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RastafariSpeaks .com

« on: December 01, 2003, 03:24:04 PM »


Each reads better than the previous.

The last one I will post.



Lee 'Scratch' Perry, the Upsetter, a cornerstone of reggae music, got his start in his late teens at Coxsone Dodd's Studio One in Kingston in the late 50s. There amongst other major figures in the scene he soon made a name for himself as a highly creative yet eccentric producer who pioneered sounds with fearless chutzpa. As Brad Osbourne, a New York-based Jamaican who put out several Upsetter records in the US in the 70s once wrote, "Lee Perry is ten years ahead of himself."

By the late 60s Scratch had his own Upsetter label and house band of the same name comprised of drum and bass wizards, Carlton and Aston 'Familyman' Barrett. Soon he linked them up with Jamaica's most popular vocal trio, the Wailers, comprised of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. The fruit of those labors, the albums SOUL REVOLUTION and AFRICAN HERBSMAN changed the sound and direction of reggae forever. When Bob Marley left Peter and Bunny he took Scratch's band to conquer the world.

In 1973 Lee had his Black Ark Studio up and running. From there the most haunting works in dub and reggae were forged with a galaxy of reggae's finest. His instantly recognizable works of echo, flanging, and phase shifting combined with a dignified yet playful lyrical content grounded by a wicked bass line were recently compiled on the 3 CD box set ARKOLOGY (Island Records). In '76 and '77 he produced two of Bob Marley's best singles, "Jah Live" and "Punky Reggae Party".

However, the increasing violence in Jamaica coupled with his record label's rejection of one of his greatest solo albums led Scratch to burn down the Black Ark and move to Amsterdam by the start of the 80s.

He spent that decade touring Europe, eventually connecting and releasing albums with the UK's two best reggae producers, Adrian Sherwood and Neil Fraser, aka The Mad Professor. He also married a Swiss baroness and moved to a mountainous area near Geneva, Switzerland.
He has continued to release solo albums featuring his freely associating, unending stream of consciousness chant/rap utterances ranging from herbal and godly praises to off-hand japes and puns.

On the weekend Allen Ginsberg died Perry made his West Coast debut at San Francisco's Maritime Hall and kept the world-beatnik thing going with rapid-fired words, unearthly howls and lion growls as the Mad Professor and his Robotics band flawlessly recreated the original sounds of over three decades of Upsetting material. "I'm here to bring back San Francisco alive!" he exclaimed to the sell-out crowd.
"Are you deaf? I will make you deaf" Scratch shouted before calling on all fellow madmen in the audience to raise hands if they too were "shits-o-phrenic mediums." Nearly half did. "I am your psychiatrist and you are here for your treatment," he intoned.

At 61 Lee looks more like the Rastafarian's god Haillie Selassie than ever, only adding to the mystical, da-da is back spirit of his live performances. At Maritime he burned through killer remakes of "I Am A Madman", "Secret Laboratory" and "Roast Fish & Cornbread" as well as scorchin' covers of "I'll Take You There" and "Papa was a Rolling Stone." With a twinkle in his eyte he sat poolside at The Phoenix in San Francisco's Tenderloin District between shows and answered a few questions.

Q: Will there be an Upsetters' Band reunion?

A: I once planned the Upsetter Band. The upsetter was so upsetting that it upset even I. They wanted to take over the whole thing. They was upset and they become Reggae Boys and Reggae this and they become Wailers. So I give them all the things that wail and upset them and put all that is upsetting away. I put their alcohol away. I put the rum away. I put the deads away. And I put the massive dreads away 計; they were all too dead and dreadful for me, you understand. I am the Upsetter. Anything that is upsetting me I must get rid of it, or execute it, or exterminate it. That's why I'm the Upsetter 計; to upset what is upsetting me and what is not good for me, is to exterminate it, liquidate it or wipe it out. I must not be upset. There won't be any more Upsetter Band, I'm pressitively sure!

Q: Are you rebuilding the Black Ark Studios?

A: I did want to but I discover what it will bring around me. It will bring back the destruction that was around me. And even death. My power is to stay alive 計; not to encourage death. So the Black Ark Studio won't be coming back neither. Anything that is a problem to me, my object is to put it away, get rid of it. I don't care how powerful it was, even if it was the power of the world, it have to go, it was a problem.

Q: Why do you have cows moaning throughout the Congo's HEART OF THE CONGO (double CD set on Blood & Fire)?

