Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I'm special

Now this is an odd thing.

Normally when a long-deceased band starts advertising that they're back in the spotlight, the truth is that the band is not back in the spotlight. In many cases, the leader of the band has gathered some new people and marketed the new band as the old one.

But occasionally this happens in reverse, as Jerry Dammers talks about the forthcoming Specials reunion - one from which Dammers himself has been excluded.

Alexis Petridis interviewed my former bandmates John Bradbury, Lynval Golding and Terry Hall, who are intending to take part in what they claim to be "The Specials' 30th Anniversary Tour"...

I was the Specials' founder, main songwriter and keyboard player. Referring to a statement I had made outlining how I had repeatedly been excluded from the proposed reunion, Petridis writes that these three "dispute pretty much everything the band's founder now has to say about the reunion"....

Lynval Golding phoned me saying that I was not required for the band - "like Bill Wyman from the Stones" were his exact words. Terry's manager circulated emails from which I was excluded. Rehearsals were held without me, and I only managed to attend two - one of which was attended by only four people.

For their part, here's what was said in the previous article:

But for all the trio's positivity, a distinct whiff of the old trauma surrounds the band's reformation. The band's founder member, keyboardist and chief songwriter, Jerry Dammers, didn't play at Bestival, but was initially involved in the reunion. Then relations between him and the rest of the band appeared to inexorably sour. Hall suggested that "the door was still open" for him to take part, but Dammers put out a long statement that decried the reunion as "a takeover", involving Hall's friend Simon Jordan, the multi-millionaire former owner of Crystal Palace: the implication being that the tour's primary motivation is money. It went on to claim that Dammers had been "kicked out" of the band he formed, that he had been legally prevented from contacting any members of band, that the other Specials refused to rehearse with him. But the reformed Specials dispute pretty much everything the band's founder now has to say about the reunion. "I've read Jerry's statement and I just don't get it," says Hall, for once looking like someone who might be physically incapable of smiling. "'They're trying to kick me out of the band' - not at all mate, not at all."

No, they say, Dammers wasn't ex-communicated by the other members. Golding and Bradbury both claim they spent vast amounts of time trying to convince Dammers to take part and that it was his own intransigence that caused the split.
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