Entertainment

Finding Tosh’s M16

Tosh's famous M16 guitar being kept by friend says son

BY STEVEN JACKSON Observer staff reporter jacksons@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, April 01, 2011    

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A silent custodian of Peter Tosh's M16 gun-shaped guitar awaits the building of a museum in order to offload the instrument to the family and public, according to stakeholders.

The guitar embodied the revolutionary lyrics of the reggae legend but ownership became disputed following his death.

"We wouldn't want any person, whether a single beneficiary or otherwise, profiting from the guitar," stated Cory Lashever, manager at Jampol, which manages Tosh's estate in conversation with Splash. "We want the people of Jamaica and the family to come and bear witness."

It follows the near auction of the instrument five years ago by his common-law wife Andrea (Marlene) Brown, at the Flashpoint Film festival in 2006.

"A friend was able to reclaim it. So there is an objective person holding it that has the family's best interest," he stated.

Tosh's son and artiste Andrew Tosh acknowledged that a "friend" held the instrument but denied that ownership was in dispute.

"Yes, it is with a close friend. Nobody can claim ownership to my father's things. It is our own. It belongs to all of his children and beneficiaries," stated Tosh about his father which has some 10 children. Neither party, however, would reveal the name of the custodian.

The M16-gun guitar will be the focal point of a collection of memorabilia at the museum situated in Belmont, Westmoreland -- the birthplace and final resting place of Tosh. The reggae legend rose to prominence as a part of The Wailers prior to a solo career.

Andrew Tosh said that the museum would be opened by 2012 whilst Lashever declined to reveal a timeline.

"We are in the planning stages of the museum," stated Lashever who couldn't reveal costs involved in the construction of the museum. "Nothing is holding it up. We just started the planning."

Currently reggae fans can visit a Tosh monument erected at Belmont.

Peter Tosh (born Winston Hubert McIntosh) played the guitar, melodica, piano and organ on many of the early Wailers tracks with Bunny Wailer, Junior Braithwaite and Bob Marley. He was also highly controversial. Tosh left the Wailers in 1973 to pursue a solo career and debuted the album Legalise It, which was a remake of many of his early Jamaican recordings. The album also gave the marijuana movement its most potent anthem in the title track. Some of his other hits were Equal Rights, Bush Doctor, Mystic Man and No Nuclear War, which won the Grammy for Best Reggae Performance. He was murdered in 1987.

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