A: And elephant as well. I believ ein the animal. The elephant represents to me the heaven, the firmament. And the foundation of the big ears is the big heaven up there. Big affirmament. And the lion (growls), you, is down there, yes sir. So without the animals we wouldn'' be here anyhow. No shadows would be here but the shadows of stones because we all come from the monkey 計; superape. He first bring the human brain here. The human brain get stupid and start to eat the monkey brain, gulp!

Q: How did dub music begin?

A: Everyone who started a particular music, you must have heart. Your heart must start go boop boop, boop boop. That's the beat of the drum. You have a brain. It go tick tick, tick tick tock, that's the bass here (as Lee points to his head). This is your bass. You call it your brain, that's your base. And this is your heart (Lee puts his palm on his chest). This is your drum. So you study. You created with your drum 'pon you heart. Is a clean perfect heart. Make sure your heart not corrupted because what you sends out is coming back to your heart. If you send out love it will be coming back to your heart. And if you send out hate it will be coming back to cut your heart strings. And if you send out a good cartwave then it will be coming back with a dub you see flying in a cloud of good news. OK!? So you get a little bit distracted but you call it dub. You can have guitarists around and pianists around if they are not confusing. But as far as I'm concerned I prefer only to have the bass and drum. But if the musicians are not confusing they can join in and do their little thing but don't confuse me.

Q: How do you rate California herb?

A: Well, uh, why don't you give me a portion of the best for my sample at the secret laboratory? Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Q: Tell us about your relationship with Hailie Sellasie and did you see him when he came to Jamaica?

A: Did I see him? Then why did he send I to Jamaica before him? To clear the way for him. I don't look anyways to see him, Emperior Hailie Sellasie. Because I know where Emperor Hailie Sellasie is. He never die. He said "to the mudhut Shazaam!" and there was a streak of lightening. There was no loco put over them anymore. And if the mudhut did not shazaam he would say "Presto Change-o" and maybe there wouldn't be anymore Africa. But he didn't want to do that. He wanted ten thousand Ethiopians to fall as his right hand and I know he is the only King that have the power to jump over flesh. Clll. And leave it if he don't want it. He don't want to grow old. Emperior Hailie Selassie cannot grow old. He is King Tut 計; the uncommon king.
Did you know that music is the King Emperior Hailie Selassie? The music is the King. And the heart is the King. And the tart is the King and I was in Jamaica, (a) big thing, creating amusical brain called "It's a Punky Reggae Party." Somebody want to change it into a cocaine party,. And because I didn't want to be in the Cocaine Party, me and his majesty Hailie Selassie disappear without the cocaine party. So I was in Jamaica, knowing that he was coming to crash somebody's brain but it wasn't mine. You ask the question if I did see him when he come to Jamaica. I said "Yes. He sent me to prepare the way." Because he's coming to Jamaica to crumble the cocaine brain. You understand me? So I was there preparing the way for him to crumble the cocaine brain. And to kaput the cocaine plane. Everyway I go he sent me before.

Q: What inspired your CD WHO PUT THE VOODOO PON REGGAE (Ariwa/Ras)?

A: What inspired me is (that) some of us (are) unbalanced and for us to get balanced we'd have to go on one track. So we create big boom like a big dance track for the people to follow. It wasn't meaned to be called reggae. But something go wrong and I didn't have a name for it at the time but the government wanted the energy and they want to call it reggae. So some thing go mix up, through money. And because something go mix up I don't want to have anything to do with the name reggae. But whomever love it I will bless them and say take it. I don't want to have nothin' to do with it for reason more than one. But God bless you for loving the reggae but I don't want to discuss anything about it 計; put it away for ransom. Like His Majesty give Egypt for his freedom. See, I'm following Emperor Hailie Selassie foot for footsteps. He didn't give Egypt for nah reason, he give it up and I have to give away reggae for a reason as well. I don't want to be a kaput, OK? I send you a prophet and the musiuc could not save the life of the prophet. It mean the music must be dangerous, I could only say that. What I believe in cannot save my life. If it cannot save my life I'm not going to believe in it.

Q: Are you talking about Bob Marley?

A: If you say so. I didn't say so. I said I send you a prophet. If the reggae didn't save him how is it going to save me? The People love reggae and I love reggae still. I don't hate reggae and I don't want you to think I throw away reggae. But the force that it bring upon me, I have to burn down the Black Art Studio, leave Jamaica. Otherwise I wouldn't be here. They would have take my life the way they want the reggae and reggae tape. They take away all my reggae tape. Maybe I keep my reason. I give the reggae to save my life. I love reggae. It become a giant and boom! 計; cannot be controlled anymore. The people who make it, they want to kill those and those tapes evermore expensive. Cause when you are alive you are nothing but when you are dead then you is worth something. So I was supposed to be dead and be a legend then my reggae tape would sell more.

