VISIONARY, ECCENTRIC, legend - Lee 'Scratch' Perry, the man who produced the early music of Bob Marley and The Wailers, and an enormously influential and significant figure in reggae music in his own right, is coming back to Galway.
Perry, who celebrates his 81st birthday this year, began his career in the 1960s, in ‘uptown’ Kingston, where he created 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 - in productions for artists like Bob Marley - and in the 1970s, as a solo artist with his backing band The Upsetters, most notably on the 1976 album Super Ape, a milestone in the evolution of reggae - his popularity has never really dimmed. To what does he attribute this sustained popularity, and in particular, his 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 last year. "Their spirit make me much younger. And their sweet love make me happier. And their spirit create new life. They help me make new songs for the next generation, the children of tomorrow.“
"Irish people that come to my upcoming dates will help I create peace in music. All my fans I will deliver them from Satan. I am going to kill the devil! I am coming to kill the rebel 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 Monroe’s Live on Friday March 23 2018 at 8pm. Tickets €25 on sale Friday November 17th at 10am from www.monroes.ie or www.ticketmaster.ie