Big Fan/Style: The Specials
The Specials (The Specials AKA) – The Specials came from Coventry England and started life as The Coventry Automatics, changing their name to The Specials AKA The Coventry Automatics (that’s a mouthful) and finally and gratefully, The Specials. They were the leaders of what became known as the Ska Revival of the late 70’s (along with Madness, The Selecter, et al). It was a mix of punk speed and ethos and Jamaican Ska beats (pre-reggae) and it would become huge in England. The Specials were more political then the rest, singing about racism, poverty and unemployment and looked good doing it in their mix of rude-boy suits, pork pie hats and Fred Perry polos. They weren’t made to last though and would disintegrate 3 years later (1980) with “internal disagreements” – each would go on to form or play in different bands, most notably, Terry Hall (singer) and Lynval Golding (guitar) and Neville Staple (vocals, toasting) would form The Fun Boy 3 and have a hit w/ ‘Our Lips are Sealed’. The Specials would reform again in 2009 with all the original members, minus founder Jerry Dammers, to tour to sold out audiences. Their biggest hit – “Ghost Town” number 1 in the UK in 1980. (you’ve heard it in Shawn of the Dead and a bunch of other movies, if not on the radio).