Q: How do you see Nelson Mandela?

A: In my category as a spiritual champion, he's my spiritual champion.

Q: Did you ever do any kind of professional boxing like Mandela did?

A: I do boxing. I am open. I am open so open your hands and tell the questions that could not answer. Bob Marley said "There's a natural mystic blowing in the air, if you listen carefully you will hear." Though he can define the answer for all the question asked, it is impossible for him to go back to his past. It is possible for I to go back to my past, pick up my cross, cross my hearth, heart; get on my horse, ride from the past, pick up the present and play the part of Santa Clause and go into the future. Here I am.

Q: When were you born?

A: On a Friday, which is a payday 計; the money day. And the date was two zero, 20th of the third, So because I was born on the 20th of the third, I know that three six are out there making trouble. So I demand the power of the three six, take away the three six, have the three six tricked, trick the three six, wrap up the three six, have it well mixed in my master mix. And take away the power of the arch-bishop and the pope's, and the council of the churches and the heads of government. And take away the power of the International Monetary Foundation, take silver from Wall Street and Capitol Hill as the Mental Doctor of the People. The Peoples' Doctor. Heh, heh. And the people actor. The People's Inheritance.
I don't care what happen or what people say. f*** them. I am going to do what I think I here to do, what the spirit say to do as well. If they think I rule the wind and I can change the weather, let them think so. Then I will rule the weather and change the weather.

Q: You've done many songs about herb over the years. Do you remember "Herb Vendor" by Horse Mouth?

A: Yeah. About the herbs because is the herbs that sent I to spread the word. Then you give the warning before the herbs come with the big spawning.

Q: Do you remember the first time you smoked herb?

A: It made me feel real gizzy and I don't know what's happening or what it is that's happening. And I want to say it took me on a trip, a strange trip. And I was no longer on this planet earth. It take me into space and I wanted to come out of it. And I get out of it. I was afraid of it and I want to say whatever it is, I try it again. But the trip was nice. And it teach me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding and put me back down on the planet earth to stand on solid ground. You say whatever you want. You ask the earth because the earth have all the powers. If you think earth didn't have the powers, how did earth grow the trees & the plants & the flowers. And how does the earth feed the animals. So then he send me back to earth after the trip to understand that the earth is the lord. Then if you want or need anything, why don't you knock and ask the earth.

Q: So herb is revelation?

A: And the revolution.

Q: Could you talk about the different kinds of Jamaican herb like Lamb's Bread, Goat Shit, etc.?

A: Sensimeania, Lamb's Bread. Cannabis. Collie. Mariguana. Tampi. Any name it have it is the same. It just named herbs. The Herbs. Green herbs. Green collie herbs, green mariguana herbs or green ganja herbs 計; is just the green Genie you talking about. Yeah, the Genie exists and the green ganja collie is The Genie! The green genie Godeenie. He makes the wind blow, the grass grow. He makes the school bell ring and the children sing. He makes the church bell ring and the people sing. Hallelejah. Jahovia. Jah Rastafari. See Emperor Hailie Selassie, the tree of life 計; ganja!

Q: You did another song called "Bushweed Corntrash" What's that?

A: Well, people used to feel a different vibration off the weed. So the weeds that normally we did plant & it grow 計; we didn't maintain properly or fertilize or give lickle bit of treatment 計; good treatment that they could turn into a good smoke so it become a bush weed 計; with no heavy mental treatment because you didn't put any mental support 計; it didn't get any mental support. So they put it with corn trash and smoke it as one vibration. But it gets some mental treatment 計; it's getting mental kinky. Heh heh. A mental wasted. Hah hah! You know what you put in you get out. You didn't give anything so it become bushweed. And you put it with corntrash and you smoke it. And say it was f***ing up your brain.

Q: It's not worth smoking?

A: What you take see and what you let soweth.

Q: Isn't Goat Shit an especially strong herb since goats prune and shit around it?

A: Cow shit. Goat shit. Rat shit. Cow shit. Horse shit. Not dog shit or bull shit. Cause dog shit & bull shit is very poisonous. Cause those two eat dead meat more than anything else.

Q: So you don't recommend those as fertilizers.

A: No dog shit. No bull shit. Used as fertilizer. Even human shit, no matter. Human shit is the richest fertilizer. Even though they scorn their shit and they don't know that their shit is the richest fertilizer. And they don't know what their piss is the greatest healer.

