Arise Black Man: The Peter Tosh Story

Arise Black Man: The Peter Tosh Story was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 FM November 23, 2010.

Peter Tosh found international fame alongside Bob Marley as a member of The Wailers.  As a solo artist he released several landmark reggae albums and even recorded with the Rolling Stones. But he was more than just a successful pop star: he was a revolutionary and a hero to many of Jamaica’s poor. He spent his life as a strident campaigner for civil rights and for the legalisation of marijuana. He was more militant and political than his former band mate and his uncompromising arrogance often landed him in serious trouble. For that reason, as this documentary reveals, his life could be as brutal as the way it ended. Grammy award winning film-maker Don Letts explores his career.


Big up to Rudie for seeding at Reggae Traders!

Convocation Hall, Toronto, 1979

Bob Marley is “a black Bob Dylan without a motorcycle accident”

Bob Marley is “a black Bob Dylan without a motorcycle accident”  proclaims journalist IDRIS WALTERS in this editorial published in the May 24, 1975 issue of SOUNDS in which THE WAILERS’ NATTY DREAD is compared to THE BEATLES’ SGT. PEPPERS LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND (then considered the best rock album ever recorded).



Bob Marley

Bob Marley, 1973 (Photo: Gary Merrin)

Jamaica, 1974

Jamaica, 1974 (Photo:  Gary Merrin)

Dermot Hussey speaks with Midnight Raver about his 1974 interview with Bob Marley

Our good friend Dermot Hussey, who hosts his bi-weekly RIFFIN’ webcast and archives here at MIDNIGHT RAVER, interviewed his friend Bob Marley for the first time in 1974.  While the interview has been labeled 1975 ever since I’ve had a copy of it, Dermot notes that it was actually conducted in 1974.  This is significant because it places the interview much closer to the period immediately following the break-up of the Wailers.

I spoke first with Dermot about how he met Marley.  Here is what he had to say:

“I met Bob I think it was 1974, at Dicky Jobson’s house in Gordon Town. “Dicko” as we called him had invited me to come and listen to Catch A Fire which had just been released. Blackwell was there.  So was Joe Higgs, who as you know, was a kind of tutor for the Wailers, especially Bob who was more determined, more driven. Bob never said much that night, we were just wondering around the patio on a great Jamaica night, with a river rushing below. Dicky always lived in great houses. You won’t believe it but the original Bob interview done the same year was misplaced. I thought I put in one place at my home in Jamaica, but when I looked again it wasn’t there.

I also did a film interview at the opening of Tuff Gong at 56 Hope Road, which has been used in some of the documentaries, and that was for a weekly TV program that I produced called NOMMO, and Bob also did a version of “Redemption Song” for me in the Studio of JBC (before he recorded it) with Wire playing acoustic guitar.

He also spoke for the very first time with MIDNIGHT RAVER about his 1974 interview with Marley, which is featured here for listening.

“At the time of the break up of the Wailers, I had approached Bob about doing an interview.  As I lived near to 56 Hope Road and in fact passed the house everyday going to work at JBC, I would wait until after he played soccer, as a ritual every afternoon and I kept asking him to do the interview.  I think a week passed.  Nothing.  Then another week, and then unknown to me Skill Cole convinced him that he should do the interview. Bob had one stipulation. He didn’t want to do it at the JBC, so find somewhere else.  I did.  A studio off Hope Road that did jingles and commercials. With all the excitement, I never remembered to note the day in 1974 that it took place. But he arrived promptly, and in the course of the interview he was very outspoken. He was clearly upset by feedback that he was getting about what Tosh was saying about it, the break up. In fact after the interview, some time after it was broadcast, he told me to destroy. it. ‘You see that interview? It could value a million dollars, as well as it could value nothin.’  I gave him a copy of the tape but against his wishes I never destroyed the tape.”

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Bob Marley & the Wailers “Could You Be Loved” (Island) 7″ Rare Promo

Here is a rare promo 7″ that Roger Steffens gave to me featuring “Could You Be Loved” in mono on the A-side and the same tune in stereo on the B-side.  The best thing about this one though is that it is autographed by Aston “Family Man” Barrett.

Many thanks to our good friend Ras RoJah for “paying it forward.”

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