VISIONARY, ECCENTRIC, legend - Lee 'Scratch' Perry, the man who produced the early music of Bob Marley and The Wailers, and a significant figure in reggae in his own right, returns for what has become his annual pilgrimage to Galway.
Perry, 83 this year, began his career in the 1960s in Kingston, creating the famous Black Ark studio. According to his biography: “Perry shot pistols, broke glass, ran tapes backwards, and used samples of crying babies, falling rain, and animal sounds. Innovation and experimentation became Black Ark trademarks. He used eccentric methods such as cleaning the tape heads with his T-shirt and blowing ganja smoke onto the master tapes as they rolled, ensuring the music recorded in the Black Ark would have a dirty, magical, quality to it that would never be surpassed.”
While his greatest work was created during the 1960s, producing artists like Bob Marley, and in the 1970s, as a solo artist, most notably on the 1976 album Super Ape, his popularity has never really dimmed. To what does he attribute his sustained popularity in Ireland?
“Irelan’ love I because the songs I put pon them are perfect and they react to perfection," Perry told the Galway Advertiser in 2016. "Their spirit make me much younger. And their sweet love make me happier. All my fans I will deliver them from Satan. I am going to kill the devil! Kill Satan in Ireland. Rebels in Ireland I come to kill your devil. Yeah! I will chase the devil out of Ireland with my coconut staff like black St Patrick.”
Lee 'Scratch' Perry plays the Róisín Dubh on Monroe’s Live on Friday March 29 at 8pm. Tickets are available from www.roisindubh.net; the Ticket Desk at [email protected], Shop Street; and The Róisín Dubh.