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Bob Marley Colleague Victim of Robbers : Peter Tosh, Jamaican Reggae Star, Slain

September 13, 1987|From Times Wire Services

KINGSTON, Jamaica — Peter Tosh, an internationally known reggae musician who soared to fame with the late Bob Marley, was killed by gunmen during a robbery at his home, police said Saturday.

They said another man, Wilton (Doc) Brown, also was killed and five people were injured in the attack Friday night. Tosh's longtime companion, Andrea Marlene Brown, was among those wounded.

Police officials said three gunmen on motorcycles went to Tosh's residence in the affluent St. Andrew suburb of Kingston and demanded money. When their demand was refused, they forced the seven to the floor, shot them, and ransacked the house.

Back From Visit

Tosh had just returned from the United States and the gunmen apparently thought he had a large amount of cash with him, a detective, speaking on condition he not be identified, said.

The detective said police have tentatively identified the gunmen based on their investigations and interviews with witnesses, but no arrests have been made.

Jamaica Radio said the attackers used 9-millimeter pistols.

Andrea Marlene Brown and three others were in stable condition Saturday at University Hospital.

But Jeff Dixon, a disc jockey with Jamaica Broadcasting Corp., was in critical condition with a bullet wound in the head, according to hospital officials.

Police identified the others who were wounded as Santa Davis, a drummer in Tosh's band, Word, Power and Sound; Dixon's wife Yvonne, and Michael Robinson, described by Jamaica Radio as another musician.

Jamaican Prime Minister Edward Seaga issued a statement deploring the slaying and extending his condolences to Tosh's family.

Jamaicans reacted with sorrow and anger to the singer's death. As news of his murder was broadcast, fans gathered near Tosh's home and at the hospital, and radio stations played his songs by the hour.

The Jamaican-born Tosh, who with Marley and Neville Livingstone formed the three-man core of the reggae group The Wailers in the 1960s, is credited with making reggae popular far beyond the shores of this English-speaking island.

Tosh, 42, wrote Marley's tune "Get Up, Stand Up," which is considered a reggae classic. Tosh left the group in 1979. Marley died in 1981 of a brain tumor.

Worked With Jagger

Tosh was perhaps best known for his collaboration with Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger in "(You Got to) Walk and Don't Look Back," a song written by Smokey Robinson. He was nominated for a Grammy in 1985 for best reggae recording for "Captured Live."

Reggae--a native music characterized by a strong syncopated rhythm and influenced by rock 'n' roll and calypso--has diverse origins, with influences from the Jamaican Rastafarian religious sect, Africa, and New Orleans. Tosh was a Rastafarian and he considered smoking marijuana, or "ganja," a religious rite.

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