Q: What was the idea behind that song "Herb Vendor"?

A: When we get the message from upstairs 計; me get a message from a different planet to deliver here down on earth to you people on this planet, earthlings. I extra-terrestial it to deliver to the earthlings. So I make it on music so that the earthling can hear this is a message and I don't even remember it until you remind me about it because you did get the message. (Lee starts repeating lyrics from "Herb Vendor) Dub it Iyah. Dub it Iyah. Dub it Iyah. Yeah. Hit the collie. Hit the collie till it swell your head now. Do it Iyah. Do it Iyah. Yes!

Q: How's the herb in Switzerland?

A: Yeahow. It's OK and I think they don't fight against herb. They don't put herbs amongst the drugs. They don't rate herbs like drugs and ecstasy. Put herb always above that. Think about that.

Q: What's your favorite way to ingest it?

A: Tea. And I smoke.

Q: How do you make the tea?

A: Green. You put on the tea and boil up a quarter leaf which is like the tiny amount you put in your teabag in how water. About the same time. And take it out and shake it out and hang it up for another time. You don't just throw it away, maybe use it seven mornings straight. And if you think all the juices out you put it away to dry. And when it dry you want to smoke it, go on and smoke it.

Q: So how's California herb?

A: It need a little more fertilizer like maybe cow shit or around it. But no bullshit. (That'll) give it more strength. It need a little more mixed in. It want a touch up. They want something needed there. So get in the field and mix it up with something nice, like maybe a little sugar some time. And salt. The people not treating the earth right. They only take from the earth and not give anything back. But the earth make you know that your body need a little sugar, a little salt.
When you just plant something there and expect to get the best from it and give nothing to the earth 計; OOOOHHH! Come on! Give 'em a lickle milk too, why not. Collie plant 計; a little sugar 計; a little salt 計; a little milk, like a baby. Then what kind of herb it gonna be.

Q: I hear you legalized ganja as President Perry. Under what jurisdiction?

A: Righteousness. Righteous-ness-jurisdiction. Judgment. Judgment from the Bible. Of God's Psalms. One of David. And the root of David through the line of Solomon. Through His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Hailie Selassie Black supremacy. Through your crosses, seven mile of Black Star Liner Ethiopian Imperial Government. That wipe out the royal government. I charge them for f***ing each other in the ass, in the batty, in the pussy 計; as a charge against the royal family from the imperial family Music Government.

Q: You look like Selassie. Is your family from Ethiopia?

A: I am the mystic warrior of His Majesty Emperor Hailie Selassie I, the music.

Q: So you are Selassie's advance man.

A: I clear the way. Heh heh heh.

Q: There is this term called off-hand jape. Have you ever heard of it? It rhymes with Super Ape. It's a kind of light-hearted joke. To me you are the king of the off-hand jape.

A: Jape. Well, J.A.P.E. It mean Jah. A.P.E. Jah Ape Man. Trodding through creation in an irie extermination. He is also trodding as a liquidator 計; to liquidate who must be liquidated. And then the executor to execute who must be executed. (At this point a maid turns up a real loud vacuum cleaner on the motel veranda above just as Perry makes a very loud kissing sound at the back of his teeth.) Vacuum! Hah hah! That must be the great Fred Astaire upstairs. It's his vacuum cleaner.

Q: Is that a flaming sunleaf on your shirt?

A: Fire, yesss. Sparkling fire. Fire revelation. Fire mean the revelation of a prophecy.

Q: And fire burned down the Black Art?

A: Yeah. Fire come as a witness again.

Q: What was the record that Chris Blackwell turned down?

A: ROAST FISH, COLLIE WEED AND CORNBREAD. That album. That's what caused every f***ing thing.

Q: You were at the height of your powers and he doesn't get it?
A: Eh heh heh. Yeah.

Q: And then a couple years later you released "Judgement In A Babylon" with Chris Blackwell on the cover as a vampire?

A: Um um. Judgement. Why not? It's not supposed to be anything else but judgement. When he fight against ROAST FISH, COLLIE WEED & CORNBREAD, it did create power. What else could I call it but judgement. Tell me. I couldn't call it justice. If I call it justice I would have killed him instantly. Hah eh ha. You understand it? Roast fish, collie weed & cornbread. Imagine that! And you fight against that now. That get 計; that what get me mad completely. And I did not call out for my sword of justice. If I did, I'd kill him instantly and that would be against the rules of the cosmic laws. You have the cosmic laws and the cosmic energy. The cosmic energy don't want you to do that because the watcher want to watch. And if you spoil the watcher fun and the watcher don't watch till the end, the watcher will charge you for spoiling the watcher fun. You should have let it go to the end of Revelation 22 when it is said "Amen." Coming through Our Lord Jesus Christ because the watcher has watched it to the end and it is perfect. And could not be better done. Then the observer say "Oh yes. It is so." So I call for judgment inna babylon.

