PTBMTRADER'S PETER TOSH articles -SUNSPLASH 1980-
|PTBMTRADER'S PETER TOSH articles|
Peter Tosh at Sunsplash '80
...security arrangements of past years were nothing compared to the intimidating display of raw power at the 1980 Sunsplash show in Kingston, where the audience was completely surrounded by solid rows of uniformed soldiers with M-16 rifles with fixed bayonets. The performances were unusually inspired, with superb sets by Culture, Black Uhuru, the Mighty Diamonds and Peter Tosh, who took the opportunity to lecture the crowd, the soldiers and Manley. Here is a complete transcription of Tosh's impassioned speech at Sunsplash '80, followed by a brief quote from the review published the next day in the Star newspaper.
Hail to the mighty and thunderable One, Rastafari - mighty and thunderable (thunder rebel). His name must be exalted. Long time a prisoner. Long time they wanted. Long time they accused. Long time they condemn. Long time them killin. Long time them crucifyin'. But this is the dispensation of reincarnation. Little did you know, I art here. It has been a long, long, long time - historically long time I've been accused, many times con- demned, incriminated and discriminated illegally and unlawfully without no righteous cause. Only jah know. Who feels it knows it. Seen?
I and I step to this planet they call Jamaica, not to be condemned by men, but because of the illegal shitstem designed by the slave drivers. (Tosh pauses while the audience laughs) Sounds like a joke, but the facts are what is joke to you is death to him. When you laugh I am condemned, and I see you laugh everyday and die everyday. Sounds like a joke, but it seems as if all of you have crossed your heart and hoped to die. I'd like to know why, seen? Well, now is the time when Israel must arise, irrespective of the illegal condemnation by men, irrespective of how men may feel in this dispensation of time. Jah live. Rastafari lives - mighty and thunderable Rastafari. Only in this valley of Jehoshaphat is the name, Rastafari, illegal. You pay four dollars in courthouse to say raas. Sounds like a joke, seen? But I and I don't intend to live upon this little piece of the planet as an insignificant alien. Excuse my vocabulary. 'Cause many people take Rasta for the baggage of the earth. As my brother said - serious 'ting. Is long time I and I been accused and been looked over the shoulder like a piece of dirty rag, seen? I want this society to begin to respect and recognize what the prefix Ras means, irrespective of the laws of Babylon. I and I did not come to subordinate to the laws of Babylon. We are in Babylon. but make sure you are doing not the works of Babylon. Col' I toe, oh ye man of Babylon.
This reggae music is a music that in Jamaica it's not insignificant music. Everytime I turn on the FM, I have to hear funky, get down, shake your booty. And I don't waan' none of that, for the music that I sing is a wakening unto the slumbering mentality of them that sleep, seen? And the music that I sing is always condemned and banned in some diplomatic ways, that sometimes when I play my music and people hear it and the way they accept it, I have to wonder why - Rastafari. But I want the rulers of the earth to recognize the people of the earth, and to love the people of the earth, 'cause they are the resources of the earth.
When I speak, I don't speak like a politician, because my Father come to waken those who sleep and to bring people closer to light, because they are in darkness, seen? I was in the same darkness too, heading for destruction. Lost into fantasy, seeking for reality. But this little society. and not only this one, the world universal society launches an attack diplomatically and psychologically to defamate, and to incriminate and to discriminate the concept of Rastafari - to make it look insignificant within their society. And what are the works of their society to prove I to be insignificant? I and I deal with righteousness, irrespective of what men call righteousness. 'Cause most people think say, is when you go in a church on Sunday, with your clean clothes and your jacket and tie, you're holy, seen? But I don't wann' to take my Father's business for no joke business, and when I speak, I speak of those who intend to look like I and defamate the characters of I, because I see the determinations of the society is to praise the dead and incriminate the livin', seen? From I born, I never think of discriminatin' no one or incriminatin' no one. All I think is live and make sweet music and relieve the depressed minds of people who are so frustrated because of economical pressure. I don't waan' to go on like I no suffer under the pressure, 'cause I know it, seen? I know it. Due to unfavorable financial condition, I am unable to cope with this financial shituation. But it no joke business. Don't waan' hear vou talk 'bout, well just stop talk and sing. No more o' that, 'cause in the beginning was the word and the word was with Jah. But in this time Jah say: "I call upon the singers and the players of instruments. All my springs are in thee."
Do men know what the springs of Jah is, or are, according to your English grammatical bullshit. If I did follow the English grammar, I know I would be speaking present tense and past tense and those. But I know many oonoo look 'pon Rasta as a chump...ganja smoker ...mad. I don't smoke ganja, and the only thing one can be discriminated or incriminated for is the possession of ganja, seen? Them take out the "g" to make you don't realize is "gang" in ganja. All that is in the darkness has come to light, seen? And don't blame the Rastaman for exposing the darkness into light, because by your works we shall know you. So I don't waan' to talk - too much talkin' business and promises. Fools dance to comfortable promises. Well, my Father say, fell oonoo say 'nough 'nough baddie, go and lie dung, seen?
Irrespective of who you waan' be, or who you waan look like, or what your denomination or organization, you see, if oonoo don't respect and accept Jah Rastafari. You think is a joke business? I see the whole world praising God and Jesus, seen? And all they are headed for is destruction - financially. physically, spiritually and morally. Truth I deal with. The truth creates offense in a one heart. Make guys talk all kind 'tings - 'tink wha' dem waan 'tink. But when Jah speak, earth crumble. So, marvel not and talk 'bout what kind of man that, seen? There are many say they come in the name of God to do the work of God, but when I check 'pon the work of God, it is destructive to I and I. Everyday I in jail. Charge fe what? Ganja. Who made the laws? God. Laugh, think it is a joke business? True, dem don't know what is God or who is God. There are so much gods that exist. The 12 gods of Babylon - Sagittarius, Aquarius, Pisces and Leo. Check it out, 'cause all a bwoy hear them say, "Wha' you is? Wha' sign you is?" Leo? How can you be leo? Leo is a Pope. Rastafari is thunderable. I don't waan' to take Him for no joke business. Don't care fe try and hide 'im name. Cyaan hide. Don't care to try to make 'im name insignificant and illegal in the society. The works of man exist. Don't care to try to incriminate or discriminate. Jah live.
Rasta got nothing within the society, but we multiply the little nothing with a little nothing, and we got something, seen? Grudgeful men who went to school and got their education did not know how to multiply naught with naught to get one. Same man with divine inspiration, knowing how creation has been created from it was until now. It is still unfathomable to the modern scientists, or what them waan' call themselves.
Well, don't care what's going on - the shitstem. You waan' go home? G'wan home. The last man tell I say 'im waan' go home, and I don't see 'im yet. And I no go a funeral. What I speak is wisman, knowledge and overstanding - not understanding, seen? And I sing the same thing. You have fe feel it and know it and just go say well. All in a Buckingham Palace, the queen dance. You think is a joke business because you know say - God save the queen. The queen dance to reggae music, because reggae music is the only music that has that spiritual ingredient that can heal a sick nation. Seen. Chuk it me bredda...
"Jamaica's international Reggae singer Peter Tosh as headline artiste gave a sparkling performance which was marred by his behaviour - cursing (or maybe it could be called swearing) and the smoking of weed on stage." The Weekend Star, Friday, July 4. 1980
exerpted from The Beat magazine, 1989