FOR much of their careers, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer unapologetically ‘beat down Babylon’.
Today, their accomplishments will be recognised by the establishment which they often rebelled.
Tosh, who died in 1987, will posthumously receive the Order of Merit, Jamaica’s third-highest honour, while the 65-year-old Wailer is recipent of the Order of Jamaica, the country’s fourth-highest accolade at King’s House in St Andrew.
Along with Bob Marley, who died in 1981, they were original members of The Wailers which formed in the Kingston ghetto of Trench Town during the early 1960s.
Here is some information about Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer:
• Peter Tosh was the musician of The Wailers. He played guitar on American jazz guitarist Eric Gale’s acclaimed jazz/reggae set, Negril.
• Bunny Wailer has always been the most dance-oriented of the three most famous Wailers. Songs like Ballroom Floor and Rock ‘N’ Groove pay tribute to Jamaica’s dancehall culture.
• Tosh had a successful solo career even while he was a member of The Wailers. He had big hits with Maga Dog and Dem Haffi Get a Beating for producer Joe Gibbs, and the self-produced Can’t Blame the Youth.
• For his 1976 album, Black Heart Man, Wailer called on the Wailers rhythm section of Aston ‘Familyman’ Barrett and his brother Carlton Barrett. Marley sang backing vocals on Dreamland.
• While Marley is usually cast as star of the April 22 1978 One Love Peace Concert, Tosh delivered the most fiery set. Among his caustic utterances that evening was, “Peace is the diploma you get in the cemetery on top of your grave.”
• Compared to Marley and Livingston who were prolific tourers, Wailer chose to stay close to home. His July 1986 show in Long Beach, California, was his first overseas date in over a decade.