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Interview

"I have Jesus on my cock" - Lee Perry saves the world.

I just came across this interview with Lee Perry in 2002. I had a great time reading it again now. I had completely forgotten how absurdly funny our conversation 11 years ago was.

Lee Perry

Lee Perry, the Madman himself turned madness into a method. He set out - in the incarnation of Pipecock Jackxon - to save the world and to de-voodoo the damned. His tool is no longer the mixer (as in earlier days), but only the word, his word. Because what Mr. Perry offers us in his late recordings and on stage are words. Disjointed, random, crazy. As a living legend, it is dragged through the concert halls and studios of the world, offering a tragic picture of lost grandeur. Lee Perry has just completed a tour with Mad Professor, on which he presents himself hung with mirrors and amulets and texts like: "I have Jesus Christ on my cock, Selassie on my back, Marcus Garvey on my leg, and Jews in my shoes" for the best. In the subsequent interview, he revealed that he was wearing dollar bills under the soles of his shoes and stated that he was the Lord of the Rings.

Hello Mr. Perry, you have come back to Trojan Records for your new record "Jamaican et", who licensed their records back in the late 60s.
The plate is not special for Trojan or anyone. It is for all people who believe that God will save them. There are so many Lee Perry records out there that I don't know about. People all stole my tapes.

But Trojan didn't steal the tapes, did it?
Fans think these are Lee Perry records, but they are not. Lee Perry is a good name! Carrying it is a luxury. Something is wrong here!

But you produced the album yourself - at least it says on the cover.
Stop accusing me of things I didn't do.

Who are the musicians you worked with on “Jamaican et”?
The record is my work. Chris Blackwell stole it from me.

Blackwell is from Island Records, not from Trojan ...
What I do from now on will no longer be stolen! Because there are no Jamaican comedians as musicians.

Well, let's change the subject: on stage you said you believe in magic. Is that correct?
For sure. Magic is my queen. And logic is my god. I also believe in pussies.

Interesting. How is your collaboration with Mad Professor, with whom you are currently on tour?
He's the only black guy I'm still dealing with. Otherwise I don't want to have anything to do with black people.

But the musicians on stage are black.
Yes, they look terrible. But the white bassist is an idiot too.

Why don't you want black people around you anymore?
They are vampires. They bite too deep - they have no mercy.

Uh ...
I hope you forgive me for what I say but I am a fortune teller. I can see your future Black people have an evil spirit - I don't want them knocking on my door.

Why do you think that?
Everything was black. The Black Ark (Perry's studio in the 70's) was black. But if there is too much black around you, then that is bad. Because where it is black there is no light.

Do you still live in Switzerland?
I would not have survived the years if I had stayed in Jamaica. I would have been poisoned by the Pope. That's why I don't want a Pope here in this room.

How do you feel about your great time in Jamaica?
If I remember what happened there, I want to blow up this damn island.

You said that your new album (which by the way was released by Trojan) would have “Education” and “Dancing”. What do you mean by "Education"?
We have this song and that dance, reincarnation and incarnation. We construct bones and flesh, brains and genes there. Genes are in the brain and generate brain waves there with instant telepathic, mental commands. Everything comes from the Creator. The creator is omnipotent.

Why are you wearing this amulet-stuck cap?
It is for the Jews (he takes off his hat and shows us that it is lined with dollar bills on the inside). You have no money in your shoes - but what gives you the right to believe that I also have no money in your shoes? (He takes off his shoes, takes out the sole and shows us that there are dollar bills stuck to it from below.)

Why is the money in the hat?
This is for the people who believe in me. They feed on my brain.

And the money in your shoes? It's far from the brain.
This is for the poor who beg for bread on the street.

Does your t-shirt have a meaning too?
My machete shows that. The name of my machete is Sabata.

Do you believe in Rastafarian?
If I didn't do that, I would be like everyone else. If I didn't believe in Rastafari, I would have to get soldiers and police officers for protection.

They also sang about Jesus on stage.
If Jesus is white I believe in him, if he is black I believe in him too.

Don't you see any contradiction?
Do you know what Rastafarian is?

Yes.
If you hold this glass of water against the sun in the morning, you will see a rainbow. This is Rastafarian.

Oh, so.
(He picks up the glass half filled with water and pours it out) Where does your stream of life come from? From God! I don't want parasites who don't believe in God to come on my show. If there are parasites like that, I can't entertain people who believe in God. Then I go crazy and can't work properly. And it works!

What is the meaning of all the mirrors that you wear on your body?
I am the elements man. Before I set foot on this planet, I decided to appear in this color. I am pure energy. I am the sun that shines, I am the sun of Jamaica. I didn't look for the money - the money found me. When I'm on stage, you see 12 planets circling there. There's no room up there for human beings. I am not a human being - only my flesh is human.

How do you know you are the energy?
Because the energy speaks through me. I am the omnipresent. I am the upsetter.

Where would reggae be today without your contribution?
There would be no reggae and there would be no world without Lee Scratch Perry. Everything had to start at the beginning - and I am the beginning.

Do you represent the world?
Why, surely! I am Lee Scratch Perry. I do everything differently. There are so many people who have been put under an evil voodoo curse. My job is to devoodoo these people - even if they don't even know they are voodoo. I am the healer.

Are your texts freely improvised or have you rehearsed them?
They come to me from the Lord of the Rings.

Who is the lord of the rings
He gave me this ring of fire 20 years ago. The ring exudes fire that cannot be seen. Sssssspashhhh, there come the flames. And after the flames the sky opens: Baahhhhhhhhhh! It was like this.

Mister Perry, thank you very much for the interview.

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