Author: Chris Willman | Category
LOS ANGELES-Lee “Scratch” Perry, one of the outstanding figures in the reggae music scene, died on Sunday in a hospital in Lucia, Jamaica, at the age of 85. The cause of death was not immediately given.
Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Hornes confirmed the news on Twitter.
“I express my deep condolences to the family, friends and fans of the legendary record producer and singer Rainford Hugh Perry OD, who is affectionately called’Lee Scratch’ Perry,” Hornes wrote. “Perry was a pioneer in the development of dubbing music in the 1970s. In his early days, he used recording room effects to create new instruments for existing reggae tracks. He has worked with and produced various artists, including Bob Ma Lee and Wailing, Congolese, Adrian Sherwood, Beast Boy, etc. There is no doubt that Lee Scratch Perry will always remember his outstanding contribution to the Brotherhood of Music. May his soul rest in peace.”
I express my deep condolences to the family, friends and fans of the legendary record producer and singer Rainford Hugh Perry OD (affectionately known as “Lee Scratch” Perry). pic.twitter.com/Eec2MEd6yC
— Andrew Holness (@AndrewHolnessJM) August 29, 2021
Perry became famous in the late 1960s and 70s by producing some of the most cutting-edge reggae music artists, and his Upsetter brand helped establish many great men in the genre, such as Wailers.
As a performer, he won the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album for his recording of “Jamaica ET”
Musicians of many genres soon began to pay attention to the importance of Perry. “There is no more important person in the music of the 20th century,” Mountain Goats wrote on Twitter. “He expanded the vocabulary of sound in the studio, lived a long life and left a lasting legacy. Play his music for your children and see how much they like it. It is universal. Come home safely and see God.”
Keith Richards is one of the rock singers who have followed Perry for many years. He told Rolling Stone in 2010, “You can never put your finger on Lee Perry—he’s the music industry Salvador Dali. He is a mystery. The world is his tool. You just need to listen. He is not only a producer, but also knows how to inspire the soul of an artist. Like Philspeckert, he can not only hear Voices from other places can be translated to musicians. Scratch is a shaman.”
Perry has no doubts about his importance in the music industry. “I am the best record producer I have ever seen in Jamaica. Many people say I am the best in the world!” he said in 1984.
In a 2007 review of his performance at the House of Blues in West Hollywood, Variety described Perry as a “pioneer of hypnotic and weird dubbing styles-one of Jamaica’s greatest contributions to the popular music dictionary. …Pai With his collaboration with Wailers in the late 1960s and visionary works recorded in his own Black Ark studio in the 1970s, Li became one of the most iconic figures in Jamaican music, which he actually burned down in 1980. Has always been more of a producer than a singer…but Perry is more than just a voice. Wearing weird clothes and jewelry, he seems to sum up the essence of retro reggae: amazing rhythm, slightly catatonic , It’s amazing and evocative, with a happy attitude and an evil sense of humor.”
Even in a somewhat weird form, Perry was particularly prominent and accepted and established this reputation.
“It’s a good thing to be a lunatic!” Perry told Rolling Stone Magazine in his 2010 profile. “It keeps people away. When they think you are crazy, they won’t come over to take your energy and make you weak. I am a spoiler!” He said, alluding to his 1968 single of the same name.
Speaking of his relationship with Bob Marley, Perry told NME, “We worked like brothers until Chris Blackwell saw that it was a great thing, and then came and caught it like a big eagle. Live Bob Marley… if he listens to Scratch, that idiot, shit, madman, he won’t die.”
He made no secret that he felt that he had been deprived of his place in history, or at least the money and dignity he deserved. “This is history and poverty,” he told the Guardian on his 80th birthday in 2016. “I saw people being deprived of their inherent rights. Island Records and EMI Records and Universal Music deceived Jamaican music and reggae musicians.”
When he was 60 years old, he co-produced the “Hello Nasty” album with Beastie Boys. “It’s great, it’s very interesting,” he recalled the collaboration. “They are very good Jewish boys, they are clean inside. Very cute. They call me’Doctor. Lee, PhD’ (the name of the Beasties track he played in 1998) because they can feel that I love them. They are very Good boy, great.” He said something similar to Clash. He said, “They are listening and want to learn, and I can teach them what they want to learn. They work happily; they are all good kids.”
Others from outside the reggae world, from Paul and Linda McCartney to Sphere to Andrew WK to Robert Palmer to Conflict, they covered his “Police and Thief” on the band’s first album, and then invited He joined them. studio.
Perry was born on March 20, 1936 in Kendall, Jamaica, his original name is Rainford Hugh Perry. At the age of 20, his first music job was as a messenger at the famous Studio One in Jamaica. “I didn’t start making music until I was 25, because I started late,” he told ClashMusic.
After rising with Marley and then parting ways with Marley, in the early 1970s, Perry began to focus more on mixing art, toasting his studio creation on the influential album “Cow Thief Skank”.
One of his richest periods began in 1973, when he built the Black Ark studio. Before the studio was burned down, Perry claimed responsibility. He said that the studio was tortured by bad energy from the spirit: ” A vampire; a vampire,” he said of the studio. “It fills me with fucking fear.”
Paul McCartney talked about how he eventually hired Perry to produce Linda’s final solo material for the “Wide Prairie” album, and talked about the producer’s influence on artists from afar. “We like the early reggae music, I have the’Tighten Up’ album-‘Tighten Up’ Volume 1 and Volume 2,” McCartney said. “We were obsessed with Reggae, and we went to Jamaica. …We knew Perry Lee from all this. We knew that he was one of the best people in the local area. There used to be a restaurant in Montego Bay called ” “Tony’s” wonderful little record shop-you will find it is only records, records, records when you walk in. … I remember one of them is “Lick the Pipe”, I still understand it! … We I like it very much, so we asked Perry Lee if he would like to (record with us)…he did it.”
The documentary “The Upsetter”, narrated by Benicio Del Toro, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival in 2008 and was shown in theaters three years later. The second documentary “Lee Scratch Perry’s Vision of Paradise” came out in 2015. Another documentary came out in 2019: “Lee’Scratch’ Perry’s Revelation.”
Perry was a weird person in the end. He told Tapeop.com in the last interview in 2020: “Music is perfect. I believe music is perfect. I am a mystic. I am a fish. I am a one. Chicken.”