Steppin’ Razor: The Life Of Peter Tosh.
Omnibus Press. First published in 2013.
Peter Tosh was a founder member of the Wailers, and a former rude boy who rose from the slums of Kingston to become a fiery advocate of Rastafari, equal rights, African nationalism and the legalisation of marijuana. He’s revered second only to Bob Marley by reggae fans worldwide but official recognition has been slow in coming, mainly because Tosh was so outspoken in his criticism of the Jamaican authorities.
This book was three years in the making, and draws upon more than a hundred interviews with those who knew him best including Bunny Wailer, family members and others from the singer’s inner circle. It tells the stories behind hits like Legalise It, Equal Rights, Get Up Stand Up and Johnny B. Goode; Tosh’s incendiary speech at the 1978 One Love Peace Concert and his now legendary adventures with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, who signed him to the Rolling Stones’ own record label for two classic albums and the hit single Don’t Look Back.
Police beatings, early participation in riots and demonstrations, jaw-dropping performances on Saturday Night Live and a succession of deliberately provocative lyrics went hand-in-hand with an imaginative use of language and wonderful sense of humour in serving to define this most compelling and unforgettable character – one who became embroiled in rumours involving the supernatural and Kingston’s criminal underworld prior to his death.
Steppin' Razor: The Life Of Peter Tosh is also available in a French translation, as well as an audiobook.