When it comes to the history of reggae, Bob Marley is almost always the main event. This month and next, though, another iconic Jamaican artist gets the spotlight. On the heels of his 75th birthday, singer, songwriter and producer Lee “Scratch” Perry is releasing an album and starring in a documentary called The Upsetter.
The film takes a biographical look at the eccentric mastermind behind dozens of classic reggae and dub songs by Gregory Isaacs, The Clash and Bob Marley. He was born Rainford Hugh Perry in rural Jamaica, and moved to Kingston when he grew up. He worked as a handyman and janitor at music studios, then worked his way up to writing songs.