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Glenn Perry

Son of a Legend Sings from the Heart and helps change the World

Soon after his concert, and Glenn Perry is off to Syria to work with refugees. That’s after he visits half a dozen orphanages in Goa. Music may be his drug, as Perry confesses himself, “I can’t live without it, I get withdrawal symptoms in hours, if I don’t have music,” but there’s a lot more going on behind the curtains.

This past week, Perry offered up a stirring performance at the Entertainment Society of Goa in honour of his legendary father, the late Chris Perry – one of the greatest musicians in our state’s history.

It all started soon after the elder Perry died some years ago. Glenn gave up his house in Hollywood – sold it in fact, and donated the proceeds to charity —and moved to Dubai to look after his mother, who was heartbroken and heading into depression. “The doctors gave her days to live, but I gave her all the TLC I could, and she lived seven years.”

In those seven years, between looking after his mother, Perry traveled to numerous war or tragedy struck areas of the world, including Africa, Indonesia and Japan, to help survivors of pretty much every man-made or natural disaster. “I used to send cheques before, but realized that the money never goes to the people who need it. Now I never give money. I buy food, supplies, medicine, and above all, I give myself.”

A habit that has found him escaping death fifteen times, at last count. Perry recounts how, in Sharjah, at a Palestinian relief camp, he was mugged, stripped of his truck and all the supplies in it and nearly shot. “But not before they took everything I had,” he smiles.

And music? Perry admits his humanitarian efforts are not leaving him with as much time for performances as before, but then, he is the son of Chris Perry, the man who revolutionized Konkani music. Music is in his veins. Of his father, he says: “He was an original. A legend. I believe God put certain people on this earth, like Beethoven, Einstein. My father was one of them. To say he is my inspiration would be understating it.”

For his concert at the ESG in Panjim, Perry refused to have photos of his father on the advertising. “I can’t handle it,” he says. This is a man still coming to terms with a terrible loss, 14 years after the fact.

But in giving to others, and helping those in need, he has found peace. He shuttles from his base in New York to pretty much everywhere on the globe, to relief camps, disaster areas, and occasionally, to concerts.

He would love to have a music school in Goa, his birthplace, but time is limited. He does have plans to have workshops, once or twice a year, where he will teach music to the children of Goa.