Dreadlocks In Moonlight

Dreadlocks In Moonlight - Lee Perry


Usually when Lee Perry is pissed of at someone and cuts a record about it, the result is pretty wild ("People Funny Boy" and "Judgement Ina Babylon" come to mind). However, "Dreadlocks In Moonlight" is a wonderfully restrained and eloquent attack on the various hypocrites and weakhearts that Scratch found himself at odds with.

Perry wrote the song and intended Bob Marley to voice it. He cut a quick vocal which was meant to act as a guide for a later Marley recording, but Island boss Chris Blackwell was so taken with Scratch's version, he offered to release it as a single as soon as he heard it.

After Blackwell heard the song, he decided to stay at the Black Ark while Scratch finished mixing it instead of carrying on to a planned meeting with Bob Marley at his home. Blackwell's decision possibly saved his life. For the night that "Dreadlocks In Moonlight" was recorded, December 3 1976, was the night that gunmen made an attempt on Marley's life by attacking his house at 56 Hope Road.

When I asked Scratch to comment on "Dreadlocks In Moonlight", he told me: "The recording studio was my spaceship that was polluted by the dreadlocks in the moonlight. That was what happened in the place called Washington Gardens when I create a dread brain. I put the dreadlocks all around me, and that was when I make a mistake, I don't create a soul brain, or a rock brain. So I found that I mistakenly put dreadlocks in my moonlight, and so I burn out the Black Ark studio and get the dreads out of my moonlight."


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