Q: So you think government forces targeted Bob Marley?

A: Of course.

Q: And took him out?

A: Yeah. That's what they did! They switch it. They switch plan.

Q: And you like to take a low profile.

A: Yeah, while they switch plan. Because while they switch plan, they will plan to bring up Satan from out of the ground, under the earth. But I the Sandman say "No Satan won't come up". We're gonna allow Satan to come up to the neck and hold Satan with the sun and the quicksand and choke Satan. He cannot go up or down unless Satan agree to I & I terms. Ee eee eee eee eee! Then hold Satan by the neck thank you boss! Heh heh. You have Satan foot down and Satan neck cannot go up further. You wrap him up with tree leaves.

Q: Last night at your show you said "Are you deaf? I will make you deaf." Why do you want to make people deaf, then they can't hear you anymore?

A: I will make them undeaf. I mean, if you are closed I will make you unclosed. And if your brain is closed I will open your brain and open your mind and open your heart and open your tart. Open all your parts! Yeah. Then if you open your past with your ears as your pass so you're hearing and I come through your pass & give you a present into your future; through your ears I speak. Could you hear me if you're not havin' the ears on? If you could not hear then you could not hear me. And if you could not see then you could not see me, could you?

Q: Well, it's strange that you can shut your eyes but you can't shut your ears. Your ears are always open.

A: Uh huh. Always open. Even when you dream. Even when you have vision you hear something else sing. Oh yeah!

Q: You often make references, and people have said that you're crazy or you're eccentric 計; 'I am a Madman', 'strait-jackets and all'.
A: I love that.

Q: And I think you know you're not really crazy.

A: If I'm not being criticized I'm not really happy. Heh heh heh,.

Q: I think you use it as a way to keep people at bay. Isn't that what's really going on?

A: Look, I'm surrounded with people with wasted brain. And when I send out my beam, my scannin' beam, and go into their wasted brain and see no part of the wasted brain that I require 計; they bore I 計; they bore me 計; I'm bored! (emits loud growl) Bu when I scan the brain and see brain that are not wasted 計; brain that can be put to work or put to use to bring forward a creation, takes in life, the circle of life and the circle of light. I would really be interested in it. Then I won't be bored.

Q: You worked with Paul McCartney. He got busted in Japan for herb and you sent this telegram to the Minister of Justice in Tokyo where you said Paul's quarter kilo was not excessive. Is there any kind of excessive amount of herb?

A: Listen, the amount of herbs he want to carry, even if have a plane load of herbs 計; he would have to be set free. You understand? We won't have to threaten Japanese government to show how powerful we are. We can do anything with Japanese government. We could even threaten Japanese government with even more heavier earthquake. You can even give them more sample of earthquake, three shakes or something like that or how they like it. Because we make positive plan to make sure we conquer the Japanese dragon. Wrap up the Japanese dragon for a thousand year and cause Japanese dragon down into the bottomless pit. Spit on it. Piss on it. I take earthquake to free our singers or musicians or our chanters in the name of shit. So that is what we do to Jah-pan. So the amount he could take even more. And Japanese have to seize it and say OK, we don't see it. We didn't see it. It did not happen. We don't want to get involved with anything like that. Much less with a t'ing like Mr. Perry, the voodoo master. Not to get involved with the master witch. Let me make clear a fact. I am the master witch and I am the voodoo master. That's what the real truth is about it. So anyone who is wise would not want to get involved with the master witch. Then again, go ahead. They're surely gonna eat their shit and drink their piss.
Q: Just one more question.

A: I'm trembling. I'm shaking. AAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!

Q: It's cold in San Francisco.

A: (sings) I'm not complaining about the weather

Q: President Perryca, what is your message for America?

A: To stand by me in the recreation of life's source with the economic International Money Foundation. Ganja play the head part in it through the music. And if you cooperate with the ganja and the music, you are able to create your economic and your trust fund.

Q: Herb is the healing of the nation.

A: Yeah! And herb send the music.

Q: And that's why they fight it down.

A: The music is the shepherd.

..Understanding Truth and My Place in it..
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