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Music World  →  News  →  The Specials

Jerry Dammers Condemns The Specials' 2009 Reunion

December 11, 2008
Jerry Dammers Condemns The Specials' 2009 ReunionJerry Dammers has condemned the forthcoming reunion tour of his former band, The Specials.

The keyboardist, who is one of the group's founding members, said he was surprised to hear about the reformation – and was “deeply shocked” to have been left out.

He also claimed that he had never been extended an open invitation from frontman Terry Hall to join the group's 30th anniversary tour next year, as the singer has previously claimed.

"The prodigal sons came home, kicked me out, and have left the door open, great,” Dammers said.

A statement, released on the keyboardist's behalf, continued: “These claims also contradict lawyers' letters stating that former members have resolved to go ahead without him, and that Jerry is not to speak to any of them.”

"Attempts to imply that any proposed tour has Jerry's 'blessing', at this stage, are also highly misleading. These seem to be part of a wider attempt to rewrite the whole history of the band, in order to try and justify what is currently going on.

"Jerry does not wish to go into too much detail at this point, except to say that for over 25 years he had dreamed that his former bandmates might come back one day, and was deeply shocked to find that when they did, for some of them, it was apparently to kick him out."

The statement claimed that Dammers was not invited to a meeting where the band discussed their plans, but “Jerry turned up anyway and played the music he had started recording, and suggested starting serious rehearsals, but was subjected to a severe dressing down from people who had barely spoken to him in 25 years.

"Apart from the recording, Jerry wanted to try and aim for a proper reunion and 30th anniversary celebration, including [performing] the best part of both Specials albums, 'The Ghost Town' EP and a small amount of new material, in proper concerts, in venues worthy of the band's status and legacy."

The statement added Dammers saw the “whole thing as a takeover, rather than a proper reunion... At the moment this is not the proud reunion and 30th anniversary celebration Jerry had hoped for."

As previously reported, The Specials will play six dates around the UK next year as part of their reunion.

(by Jason Gregory)

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