Lee "Scratch" Perry

I was really excited to catch the legend LSP on his tour earlier this year and got right up front. Behold...


The band brought out an offering to start the show (bananas, candles, incense) and Scratch's outfit did not disappoint. Despite our strict local laws prohibiting smoking indoors, Dr. Lee smoked whatever he wanted (including, without question, ANYTHING passed to him by audience members) whenever he wanted. I guess those are among the privileges of living past 80 years of age.

His supporting cast featured Troy "Mobius" Simms on sax, Talia Bentson on vocals, Subatomic Sound System leader-producer-selector Emch, and on percussion another reggae legend in Larry McDonald.



Also at the edge of the stage, on one side of me, was an older reggae fan with his son and, on the other a very serious skinhead. We were all friends by the end of the show. I think we all experienced a similar euphoria from this one.

The band performed for close to three hours, and they had to sort of drag Lee off the stage at the end because it seemed like he was prepared to keep going, fueled by the spirit (and maybe something else).

For me this concert was a totally unexpected opportunity; the thought of seeing Perry perform live was not even on my radar until it was announced. I left the concert on a (natural) high, and still smile weeks later thinking about it. Perhaps I should have been clued in about what to expect from the title of his latest album -- "Super Ape Returns to Conquer."