Founding member calls next year's gigs 'a takeover, rather than a proper reunion'
Founding Specials member Jerry Dammers has hit out at his bandmates’ reunion next year.
Dammers, who is not touring as part of the band’s 30th anniversary shows, has issued a statement today (December 10) in which he claims he has been “driven out” by the rest of the group.
The keyboard player also took issue with frontman Terry Hall, who recently told NME.COM that “the door remains open” to his bandmate.
“Jerry has a duty to inform anybody who may be interested of the true situation, which is that he was not invited to take part in this proposed tour, or even told about it,” the statement explains.
“He also has to say that claims that ‘the door is still open’ to him fail to mention that Jerry has been driven out every time he has attempted to get involved over the last year. He also wonders why this appears in the newspaper when former bandmates have his phone number?”
Dammers said: “The prodigal sons came home, kicked me out, and have left the door open, great.”
He adds that he has lawyers’ letters from the others stating that they will go ahead with The Specials without him and “Jerry is not to speak to any of them”.
Dammers‘ statement goes on to say: “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 also claims that: “A meeting was called to which Jerry was not invited. 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 concludes: “Jerry sees this 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.”
The rest of the band have objected to Dammers claims, issuing a statement in which they said “”We don’t agree with what Jerry has said, but we don’t want to talk about it, not least because it is in the hands of our lawyers”.
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The Specials – without Dammers – are due to play a series of gigs next April and May with tickets for those shows going on sale tomorrow (December 11) at 9am (BST).