Saturday, 29 August 2015

IN LOVING MEMORY OF THE ULTIMATE WAILER

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

He happened one day upon a man by the wayside who was playing a song on his guitar, a song that Winston found intoxicating. He sat, and he listened, and he watched for most of the day, focusing intently on every flick of the guy's fingers as he strummed those awesome notes. Eventually, he plucked up enough courage to ask the guy if he could have a go on his guitar, and he played that song right back to him, note-perfect. When the man asked Winston who on earth 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 a boldly 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 sublime musicianship, which will live forever, this Notting Hill Carnival weekend.


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