Dammers Still Out of The Specials

Special AKA - GangstersThe Specials‘ founder, keyboardist, and songwriter Jerry Dammers says he’s been excluded from the band’s upcoming 30th Anniversary reunion dates, thanks mostly to the efforts of singer Terry Hall. Dammers says that he was involved in some early rehearsals, but that’s only because word of the meetings slipped out to him.

“The fact is that I would not have been invited to the first ‘reunion’ meeting at all had [drummer] John Bradbury not told me about it,” he said in a Guardian piece. “It was generally agreed to get together and commence rehearsals, by everyone except him [Hall].

“Shortly after the meeting, however, [guitarist] Lynval Golding phoned me saying that I was not required for the band – ‘like Bill Wyman from the [Rolling] 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.”

Ouch. Dude is the founder of one of the most influential 2 Tone ska revival bands and can’t even get those guys to return his calls?

Looks like a lot of the issue is around what kind of reunion dates they play with Hall favoring an extended tour in smaller venues and Dammers preferring a couple large-scale shows, mostly in London and Coventry.

The Specials will play UK live dates next month and will play at the T In The Park, Oxegen and V Festival.

Via The NME.

6 thoughts on “Dammers Still Out of The Specials”

  1. That’s a little different from what he told MOJO last year:

    “They did a fantastic job, but I think one of the reasons that I was excluded and didn’t want to take part was because I had expressed the opinion that the real Specials would never do a gig where the real Specials fans couldn’t even get in–Bestival was already sold out. I went, and it was very weird for me. Without my influence it felt like they were playing themselves a bit, it was too much of a ‘fun’ thing, a bit of a ‘stars of the ’80s’ nostalgia vibe, not what a real reunion would have been at all. There was something missing, but unfortunately I’m the only person who really knows what that is. The subtleties in the music were a bit lost on them. “Doesn’t Make It Alright” should have had the hairs on the back of your neck standing up, but compare it to the record and the heart and soul was a bit lacking. The best excuse for a reunion is if you can do some really good new music. The guy playing keyboards pulled his cap over his face so you couldn’t see it wasn’t me, which says it all.”

    So who knows? Maybe now he’s regretting comments like these…

  2. Well, Dammers deserves a little of a good opinion of himself. He started both the Specials and the 2-Tone label. Music would be that much poorer without both of those. And besides, a Specials reunion without Dammers is sort of like a Pink Floyd reunion without Roger Waters: bunk.

  3. It’s a pity Jerry Dammers will be out of the reunion tour…We still have our fingers crossed, hoping he changes his mind and can be with the rest of the guys…

    Anyway, most of the real fans of the Specials are very happy and full of good expectations about this tour…I live in Venezuela and I was lucky enough to get my own ticket to see them at Brixton Academy on May 8th!!!

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