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Tonight: Lee “Scratch” Perry

Lee Scratch Perry

Friday, May 18

Lee “Scratch” Perry has worn many hats in his lifetime. Aside from the flamboyant king’s crown, or flappy voodoo hats he wears on stage, he’s worn the hat of disc jockey, producer, singer-songwriter, and pioneer in reggae and dub music. Throughout his over 40 year career Perry has produced tracks for legends like the Wailers, the Heptones, Gregory Isaacs, and even the Clash. Clashing has always been a trait of the 76-year-old musician too. His huge personality often clashes with his physical appearance, as he is only 4’11. His genius often clashes with his madman tendencies, but these eclectic attributes are what have caused him to last so long. Scratch is just one of the pseudonyms Perry has worked under over the years, using names like Jah Lion, Pipecock Jakxon, Super Ape, and the Upsetter to release an astonishing amount of work. Born in Jamaica in 1936, Perry began his career writing ska songs and selling records before he really started to break ground with the lazy, bass-driven beats that would become the foundation of roots reggae. There aren’t very many producers around these days as prolific and pioneering as Lee “Scratch” Perry, so take this opportunity to catch a legended live when Perry makes a stop at the Town Ballroom this Friday (May 18) with support from Subatomic Sound System and local reggae DJ extraordinaire DJ Universal. —cory perla

8pm. Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. (852-3900 /townballroom.com). $20 advance, $24 day of show.