RISE AGAIN LEE SCRATCH PERRY | PLAYING CRAZY TO CATCH WISE

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“For me to survive, me have to find something for myself and it was like a spiritual vibration, so me said– me going to make spiritual music.  This spiritual music coming– they call it Reggae.”

–Lee “Scratch” Perry 

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Reggae and Dub master, Lee “Scratch” Perry is often overshadowed by the Reggae giants that followed in his footsteps– namely Bob Marley.  Not that Marley doesn’t deserve praise– Perry is just long overdue, and grossly under-acknowledged.  Growing up in rural Jamaica, he later moved to Kingston and worked his way up from music studio janitor to songwriter and producer. Perry’s debut single “People Funny Boy” was one of the first recordings to sample– the sound of a baby crying.  In fact, what “Scratch” Perry was able to lay down on old, broken-down, low-tech equipment is nothing short of genius.  Perry’s crazy garb and outlandish, eccentric behavior have oft played perfectly to his reputation for being crazy– but many believe (and by his own admission) it was more a ploy to shield himself from the brutality of Jamaica’s badasses.

Now, to coincide with Lee “Scratch” Perry’s 75th birthday, there’s the release of the new album Rise Again, and documentary film called The Upsetter (narrated by Academy Award Winner Benico Del Toro)which chronicle’s Perry’s epic songwriting and producing career– highlighting his pioneering recording techniques, and ground-breaking (and still influential) contributions to reggae and dub music.

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Reggae / Dub master Lee “Scratch” Perry at his Black Ark studio in Jamaica

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Lee “Scratch” Perry

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Jamaica, 1976 — Lee “Scratch” Perry (and The Heptones) — Image by © Kate Simon  via

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Lee “Scratch” Perry

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Jamaica, 1976 — Lee “Scratch” Perry (and The Heptones) — Image by © Kate Simon

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Lee “Scratch” Perry

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Lee “Scratch” Perry (bottom left)

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Lee “Scratch” Perry at his Black Ark studio in Jamaica

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Lee “Scratch” Perry

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Lee “Scratch” Perry

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Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Black Ark Studio

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Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Black Ark Studio
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Lee “Scratch” Perry’s Black Ark Studio
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Reggae / Dub master Lee “Scratch” Perry at his Black Ark studio in Jamaica
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Reggae / Dub master Lee “Scratch” Perry at his Black Ark studio in Jamaica
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Reggae / Dub master Lee “Scratch” Perry at his Black Ark studio in Jamaica
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Reggae / Dub master Lee “Scratch” Perry at his Black Ark studio in Jamaica
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Reggae / Dub master Lee “Scratch” Perry at his Black Ark studio in Jamaica
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Lee “Scratch Perry with The Jackson Five

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Related TSY posts:

BOB MARLEY & THE SPORT OF SOCCER | NATURAL MYSTIC OF THE PITCH

THE WILD LIFE AND UNTIMELY DEATH OF THE REGGAE LEGEND PETER TOSH

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11 thoughts on “RISE AGAIN LEE SCRATCH PERRY | PLAYING CRAZY TO CATCH WISE

  1. The man is a legend. That photo of him with hands up was on the sleeve of an old vinyl in the 70s with comments from him about how the sound he got had taken on its own life and surprised him – one of the earliest dub albums.

  2. A genius and a giant of the studio, but I don’t think he’s faking the crazy part. I think he’s relatively stable now, but stories from the Black Ark period…

  3. Lee is in the picture with the jackson 5 (and bob marley) but he’s not even looking at the camera. You just see the hat. Great stuff!

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