Click here to print page

Guitarist Carl Perkins is dead

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Carl Perkins, founder and guitarist of New Zealand reggae band House Of Shem, died on May 9 at age 59. A post on their Facebook page gave bowel cancer as the cause of death.

Known as Papa Carl, Perkins was a foundation figure in Kiwi reggae. He became a disciple of reggae music after attending Bob Marley's concert at Western Springs Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand, in April 1979.

He formed three reggae bands that made a mark in that country: Herbs, Mana, and House Of Shem. The latter was the most successful, as it earned a following throughout the Pacific and Australia through extensive touring.

The band included Perkins' sons Te Omeka on vocals and Isaiah who also sang and played keyboards.

In 2014, House Of Shem released Harmony, their third album which was distributed by VP Records subsidiary VPAL. The set contained the songs Hard Road (done with Big Mountain) and a cover of The Beatles' Let it Be.

Harmony was recorded and mixed by Errol Brown, the noted Jamaican engineer who worked with Marley.

Carl “Papa Carl” Perkins is survived by his wife and five sons.

— Howard Campbell