RIP “The Upsetter”

Lee “Scratch” Perry – the very reason I got in to Reggae and Dub – has passed away at the age of 85. There are many official Biographies and tributes – I will leave that to them; I wanted to say ‘Thanks’.

I wanted to say thanks to the man who has kept me company through nearly twenty five years of my life. Twenty five years of listening to good music. Good Dub reggae music…

It was Perry’s Arkology compilation that got me in to dub & reggae in a hard way and the phenomena that is Lee “Scratch” Perry was centre to that. I owe my time in music to him. As a professional and as a fan.

I first came across Lee Perry when I was listening to the Beastie Boys album, Hello Nasty – there is a track on it called ‘Dr Lee Phd’. Perry mumbles something about “the Beastly boys and their beastly toys” – a quick progression and I was sat in another mates room listening to Bob Marley, reading the sleeve notes; Perry was his producer and the man who encouraged Marley to seek Jah.

It really was the compilation Arkology that really got me in to Perry – the CDs have long since gone missing, but the memories are seared in to my frontal lobes.

Both me and Cloüdbass managed to see Perry in the Brudenell, Leeds – at separate times. To get to collaborate with him for Roots Conversation made the journey worthwhile.

Rest in peace Rainford. You were a troubled soul. You were the genius who set the world ablaze in a gentle light. He was ahead of time; now the whole world needs to catch him up.

He was a funny little man.

He was my hero.

Andy x


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