Monday, June 18 , 2018, 12:24 am | Fair 54º


Jeff Moehlis: Reggae Legend Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry to Bring ‘Happy Love’ to Ventura

Lee “Scratch” Perry’s productions were amongst the first to feature and popularize the reggae sound, including Bob Marley’s pivotal early singles and first album, after Perry threatened to kill Marley for stealing his best musicians.

All told, he produced hundreds of songs by various artists spread over multiple labels, many at his Black Ark studio. (Bad vibes at the studio later caused Perry to burn it down, according to his own claim at least.)

He also wrote and recorded his own songs, and along with King Tubby pioneered the dub genre.

A genius, and perhaps a bit of a madman, Perry’s importance to the development of reggae music cannot be overstated.

At 80 years young, Perry will be performing at Discovery Ventura Sunday, June 19, 2016. (Tickets are available here).

Perry talked to Noozhawk about, well, you’ll see...

•        •        •

Jeff Moehlis: Do you enjoy visiting California?

Lee “Scratch” Perry: I really love California. I’m in love with Cali. Collie-donia. Collie-uppa. So love California. Is ganja doing well in California?

JM: I hear it is. Why do you think your music is so powerful?

LSP: I inherited King David’s harp, mellow mellow Melchizedek, I inherit God’s crown and I sit on God’s throne. I inherited the rock stone, and I inherit Stonehenge and I inherit London, England, Great Britain, United States of America and Kingston, Jamaica, Europe and Africa. Just like that.

I am PNP [People’s National Party] man, and I am the man who went to Jamaica and conquered PNP party and change Jamaica government from PNP to JLP [Jamaica Labour Party] party.

Lengendary reggae musician and producer “Scratch” will perform at Discovery Ventura June 19. Click to view larger
Lengendary reggae musician and producer “Scratch” will perform at Discovery Ventura June 19. (Lee “Scratch” Perry photo)

I am the man who just push to all things change. I push to all other things change. I push stone, you know what I mean? I push my stone back, and everything change. I push my telephone, and everything change. I push my flesh and flesh, sweat push my bone and the whole world change. The globe change. Faith change. Hope change. Love change, and love change into immortality [laughs].

Out of immortality comes immortal love, immortal music, immortal dub, immortal love, immortal reggae, immortal meggae, immortal beggae [laughs]. Immortal word, immortal sound, immortal crown and immortal throne. Immortal flesh and immortal bone [laughs].

JM: Some people have claimed that you invented reggae. Do you agree?

LSP: Well, so they say, so it go. So say, so done. Regarding what the people say is how it really goes. So say, so done. Then I’m glad. I am over-glad to know that I have keep moving reggae [laughs].

Reggae comes from streggae and reggae now is in full control of the International Monetary Foundation.

Reggae now in full control of London, England, Great Britain. Over the Queen government, over the Queen police, over the Queen soldiers and sitting on the Queen’s shoulder, and not getting older.

Reggae became so young, and reggae have super powers. Reggae loves Superman, and love Superbanaban and town and country and town and city. Next year is all gritty, all about reggae.

But not the dancehall reggae, I have no part in dancehall reggae. I have no lot and part with bottleneck dancehall reggae and dancehall sexing, dancehall juking and dancehall whining and dancehall grinding and dancehall juking and dancehall muking and dancehall bruking. I have no lot or part in that.

My reggae is righteous reggae, older reggae, Godly reggae, Christian reggae, Jesus Christ reggae, Selassie I reggae, Marcus Garvey reggae, Paul Bogle reggae and Sam Sharpe reggae, unto reggae and onto anti-dancehall reggae.

So always been in America presenting anti-bottleneck reggae, anti-evil reggae, anti-evil-making reggae, anti-evil streggae, anti-suffering reggae.

I come with righteous reggae, rich reggae, million reggae, billion reggae, trillion reggae, centillion reggae, over-rich reggae and good looking reggae [laughs]. Good looking reggae dub. Good looking reggae love.

So when I say anti-dancehall reggae, I mean it and don’t feel no bad luck about it. Because I have no lot and part in dancehall vampire. I have no lot and part in dancehall. I have no lot and part with dancehall rudy. I have no lot and part with dancehall bad boy. I have no lot and part with dancehall gunmen. And I have no lot and part with dancehall bumpers and dancehall jumpers.

I have lot and part with God Almighty reggae, Jesus Christ Almighty, God Almighty, Jehovah Love Almighty, Globe Almighty reggae love.

I have no part in anti-Christ ragga, anti-Christ raggamuffin, anti-Christ robber, anti-Christ grabba and anti-Christ grabba f***ing, and anti-Christ grabba mucking, and I have no lot and part in anti-Christ rub and anti-Christ rum, anti-Christ rump-shaking, no lot and part with steel pan reggae and something like that.

God give me the power to do everything. Disgrace some, bankrupt some, bank-up some and bank-down some, crank-up some and crank-down some, slip out some and wipe out some, keep in some and keep out some, peeky peeky sheeky sheeky.

God give me the power, and God give the sun and give me the sun power. God give me the moon and give me the moon power, and God give me the stars and give me star power. God give me the clouds and give me the cloud power. God give me the rain clouds and the rain-cloud power. God give me thunder power lightning power, and God give me earthquake power and all the power that is really bad and terrible.

God give me all the terrible power. All that was known to Israel. How they choose to use them and how they misuse them in the name of love [laughs].

Say hello to California for me! Give California happy love!

For the full interview with Lee “Scratch” Perry, click here.

(Thanks to Arnold Smith for heroic assistance in transcribing the interview.)

— Jeff Moehlis is a Noozhawk contributing writer and a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his web site, The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >