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Sugarman
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Post subject: The Specials / Ghost Town, Chalkie Davies 1981 Reply with quote

A very touching read (The band walked to the edge of the water and started throwing stones into the river, I grabbed about three frames before they dispersed and moved away from each other)



The Specials - Ghost Town - London, 1981

Chalkie Davies recalls:

Having done all of their record covers, I had a great rapport with the seven members of the Specials. To me they were a truly exceptional band, and I was fortunate to be able to go just about anywhere with them including the making of their videos. My dear friend, the late Barney Bubbles was chosen to direct the video for Ghost Town, their song about living in Thatcher's Britain.

It was to be shot at night, with the band driving around a deserted City of London in a vintage car. We got cooperation from the police and were able to get some of the tunnels under the Thames to close to other traffic, long enough for us to film the Band in these empty tunnels as well as other parts of the City. The filming took all night and as dawn broke we wound up on the banks of the Thames just east of Tower Bridge. The band walked to the edge of the water and started throwing stones into the river, I grabbed about three frames before they dispersed and moved away from each other. This photo really is the last one we took of the original line up. They split up after this single, when Terry, Lynval and Neville formed the Fun Boy Three, and Jerry Dammers continued with the Specials for one more album. But this photo also catches them at play, showing their individual characters as well as showing them as a group and serves as a fitting final tribute to this very special band.

https://www.snapgalleries.com/shop/product.asp?P_ID=2953&CAT_ID=10088
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Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:32 am
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StevieB
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Thanks for that Sugarman ..... sadly all good things come to an end !!!!

Good information on the famous Canal Basin shots in Coventry too
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Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:32 pm
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Hugh
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You throw like wimps in the UK Razz
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Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:09 pm
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chemode
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Canadians throw like girls.... Laughing
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Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:21 am
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Imani
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Post subject: Re: The Specials / Ghost Town, Chalkie Davies 1981 Reply with quote

Sugarman wrote:
A very touching read (The band walked to the edge of the water and started throwing stones into the river, I grabbed about three frames before they dispersed and moved away from each other)



The Specials - Ghost Town - London, 1981

Chalkie Davies recalls:

Having done all of their record covers, I had a great rapport with the seven members of the Specials. To me they were a truly exceptional band, and I was fortunate to be able to go just about anywhere with them including the making of their videos. My dear friend, the late Barney Bubbles was chosen to direct the video for Ghost Town, their song about living in Thatcher's Britain.

It was to be shot at night, with the band driving around a deserted City of London in a vintage car. We got cooperation from the police and were able to get some of the tunnels under the Thames to close to other traffic, long enough for us to film the Band in these empty tunnels as well as other parts of the City. The filming took all night and as dawn broke we wound up on the banks of the Thames just east of Tower Bridge. The band walked to the edge of the water and started throwing stones into the river, I grabbed about three frames before they dispersed and moved away from each other. This photo really is the last one we took of the original line up. They split up after this single, when Terry, Lynval and Neville formed the Fun Boy Three, and Jerry Dammers continued with the Specials for one more album. But this photo also catches them at play, showing their individual characters as well as showing them as a group and serves as a fitting final tribute to this very special band.

https://www.snapgalleries.com/shop/product.asp?P_ID=2953&CAT_ID=10088


It was this time back in 1981 that the song was number one. Nice one, Sugarman.
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Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:37 am
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Jett Rink
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Hes fallen in the water... Wink
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Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:56 am
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Hugh
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chemode wrote:
Canadians throw like girls.... Laughing


A bit outdated I say Wink



Think you could manage a hit?
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Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:23 pm
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chemode
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Whys she wearing Hnnibal Lectors glove to throw an oversized day glo tennis ball?
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Wed Jun 26, 2013 8:32 pm
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HarryJ185
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I knew I had seen that photograph somewhere before...
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Thu Jun 27, 2013 6:31 am
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Harry
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I interviewed Chalkie for my Blog:
http://www.therebelmagazine.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/q-with-chalkie-davies.html
he seems like a great guy as well as a great photographer
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Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:11 pm
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Sugarman
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Harry wrote:
I interviewed Chalkie for my Blog:
http://www.therebelmagazine.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/q-with-chalkie-davies.html
he seems like a great guy as well as a great photographer


Thanks Harry

That was a very enjoyable little read Smile

Has 2013 been a good year for you so far?

Chalkie

"Scum came out on BluRay. Black Sabbath's first album was released in Japan for $70 as a SHM-SACD and I'm an audiophile" Smile
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Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:22 pm
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Imani
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Was thinking recently about the zoot suit look some of the band had on this video, most prominently on TOTP appearances and the gigs they played that year.

