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Scratch’s funeral in the works

BY BRIAN BONITTO
Associate Editor —
Auto & Entertainment

MIRELLA Perry, widow of Jamaican enigmatic music producer-artiste Lee “Scratch” Perry, says no final decision has yet been made for his farewell. But, it would have to be done within the next seven days before she returns to her Switzerland home.

“I’ll have to talk to Minister [Olivia “Babsy”] Grange because she’s arranging some things, so we’re not too sure. We’re just about finding out,” Perry, who was married to the dub visionary for 32 years, told the Jamaica Observer.

Grange is entertainment and culture minister of Jamaica.

Perry said her husband’s family expressed a desire for him to be buried in Hanover, close to his mother.

“For me, it doesn’t matter. I’m not going to argue. If the family wishes that it’s okay, because it’s even closer to Negril. But, everything is going to happen fast as we’re going to leave in seven days, so it has to happen sooner,” she said.

Perry said given the restrictions of the Disaster Risk Management Act, her husband’s farewell will be streamed live and couldn’t accommodate members of the public, as there can be no more than 20 people in attendance.

Minister Grange confirmed she was involved in the producer’s send-off and said all the arrangements would be tied up today.

“We’re working through the details. Tomorrow [today] we’ll know, but it’s going to be small because of the COVID-19 restrictions. But we’re working through the details, right now,” Grange told the Observer yesterday.

According to Perry, she and her husband lived in Switzerland but stayed in Jamaica during the winter months.

“From May until August, we stay in Europe. When the shows started in the USA, we would come here. But everything was different since the [global] lockdown last [year] March; but we used to live half here and half there,” she said.

She said she is still trying to cope with loss of “soulmate”.

“It’s really horrible. We don’t believe that he’s gone; his spirit is right here… So everything is just the way he left it… For us, the family and the kids and the fans, nobody can believe he’s gone because he was not sick. If he was like sick and laying down for a while and you get used to the idea, it would be different… Nobody could ever believe he could leave now,” she said.

Perry, whose cutting-edge music helped make reggae a global brand, died in the Noel Holmes Hospital in Lucea, Hanover, on August 29. He was 85.

Perry was born in the Kendal district of Hanover. He made his name in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s working with revolutionary artistes like The Wailers, Max Romeo, and Junior Byles.

Perry, who recorded as an artiste in the late 1960s and 1970s, was in demand throughout Europe and parts of the United States. In 2003 he won a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album for titled Jamaican ET.

In 2011 The Upsetter, a documentary film about Perry narrated by American actor Benicio Del Toro, was released in theatres worldwide after premiering at the 2008 SXSW Film Festival.

Perry received the Order of Distinction from the Jamaican Government for his contribution to Jamaican music in 2012.

In addition to Mirelle, Lee “Scratch” Perry is survived by four children.

Featured Image – Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry and his wife, Mirella

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