Once you like the father, you will like the son, the reason I was very glad when I met both Andrew Tosh and Julian Marley in Antwerp. It all started during the summer holiday festivals in Antwerp, Belgium. I have missed many festivals and interviews because the festivals take place while on holidays in Africa. This time, luck was on my side, among other artists to perform was Andrew Tosh.
Andrew Tosh on stage. Photo credit- Joel Savage
There is magic in music, it heals, consoles, inspires, and even has the voice to speak to us if you listen carefully. On the road of agony, growing in dangerous and hard environments, reggae music was the only tool many Africans lived on to pass through the turmoils of life successfully.
Music like ‘Stand Firm’ by Peter Tosh, ‘Born To Win’ by Jimmy Cliff, ‘Give Thanks and Praises’ by Bob Marley, ‘Black Heart Man’ by Bunny Wailer’ etc, are some of the songs we depended on to prevent us getting into trouble with the determination to succeed in life.
There were many great musicians that started early in Jamaica. Desmond Decker, John Holt, Toots and the Maytals, Culture, Burning Spear, etc, but I can’t explain how Peter Tosh, Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff and Bunny Wailer did it as if they were the only musicians in Jamaica that time.
I have heard many times, people saying that Jamaican musicians are snobbish and have no interest in Africans, but that’s not true. I have enjoyed every minute of meeting famous Jamaican musicians. They are respectable, friendly and story-tellers.
One of Andrew Tosh’s fans takes a photograph with him. Photo credit: Joel Savage
Andrew told me much about how he was influenced by his father. His father thought him how to play the piano while very young. Like every child, Andrew enjoyed his father, but quite sad over the pain and brutalities his father went through at the hands of the so-called law, while they ignored the crimes tearing the society apart.
“If you’re great, all eyes are on you. You’ll have both lovers and enemies. The goal of the enemies is to break you down physically and spiritually but Peter wasn’t an easy person to submit to that breakdown. He was one of the living great musicians in his time. The reason as a tribute I wrote ‘He Never Died.’
Yes! Andrew played ‘He Never Died’ for his father. For the rest of the conversation, I had with Andrew Tosh and other artists such as Luciano, you can read it in the book ‘The Passion Of Reggae and African music available at Amazon.