Tots, he’s out there now, vibrating. Tots was one of the artists that I really loved and respected, because along the way back in the days, Tots was one of those people who joined me for smoking herbs. They used to laugh at me, ‘Hey, take a draw dude.’ He was one such creative artist. People don’t know how creative he is. He starts talking about something, then he picks up a guitar [the song] Just below She was one of those great things that I will always remember about how creative she was.
Toots man, the world will remember him forever. He has that wonderful, unique voice. In the days when we used to do all the shows in Jamaica – we had a little competition with each other, but it was all fun because we inspired each other – I used to sing some Otis Redding songs in my acting, and that Were more inspiring for the artist [Hibbert] Ray Charles was like. But after those shows, he became so busy with Otis Redding that he started singing Otis Redding songs, and then he called this great song, a big hit in Jamaica, “Daddy”.
When Tots first came to Beverly Records – since I started with him a few years ago – he auditioned for himself and Derrick Morgan and we turned Tots off. We said, ‘You sing like a shepherd,’ and [we mocked how] He played his guitar with his left hand … He was hurt, and he left. And a month after that, he scored this big hit. He went to coxsone [Dodd], One of the makers, and has scored a big hit. When they saw us, they said no words. Just looked into our eyes.
“Sweet and Dandy” was already a hit the harder They Come, And he is one of my favorite Tots and Metals songs. Totes is a natural artist, so he was not used to copying, but he had to play that song for the film. So it was difficult for him: he is not a mimmer that he is natural. So this caused him a bit of trouble, but he left him after a while.
Jerry and raley [The Maytals’ Henry “Raleigh” Gordon and Nathaniel “Jerry” Matthias], They were very good friends of mine. We were very close to all the music festivals we were doing in Jamaica. They visit a river before showtime, always trying to find a river [to smoke at]. ‘Come on Jimmy, take a draw.’ But I was not into smoking, it was a strange thing.
What a soul, what a personality, Totes. She is like the sun. When he goes inside, he illuminates the place. Whether it is a show or it is just running. He was always saying hi to everyone. What a soul it was, what a soul it was.
The last time I saw him, he came to my studio about three years ago, with one of his men, Kutchi. But we used to talk on the phone occasionally. It was the same type of comradeship we had with Desmond Decker, because we were all Beverley artists, even Bob Marley. Totes, I will always remember his kindness. He was such a kind person.
From our religious background, our concept is when someone crosses – we don’t say they “pass away,” we say “cross over,” they just go to the other side of existence, there’s no such thing as death – and Then they go out there and they vibrate for several days before going to higher altitudes. But Tots, the way Tots lived his life, I’m sure his soul had to move on. The soul can be reborn 24 to 24,000 times, depending on how you lived your life. But with Tots, I can’t see Tots coming back to this planet. He is developed. He has completed his work which he has to do on this planet.
And his new album [Got to Be Tough]. I love her new album! His new album is one of the best he has done. He just paired us with that great album, and is gone! This is definitely one of his best, without a doubt. Before that he had some great songs, but it took him so long to make this new album. But he left us with something great.
His soul will always resonate with us. His soul will always resonate with us and those who loved his music.