I wonder if it came from the band Blue Rondo A La Turk? I seem to recall Jerry mentioning Blue Rondo as a band he liked. They were a London-based group who mixed pop with Latin, funk & jazz influences and they modelled their look on the 1940s zoot suit.

Blue Rondo's leader was Chris Sullivan, a fashion designer, writer and DJ whom Jerry has also DJ'd with recently (December 2018). Out of interest, Sullivan was also closely involved in helping to create the London scene that eventually became 'New Romantics', out of which Spandau Ballet emerged. Ironic when you consider how that movement and 2 Tone were poles apart.

As a footnote, I was also puzzled about why some of the band had Hawaiian shirts on TOTP and gigs. At a guess, this look may have been another one borrowed from the all-dayer/soul-funk club scene of the time, worn by soul boys.


Last edited by Imani on Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:09 am; edited 1 time in total
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Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:59 am
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Harry
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It was a shame in the 90s when bands dressed down rather than up. Oasis, Coldplay, Ocean Colour Scene etc always dressed in a dull way.
I think The Specials (with Jerry on board) was more of an art school band.
In the 90s there were a few ex art school acts such as Pulp, P J Harvey and Amy Winehouse but there were so many more "Dad rock" bands who wore casual tracksuit bottoms and bland t-shirts. I like musicians who adopt a "ridicule is nothing to be scared of" philosophy.
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Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:31 am
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Imani
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Harry wrote:
It was a shame in the 90s when bands dressed down rather than up. Oasis, Coldplay, Ocean Colour Scene etc always dressed in a dull way.
I think The Specials (with Jerry on board) was more of an art school band.
In the 90s there were a few ex art school acts such as Pulp, P J Harvey and Amy Winehouse but there were so many more "Dad rock" bands who wore casual tracksuit bottoms and bland t-shirts. I like musicians who adopt a "ridicule is nothing to be scared of" philosophy.


Yes, in the 90s some of those bands started to look more like their roadies. Perhaps because when you trace it back, they all basically came out of that 80s indie guitar pop thing. The only outlet for indie was John Peel's show, and he didn't require them to have 'the right image' to be heard.

Also, after the early 90s rave/Manchester scene with Stone Roses etc, you don't really get much in the way of youth music 'tribes' with their own distinctive image and sounds. It's funny how at one time it could be dangerous if you were into the 'wrong' music, and didn't have the right clothes, and found yourself in the wrong part of town. We've pretty much gone beyond that - and now youth culture has become uniform, as though people are still scared to look different.

I agree with what you mentioned re Jerry and art school, where a lot of ideas about going beyond tradition were promoted. (David Bowie as you know was from an art school background as well, and was all about new approaches to music and image.) It was more of a movable feast musically and, by the time of Ghost Town, visually as well. He did actually say he was trying to invent a new style of music, so inasmuch as Jamaican music has been a constant with him, I think the idea was to try to do something different, to build on it and not just emulate it.
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Tue Jun 25, 2019 1:50 pm
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done donald
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Enjoying reading back over these old posts.

Wonder if that old curmudgeon Hugh is still spouting his negativity Smile

Also miss Iron Man / Stan Drews and his wind ups, Nanker and his wankerisms, 2-Tone lol, Toasty and the other old hands... (except Nanker).

Having a few beers so please excuse any inappropriatisms...

Jim
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Sat Jun 29, 2019 7:49 pm
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chemode
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done donald wrote:
Enjoying reading back over these old posts.

Wonder if that old curmudgeon Hugh is still spouting his negativity Smile

Also miss Iron Man / Stan Drews and his wind ups, Nanker and his wankerisms, 2-Tone lol, Toasty and the other old hands... (except Nanker).

Having a few beers so please excuse any inappropriatisms...

Jim


I still bump into Nanker now and again at gigs. I really like him as a person but online he drives me mad. I had to "unfollow" him on facebook as no matter what the argument is, he's always got to be right. If I had an orange he'd say it was blue.... Cool

He'll probable see thius and say im wrong !! LOL Laughing
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Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:26 pm
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marigold
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Great thread/ranging over reading old posts - the way bands don't seen to embody music and style.

I'm probably way behind/and I know skins were not mods but the conflation here of identities and the influence of The Specials is interesting to read. I didn't know that is where "The Harrington Jacket" originated?

http://monomediafilms.london/our-films/a-modernist/

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2018/may/11/john-simons-dressed-mods-shops-style-explosion-martin-freeman-paul-weller-kevin-rowland

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2007/may/13/fashion.features

Chris Martin dresses like a 3rd grader/ last period P.E.
Whereas the bands I miss - all qualify for the best definition by a female comedian as she believes "All men in a T.Shirt should rip them off to reveal a three piece suit underneath"

I'm glad Nanker is still around - I too wonder what non-sequitur Hugh is composing these days - I miss Roddy posting a lot. Jim typing and beverages are the best - : )
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Mon Jul 08, 2019 11:51 pm
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Imani
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Harry wrote:
It was a shame in the 90s when bands dressed down rather than up. Oasis, Coldplay, Ocean Colour Scene etc always dressed in a dull way.
I think The Specials (with Jerry on board) was more of an art school band.
In the 90s there were a few ex art school acts such as Pulp, P J Harvey and Amy Winehouse but there were so many more "Dad rock" bands who wore casual tracksuit bottoms and bland t-shirts. I like musicians who adopt a "ridicule is nothing to be scared of" philosophy.


