Saturday, 29 August 2015

REMEMBERING THE ULTIMATE WAILER

When Winston McIntosh was fifteen years old, his auntie died. He had to move to Trench Town in Kingston, Jamaica, lugging his life in his hands. It was challenging. Winston became a lost boy, with all the promise of a no-hoper. Then he found music.

He met a man on the side of the road, playing a song on his guitar. A song that young Winston found intoxicating. He sat and listened, and he watched for most of the day, focusing intently on every flick of the guy's fingers as he strummed those haunting notes. Eventually, he plucked up courage to ask the guitarist if he could have a go. He played the song right back to him, note-perfect. When the man asked Winston who had taught him to play so beautifully, the boy replied, 'you did.'

As Peter Tosh, he was the proudest member of Bob Marley's Wailers. He eschewed the parasitical business of music, forged an organic solo career, and won a Grammy for 'Best Reggae Performance' in 1987, for 'No Nuclear War'. It was his last-ever record. On 11th September 1987, a gang broke into his home in Jamaica, and murdered him.

Remembering Peter Tosh and his musicianship, which is forever, this Notting Hill Carnival weekend.


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