The Specials Bio:
The energy of 1976’s punk explosion seemed a faraway memory by the summer of 1979. With bands such as The Clash, The Buzzcocks and The Jam having become fully paid up members of a new rock establishment, followers of the grass roots music scene were hungry for something fresh.
The time was right for The Specials - or The Special AKA as they were then calling themselves. Having been formed in Coventry two years earlier by keyboardist and songwriter Jerry Dammers, guitarist Lynval Golding and bassist Sir Horace Gentleman, the group underwent a series of name and personnel changes before deciding on a settled line-up around the start of 1979. Having already called themselves The Jaywalkers, The Hybrids and The Coventry Automatics, and initially setting out to play a mixture of rock and reggae, by 1979 they were perfecting an intoxicating fusion of punk and ska. With the original trio augmented by second guitarist Roddy Radiation, singer Terry Hall, drummer John ‘Brad’ Bradbury and MC Neville Staples, the West Midlands septet’s high octane blend reflected their multiracial background and diverse musical interests.
Taking their name from the Jamaican hoodlums of the Sixties, Specials fans dubbed themselves ‘rude boys’ and dressed in loafers, Sta-Pres trousers, two-tone ‘tonic’ suits and bluebeat hats. The dawning of a new era demanded its own sartorial guidelines - and The Special AKA and their fans duly obliged.
Thankyou to all who have supported The Specials in anyway, after nearly thirty years of Ska.