Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ska'd For Life: A Personal Journey with The Specials

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!  On my trip to the record store to purchase a little Xmas something for Mrs. Next (shhh.  Don't tell), this little black and white gem caught my eye: a memoir by the bass player from one of my 80's faves, The Specials. 

While I know their music quite well, I must confess to knowing little about the inner workings of the band aside from the basics--originally called the Coventry Automatics, they helped launch the English ska revival and created the upstart 2 Tone label. The problem with most musical memoirs is that musicians simply aren't writers so they are teamed up with a rock journalist who does the heavy lifting but mixed results are usually the end product.  In this instance, Sir Horace is listed as the only author so I'm being cautious with my expectations and hopeful he passed his A levels. 

Still, The Specials were an influential outfit whose mix of pop and politics (thank you, Billy Bragg) not only topped British charts but have remained somewhat intact through the years with several different names (Special AKA, the Special Beat, and others) and line-ups.  I'm sure their youthful angst has gone the way of the Thatcher administration but I'm eager to learn what it was like to be Special during such a tumultuous political and inspired musical era.  

Fingers crossed as I turn to chapter one.  

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