Pitchfork reports that Secret Laboratory, the Swiss recording studio owned by dub pioneer Lee “Scratch” Perry was destroyed by a fire this week, when Perry left a candle burning. Besides recording equipment and the studio itself, Perry also lost numerous stage costumes, books, records, and other personal items he had stored in the space. Addressing his carelessness with the candle, Perry said, “I am so sad and my wife is so mad.”
In a post on Facebook, Perry thanked fans for sending him so many gifts over the years (many of which were lost in the fire), calling them, “my angels that always give me perfect things.” Perry suggested that any fan who’s made something personal for him should give it to him at a show, and offered to put those fans on the guest list and meet them backstage.
This is not the first studio the legendary producer has lost to fire. Perry built a studio for himself in the early ’70s, the Black Ark, and made a name for himself as an innovative and influential producer with the work he did there before the studio burned down. Perry himself claims he burned it down in a fit of rage in 1979, but family members suggest the culprit was an electric fire when he tried repairing the space in 1983. But in the aftermath of the fire, Perry rebuilt, moving to London and then Switzerland, where he built Secret Laboratory. So here’s hoping it’s not long until Perry rebuilds again.