|An Eight Part History of The Specials - Part Five - Coming Like A Ghost Town.|
|Part One||Part Two||Part Three||Part Four||Part Five||Part Six||Part Seven||Part Eight|
Coming Like A Ghost Town
The More Specials Tour continued, but violent outbreaks among small sections of the crowds continued to plague the band, and despite their policy of stopping the show when trouble flared, things came to a head in Cambridge. Jerry and Terry ended up getting arrested, the authorities had misinterpreted their efforts to stop the trouble, and charged them with provoking the crowd.
After the tour, they released Lynval's song 'Do Nothing' in December 1980 as the next single, backed by a version of Dylan's 'Maggies Farm' artfully re-worked as a song to then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. It reached number 4 in the UK single chart, and started a well earned studio break for the band.
Do Nothing Picture Sleeve
During this down time, some of the band members took the opportunity to pursue their own projects. Roddy formed the Tearjerkers, a band playing 'skabilly' - his mix of ska and rockabilly. Neville founded his own label 'Shack Records' and similarly Brad founded 'Race Records'.
Also during this break, February 1981 saw the release of 'Dance Craze', a movie made up of live footage of all the 2 Tone bands, in addition to Bad Manners and The Swinging Cats. A soundtrack album was also released, reaching number 5 in the Album charts.
Dance Craze Album Cover
The band regrouped back in Coventry, and in June 1981 released another EP single, fronted by the seminal track 'Ghost Town', with 'Why?' and 'Friday Night, Saturday Morning' on the B-side. 'Ghost Town' perfectly echoed the feelings in Britain at the time, and reached the number one spot in the charts to a backdrop of inner city riots in Liverpool.
Lynval's song 'Why?' on the B-side was a stunningly heartfelt response to the NF thugs who had attacked and beaten him the year before.
Ghost Town EP cover
Despite the success of 'Ghost Town', the band members were increasingly at each others throats, with Jerry becoming more and more demanding. Still, the band pressed on and played a few shows in England and Ireland, before heading off to the US again for a short second tour.
After a successful show in August in Toronto with the Police, Iggy Pop and the Go Go's, things came to a head when Jerry unceremoniously fired manager Rick Rogers after a heated argument.
The Specials returned to England, and after a lack of activity for a few months rumours started that the band were to split. After initially denying these rumours, it was confirmed that Terry Hall, Neville Staple and Lynval Golding had officially left The Specials. Roddy followed suit the next week, and a shocked Jerry Dammers was left to contemplate the future of the band.
Terry, Neville and Lynval's new group was called 'Fun Boy Three', and a mere 2 weeks after announcing the split, they had released their debut single 'The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum', having been quietly working on their breakaway project for several months.
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