Then again, some artists deliberately chose not to have a costume or uniform because of the way the music industry, and fashion industry constantly changes....i.e. the reason probably goes like this: if you look bland then you're never out of fashion! And in some cases if you're too 'theatrically dressed' it probably gets in the way of the music because that's what people end up focusing on more than the songs.
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Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:32 am
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marigold
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Imani wrote:
Harry wrote:
It was a shame in the 90s when bands dressed down rather than up. Oasis, Coldplay, Ocean Colour Scene etc always dressed in a dull way.
I think The Specials (with Jerry on board) was more of an art school band.
In the 90s there were a few ex art school acts such as Pulp, P J Harvey and Amy Winehouse but there were so many more "Dad rock" bands who wore casual tracksuit bottoms and bland t-shirts. I like musicians who adopt a "ridicule is nothing to be scared of" philosophy.


Then again, some artists deliberately chose not to have a costume or uniform because of the way the music industry, and fashion industry constantly changes....i.e. the reason probably goes like this: if you look bland then you're never out of fashion! And in some cases if you're too 'theatrically dressed' it probably gets in the way of the music because that's what people end up focusing on more than the songs.


Agree with both posts - and prophesised in the video Imani posted/ the David Bowie interview with Jeremy Paxman where Bowie eerily predicts the ramifications of the internet. One of Paxman's question of - "It's just a tool? Bowie answers - "No, it's an alien life form" he also talks about the artist/audience and "The Grey area" between. Music and the performance, for me - is that grey area and the oppositional link between music and presentation. I always felt included by a self affirming level of respect in the way The Specials made their own non imitative style through their politics, music and sharp expression - always conveying 'Don't put me in your box'
To never detract from their music - would The Specials have been separated from their time and place if dressed as a 'Dad Band'?
Harry's post about Jerry being from an art school background has led me to read/find more articles.

p.s. In interview - did Bowie feel the internet was good for music?
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Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:45 pm
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Imani
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marigold wrote:
Imani wrote:
Harry wrote:
It was a shame in the 90s when bands dressed down rather than up. Oasis, Coldplay, Ocean Colour Scene etc always dressed in a dull way.
I think The Specials (with Jerry on board) was more of an art school band.
In the 90s there were a few ex art school acts such as Pulp, P J Harvey and Amy Winehouse but there were so many more "Dad rock" bands who wore casual tracksuit bottoms and bland t-shirts. I like musicians who adopt a "ridicule is nothing to be scared of" philosophy.


Then again, some artists deliberately chose not to have a costume or uniform because of the way the music industry, and fashion industry constantly changes....i.e. the reason probably goes like this: if you look bland then you're never out of fashion! And in some cases if you're too 'theatrically dressed' it probably gets in the way of the music because that's what people end up focusing on more than the songs.


Agree with both posts - and prophesised in the video Imani posted/ the David Bowie interview with Jeremy Paxman where Bowie eerily predicts the ramifications of the internet. One of Paxman's question of - "It's just a tool? Bowie answers - "No, it's an alien life form" he also talks about the artist/audience and "The Grey area" between. Music and the performance, for me - is that grey area and the oppositional link between music and presentation. I always felt included by a self affirming level of respect in the way The Specials made their own non imitative style through their politics, music and sharp expression - always conveying 'Don't put me in your box'
To never detract from their music - would The Specials have been separated from their time and place if dressed as a 'Dad Band'?
Harry's post about Jerry being from an art school background has led me to read/find more articles.

p.s. In interview - did Bowie feel the internet was good for music?


I don't know if Bowie saw the internet as good or bad but obviously he knew it was something everyone would have to embrace. It's almost centralised everything, including music. (I'll come back to the Paxman interview on the other thread.)

People used to look to certain artists to make statements in their work that challenge society but anyone can do that now and reach millions - all they need is a Twitter account and a load of hot air. In this climate The Specials aren't as influential now - they're older anyway, and there's more promotion given to the likes of Kanye West et al. But I say it's the same of most artists....they're only as popular as the last time they were trending online, and this changes very quickly.

Pop music feels quite safe. I don't mean it should all be polemical but it feels predictable.
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Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:58 am
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