24 x 24 inches. Screen print on thick cream Speckletone paper. Original photo by Dennis Morris. Signed by Shepard Fairey and Dennis Morris. Numbered edition of 600. Max order: 1 per customer/household.
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Legendary reggae producer and pioneer of the dub sound, Lee “Scratch” Perry passed away on Aug. 29. I first discovered Lee Perry when I got deep into Bob Marley and the Wailers found out Perry had produced several seminal Wailers tracks. I also loved the Clash song “Police and Thieves” which I learned was a cover of the version by Jamaican artist Junior Murvin which Lee Perry had produced. Perry also co-produced the song “Complete Control” by the Clash. Perry also made a ton of great music with his band the Upsetters, as well collaborating with a range of artists from King Tubby, to Adrian Sherwood, to the Beastie Boys. I was excited when photographer Dennis Morris suggested we collaborate on a tribute to Lee “Scratch” Perry and I decided to make an illustration based on a few of Dennis’ 1970’s photos of Perry at work in his Black Ark recording studio. I love the visual energy of Perry and the studio itself, which I think conveys the sonic energy and joyful spirit of Perry as a musician, producer, and iconic pioneer.
He was the light! The strangest thing about Lee Perry was, whenever I photographed him, I never needed any light. For exemple, the last session I did with him in the early 2000, we spent the night travelling around London on top of a open top bus; it was late, it was dark but Scratch shone, he provided the light! He was truly a magical master of music and sound. He did not just hear music, he saw music, he saw the colours. To see him in the studio perform was truly magical, he jumped, he pounced, he pushed a button... he pushed another button and sounds just exploded from the speakers!