Move over Marley – finally Tosh, uncompromising reggae legend and proponent of Rastafari has a museum in Kingston Jamaica devoted to his life.
The opening of the Peter Tosh Museum in Kingston, Jamaica, is a timely boon for reggae fans planning pilgrimages to the island. At last, there is something other than the Bob Marley Museum, opened to the public in 1987 on the site of Marley’s former home. Tosh worked closely with Marley in the Wailers and went on to record some of the most influential reggae protest songs of all time as a solo singer, so the creation of a Peter Tosh Museum feels long overdue – especially since the Jamaican capital was recently named a Creative City of Music by Unesco.
Tosh has been unjustly neglected in his homeland ever since his tragic murder in September 1987. He was born Winston Hubert McIntosh in rural Westmoreland in 1944, and came to prominence in the Wailers during the mid-1960s, where his rich baritone was the perfect counterbalance to Marley’s expressive tenor and Bunny Wailer’s lilting falsetto. Yet Tosh’s generally uncompromising stance and personal prickliness made it inevitable that he would go solo. The rupture with the Wailers took place in late 1973, following early tours of Britain conducted under miserable conditions, and although his 1976 debut album, Legalize It, was earmarked for Island Records, Tosh’s insistence on referring to Chris Blackwell as “Chris Whiteworst” saw the album relegated to Virgin in the UK.
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