The Specials: ‘We did not kick Jerry Dammers out of band’

Terry Hall reacts to main songwriter's statement

The Specials‘ singer Terry Hall has denied the claims of founding member Jerry Dammers that he was “kicked out” of the band ahead of their forthcoming reunion.

The ska legends are touring this year to celebrate their 30th anniversary without their keyboard player and main songwriter.

All along Hall has claimed that the “door remained” open to his former bandmate. However, Dammers issued a statement in December denying this, claiming that The Specials had “driven him out” of the planned reunion.

Hall has now reacted to Dammers‘ claims, saying he was involved in initial plans for the reunion and said he has “no idea” why he didn’t want to be part of the band.

“I’ve read Jerry‘s statement and I just don’t get it,” he told The Guardian. “‘They’re trying to kick me out of the band’ – not at all mate, not at all.”

His bandmate, drummer John Bradbury explained: “I spoke to Jerry night after night all through 2008, and at the end there just wasn’t a meeting of the ways. A little more give and take and a few more people skills, it could have definitely worked out better.”

“He wanted to do one date, in (the band’s native) Coventry, in front of 30,000 people, at the football stadium [The Ricoh Arena],” added Hall. “I thought that was a bit of a Take That thing. We wanted to play 2,000 to 3,000-sized venues.

“I don’t think he likes the idea of touring, to be honest. I think he hid that a bit in his statement. But apart from that, I have no idea why Jerry isn’t doing it.

“Hand on my heart, this is what I feel is a bit sad for Jerry. He’s fucking missing out. He’s missing out on being in this incredible band. We haven’t changed that much, we still take the piss out of each other, there’s an understanding that hasn’t gone away. And he’s missing out on that, and it’s sad for him, to be honest.”

The Specials will play:

Newcastle Academy (April 22)

Sheffield Academy (23)

Birmingham Academy (25, 26)

Glasgow Academy (28, 29)

Manchester Apollo (May 3, 4)

London Brixton Academy (6, 7, 8, 11, 12)

To check the availability of The Specials tickets and get all the latest listings, go to NME.COM/GIGS now, or call 0871 230 1094.