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​Lee "Scratch" Perry's Studio Just Burned Down… Again

His studio in Switzerland was destroyed this week, nearly forty years after his original Black Ark studio in Jamaica burned to the ground.

by Max Pearl
Dec 4 2015, 5:45pm

Pioneering dub producer Lee "Scratch" Perry took to Facebook on Thursday to announce that a fire had destroyed his Blue Ark studio just outside of Zurich, Switzerland. Known for his eccentric mysticism (or raving madness, depending on who you ask), Perry is said to surround himself with candles, incense and other magical items when at work in his studio. The cause of the fire was one such candle that he forgot to put out when he went to bed, he said.

"My whole life's collection—art, my magic hats, my magic boots, all of my crazy show outfits and costumes... everything gone!" Perry said on Facebook on Thursday. "I am so sad and my wife is so mad." His painstakingly crafted stage costumes all fell victim to the fire, as did many master tapes of his recordings. He's asking his fans to send "perfect things" to him by mail, "so I can have [them] before I start with shows in March, because now I'm going to Jamaica and will not have the time to look or make special outfits."

The fire comes nearly forty years after his legendary Black Ark studio in Kingston, Jamaica burned down amidst controversy in the late 70s. He has said in interviews that he destroyed that studio on purpose in a fit of rage, though his reasoning as to exactly why has changed over the years. "The devil was [in the studio]," he told THUMP's Michelle Lhooq last year. "You can't get rid of evil without fire."

Fans can contact Perry via his Facebook page if they want to send items to get him back on his feet.

Max Pearl sometimes wants to burn stuff down too - @maxpearl