Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Yer Rock & Roll 4

Okayokay, the consultation exercise on Yer Rock & Roll 4 has concluded - everyone won and all shall have prizes. Even the two bloggers requesting ska instead - by an indirect route. I'll do the Velvet Underground later in the week but first some reggae. Both the particular musicians selected from a crowded field were mentioned in comments when I posed the question.

The first clip is Burning Spear ruffing up as the guy who posted the clip on YouTube put it. Watch out for the conch near the end. As the guy who presented Jazz Club on The Fast Show would say... 'Nice'.

The second clip is shorter with a longer comment. The cliche about Peter Tosh was that if Bob Marley was a rebel, Tosh was a super rebel. He was in the original Wailers. They made some stunning stuff, mournful elegaic songs with a backbeat with a kick like a mule. Then Tosh and Bunny Wailer left. It was never quite the same again. The Wailers became Bob Marley and the Wailers. Marley went on to be a big international star. Some of the later songs were - dare I say it? - bland. Tosh was never bland. He performed solo. He was murdered in his own home in 1987 by a guy he had tried to help after the guy was released from prison. There is a full length documentary about his life called Stepping Razor -Red X, which is well worth a watch.

Oh and the clip? In 1978 Bob Marley organised the One Love Peace Concert. The background to the concert was a shooting war, principally in the Kingston slums, between armed gangs allied to the main political parties. No doubt Marley meant well but Tosh, who seems to have been dragged there by the scruff of his neck, was having none of it. He smoked a spliff on stage, slagged off the assembled dignitaries and - by way of further giving the finger to the event - ripped into Can't Blame the Youth. I can't find a full length solo version so here is a little taster of the Mystic Man performing Can't Blame the Youth.


That Hank said...

Tosh, man, he had some style. I once made a sharp stencil of him from the pose that was used as a model for Walt Jabsco - the suit and shades.

Now, how about some Prince Buster?

Verdant Earl said...

Tosh's "Legalize It" and "Mystic Man" were the first two non-Marley reggae albums I ever listened to.

The guy who introduced me to Tosh in college was the same guy who really got me into two-tone ska. Like alot of Americans, I was familiar with Madness but he got me into The (English) Beat and The Specials in a big way.

I didn't really start listening to first wave ska until the third wave had already hit here in the US. My favorite band, The Scofflaws, paid much respect to first wave ska and to Mr. Tosh himself. "Legalize It" is/was a favorite chant of theirs.