Saturday, April 3, 2010

The Specials to Play Free Show at NYC's Summerstage on 8/22/10!

According to an excellent feature article titled "Ska Revivalists Enjoy a Revival" (Oh, the delicious irony, thinks the headline writer!) by David Prince in this Sunday's New York Times Arts section, The Specials will be playing a free Summerstage show in Manhattan's Central Park on August 22nd--leading one to believe that the band may be back in the States to tour later this summer or fall. So if you weren't able to score tickets to either of the sold-out Terminal 5 shows on April 20 and 21, you now have another opportunity to catch the band (it's actually a pretty great outdoor venue--I've caught shows by The Toasters and Laurel Aitken there).

The article provides a decent recap of the band's history; states that Terry Hall's suicide attempt in 2004 (and subsequent treatment for bipolar disorder) helped bring about the 30th Anniversary reunion shows; and deals with the irreconcilable differences between Jerry Dammers and everyone else.

Money quote #1:
But the band’s tour of the United States in 1980 sowed the seeds of its demise. The outing, which began in January at New York’s post-punk hotspot Hurrah, exhausted the band, which had already been on the road for nearly two years straight. “America broke us,” said Horace Panter, 56, the bassist, who pinpoints the beginning of the end to a four-night, eight-show run at the Whisky a Go Go in Los Angeles. “We were so knackered that pharmaceuticals took over."
Money quote #2:
“The ironic thing is that we can do it without Jerry,” Mr. Hall said. “It reminds me a bit of Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd or Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. You get this person who’s immersed in what he does but can’t really work with the rest of the band.”

“Every time I walk onstage with this band now,” he added, “I still don’t know what I’m onstage for, apart from it feels important to us and it feel important to the people who are there. That’s the only reason.”