come over and we did some work with Bunny and the group continued to maintain the name The Wailers.
Ren: Oh? That’s fascinating. I must admit I didn’t know that.
Ren: How did you feel when the group went from being The Wailers to Bob Marley & The Wailers?
Tosh: Those devils have been around for thousands of years….trying to separate us by creating superstars, Bob Marley was my student from the moment he picked up a guitar.
Ren: You are a very rebellious person, you are always talking out against the ‘Shitstem’ as you call it. You often chastise the government & the police (Babylon), Not to mention your physical confrontations with the police. You have been beaten unconscious more than once. Aren’t you fearful for your life?
Tosh: I mean the flesh, never fade! The flesh never leave the creation, see, because with that divine spirit the flesh cannot fade. If the spirit is weak then the flesh fade, seen?
Ren: Peter it seems you are never far from controversy. There are always rumors going around about you, and as I mentioned earlier, you and the police are always at odds.
Tosh: I’m wanted, dread and alive by the evil forces, yea I been wanted, dread and alive, no place to hide. They are trying to find me. I’ve been accused for a shooting; Jah know I never do. To put me in prison they are willing yea, so I’ve got to pull my way through.(Wanted Dread and Alive)
Ren: You feel you are wanted dread and alive by the evil forces? So how are you going to deal with that?
Tosh: Now I’ve got just two guns to protect myself from men, cause I’ve never done nothing wrong, and I hate the dragon’s den.(Wanted Dread and Alive)
Ren: Didn’t you have a recent court case? How did that go?
Tosh: Yesterday was court day, yea and I-Man forget to go, today my name is in my papers and next a warrant they will show.(Wanted Dread and Alive)
Ren: What were you charged for this time, Peter?
Tosh: Babylon charge I for Ganja, which I know couldn’t do. How could one man Gang Jah? Must be an ape from the zoo.(Wanted Dread and Alive)
Ren: Ha-ha, OK Peter.
Ren: So Peter, aren’t you tired of getting arrested or going to jail for Ganja?
Tosh: Mi nah go a jail fi Ganja no more. I man nah go a jail. Too much work to do.(Nah Goa Jail)
Ren: Speaking of Ganja, What do you think about the Jamaican government’s stance on Ganja (Marijuana)?
Tosh: Legalize it. Don’t criticize it. That’s the best thing you can do. Doctors smoke it; nurses smoke it, Judges smoke it, even the lawyer too. So you got to legalize it and don’t criticize it.(Legalize It)
Ren: How do you feel about the songs that are getting radio play?
Tosh: Mi tired fi hear songs bout shake yah fucking booty and Baby I Love you, dem songs ah play 24 hours on the radio, right now people tired fi hear that Bumboclaat!
Ren: Ah, I totally agree with you.
Ren: What do you envisage happening in Jamaica in the near future?
Tosh: I see people victim, prices rising, gas shortage & the dollar devaluing…I see them churches locked down; schools closed down. Politicians promising & teachers striking.(Crystal Ball)
Ren: What is your take on the recent increase in crimes, particularly murders by young people?
Tosh: You can’t blame the youth…You teach the youths about Christopher Columbus, and you said he was a very great man. You teach the youths about Marco Polo, and you said he was a very great man….So you can’t blame the youths of today, you can’t fool the youth.(Can’t Blame The Youth)
Ren: Oh? Do you care to expound on that?
Tosh: All these great men were doing, robbing, raping, kidnapping & killing…..When every Christmas come, you buy the youth a fancy toy gun….So you can’t blame the youth, you can’t fool the youth. You can’t blame the youth.(Can’t Blame The Youth)
Ren: Peter you have traveled the world. You have experienced a lot in your life, good & bad. What would you say are some of the lessons you have learned in your life?
Tosh: I have learned some lessons in my life, always be careful of mankind. They will make you promises today but tomorrow they will change their mind….always be careful of my friends. Money can make friendship end. It makes friendships end.(Lessons In My Life)
Ren: OK, I think that is some good advice.
Ren: There has been a lot of civil unrest around the world in recent times, most recently in Egypt.What are your thoughts on this?
Tosh: Everyone is crying out for peace, none is crying out for justice. But there will be no peace until man gets equal rights & justice.(Equal Rights)
Ren: If you could speak to your fellow Jamaicans, what would you say to them?
Tosh: Why do you fight each other? Why do you kill your brother…We got to build a better nation, Clean up, clean up Jah creation or there will be no future for you, you and me.(Fools Die)
Ren: Peter what do you say to those that say you are just a dutty, mad, weed smoking Rasta boy.
Tosh: I am that I am. I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations. Neither are you here to live up to mine, yeah. I don’t owe no one .No obligation, no one owes me none. So everything is fine, fine.(I Am That I Am)
Ren: OK Peter, we have come to the end of the interview.I just want to thank you for the little reasoning.Do you have any last words for the people out there?
Tosh: Make sure your hands and heart are clean, so you can rally round the Red, Gold, and Green.(Rumours Of War)
Ren: OK, that’s it, ladies and gentlemen. The Stepping Razor himself!