Entries in Scratch (1)


Lee "Scratch" Perry at the Wild Buffalo in Bellingham, WA

When you're 81 years old, you've got a career in music that spans nearly 60 years, and you've worked with artists ranging from Bob Marley to the Beastie Boys, and Rolling Stone names you one of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, your musical legacy is beyond reproach. So if you were to tour at this age, you'd be doing it because you want to, not because you have to. Such is the case with the legend Lee "Scratch" Perry, who recently played to a capacity audience at the Wild Buffalo in Bellingham, WA.

With backing from New York's Subatomic Sound System - Lee's go-to band for the last 6 years - Lee played over an hour long set, complete with encore, with more focus and crowd control at 81 than most artists have at 21. It's the product of years of experience, to be sure, but it's also a hallmark of just being really good at what you do and having innate talent down to the bones. It takes a certain level of gumption and confidence to calmly sip tea on stage, immersed in a sea of incense sticks, in between (and sometimes, during) songs, rather than to shotgun a PBR in an effort to curry favor with the audience.

Perhaps there's no greater testament to Perry's legacy than taking a look at the diversity in the audience: twenty-somethings, seventy-somethings, men, women, a cultural melting pot of baby boomers and millenials. Perry's music has been a shining beacon on the mountain of reggae and dub for six decades, and it will radiate forth for generations to come.

For more tour dates, tune into Lee's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/perryscratch/

Photos // Words by Alexander Hallett