Evie Pukupoo embraces Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry comparisons
Dub creative Everaldo ‘Evie Pukupoo’ Creary is like a walking Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry encyclopaedia. His voice intonates with delight as he reminisces on his experiences with the bewitching Perry and how the dub inventor altered the course of music forever.
His admiration for Perry is amplified by his ability to recognise himself in the late musical genius, a sentiment being repeated by others on social media who say it’s Creary’s time to carry the torch.
“I agree, especially since getting so close with him and I know his energy and he only sees energy,” Creary told The Sunday Gleaner. “It’s even more obvious to me … I don’t do tattoos or earrings because it’s too permanent, so I paint my nails because it gives a pop. I paint up my jacket because I like colours. I’m like a walking art, so colouring my nails is like putting on different bordering flames to the collage you’re looking at, and I like that.”
The eccentric beings bonded together in February when Creary visited his Negril residence for a few days. The zenith of their meet-up was a kayaking ride to a little island close to Perry’s home.
“I’ve never felt more responsible in my life ever; I was carrying Earth’s most precious gift, but that was cool,” he shared. “When we took the photo and him hug up mi arm, I was like, ‘Mayn, what is this?!’. It felt like I went to an ordination; it felt like that’s what he was doing, but I’m not the one to say it; I don’t like that. When I see other people saying it, then I just think it is what is happening, so I have to embrace it, and I have no problems embracing it.”
The experience was other-worldly for The NoMaddz entertainer, who admitted that he didn’t know much about the ‘Mad Scientist’ when he first saw him at SummerJam in Germany in 2011.
CONTROL AND BALANCE
“We were on our very first NoMaddz tour, and so I’m watching him, and he’s saying in this old man voice, ‘I am Bob Marley. I am reggae. I am Lucifer…’ and he’s listing out these elements, and I thought he’s so brave as a poet to say these things, and these people are in a total trance… It was like he was trying to let us understand that these are elements of ourselves that we should know and be mindful of, control and balance them and quit blaming things outside ourselves for problems we create for ourselves. I love his eccentric ways. When I saw him, I was like yeah, I can be more of myself ‘cause this is the direction I like.”
He started doing more research into Perry’s legacy, and their paths crossed a few more times before he received the opportunity to visit him this year through an Indonesian friend.
“It was like I couldn’t even say anything; I just had to listen. I felt so humble. I remember saying, ‘You know seh you a mi daddy, you a mi pops enuh’ and him seh, ‘Of course, you’re my son’. Ironically, mi and him son [were] born the same day, and he’s into those universal synchronisations. His family is so welcoming because I got to meet him and his children, and it’s an awesome family, and dem lose someone really special to them.”
Perry’s burial was in his Hanover home parish on September 23, almost a month after his passing. Creary was in attendance.
“I don’t like to go to those things, but I was beside his casket, and I could see him in there, him look awesome,” he said. “It never felt final one bit. It felt like I could roll that casket in my room and sleep beside him, so it felt so peaceful. In life, we’re conditioned to kinda love life but react a weird way about death when it’s like a thanksgiving and not like a funeral, so we miss the whole point.”
He is, however, disappointed in the preservation of legacies for local cultural icons and wants a state-of-the-art museum to be established in Perry’s honour by the Government.
During his Perry trip, Creary wanted them to work on music but recognised that the moment served a greater purpose. The stars would eventually align the following month when Canadian producer Bob Riddim contacted him to do a song with Perry. The latter had already agreed to do the record and asked Creary to kick-start the recording to set the tone of the I Am a Tree track.
“I just can’t believe it happened. We were supposed to do more music, but it didn’t happen. I have the last song, so to speak.”
The song will form part of Bob Riddim’s pending EP, which also features a collaboration with Perry, Leno Banton and Wayne J.
“It was nice to hear grandpa’s voice with these youngsters … It’s like this project was him passing over the baton ‘cause there’s no way he was able to go on an intensive tour, so any song him do right now is like him handing you a song, and I take that as a gift and privilege.”