The Natural Mystics: Marley, Tosh, and Wailer

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W. W. Norton & Company, Jun 20, 2011 - Music - 305 pages
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The definitive group biography of the Wailers—Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Livingston—chronicling their rise to fame and power.

Over one dramatic decade, a trio of Trenchtown R&B crooners swapped their 1960s Brylcreem hairdos and two-tone suits for 1970s battle fatigues and dreadlocks to become the Wailers—one of the most influential groups in popular music. Colin Grant presents a lively history of this remarkable band from their upbringing in the brutal slums of Kingston to their first recordings and then international superstardom. With energetic prose and stunning, original research, Grant argues that these reggae stars offered three models for black men in the second half of the twentieth century: accommodate and succeed (Marley), fight and die (Tosh), or retreat and live (Livingston). Grant meets with Rastafarian elders, Obeah men (witch doctors), and other folk authorities as he attempts to unravel the mysteries of Jamaica's famously impenetrable culture. Much more than a top-flight music biography, The Natural Mystics offers a sophisticated understanding of Jamaican politics, heritage, race, and religion—a portrait of a seminal group during a period of exuberant cultural evolution.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Fledgist - LibraryThing

Engaging triple biography of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer. This is an interesting attempt to explain how they became the worldwide face of reggae and the face that Jamaican culture showed to the world in the 1970s. One love. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - hayduke - LibraryThing

I just found out about this book. And then I found a used copy! I am so looking forward to reading it. Read full review

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About the author (2011)

The author of Negro with a Hat, a biography of Marcus Garvey, Colin Grant is an independent historian who works for BBC Radio. The son of Jamaican immigrants, he lives in London.

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