Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Jerry Dammers: The Reasons Why The Specials Kicked Me Out

In a candid interview with the BBC, Jerry Dammers talks about taking his Spatial AKA Orchestra (which includes Terry Edwards on saxes--he just wrote the Madness "One Step Beyond" book and was a member of The Higsons) on tour in the UK this March and finally gets to the heart of the split between him and The Specials--their refusal to write and perform new music (something The Duff Guide to Ska had long suspected was the source of all the dischord), and the snub of their hometown of Coventry on the 30th Anniversary Tour:
"It [the band] was supposed to be progressive musically. It was supposed to move forward. I grew up with the Beatles so my idea was that if you're lucky enough to reach a certain successful point, you should use that to try and be creative like The Beatles did, rather than just trying to repeat it over and over again and cash in on it."
The Spatial AKA Orchestra tour happens to start in Coventry on March 4 (with guest musician Rico Rodriguez!):
"...it's nice for me because I was actually kicked out of the reunion finally because I wanted to play in Coventry."
Dammers' anger at his former bandmates is almost palpable throughout the article. At one point, he walks out on the BBC reporter, since any discussion of The Specials was supposed to be off-limits during the interview, but he can't refrain from commenting/ranting about them...

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