Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The Death of 2 Tone

Why did 2 Tone die?

In Neville's book "Original Rude Boy", the blame is put on bubblegum pop. Pauline Black, lead singer of the Selecter recalls going to the Chrysalis record company headquarters in 1981 only to find they had turned their back on 2 Tone.

Everybody was dressed as New Romantics - Spandau Ballet was now the record bosses' favourite band. She says in the book that 2 Tone had fallen off the ionosphere. And she alleges that this was the end of political pop. Maybe it was the riots that saw cities burn in the summer of 1981 that put the British pop industry off 2 Tone. They wanted something safer - less contentious. There's no doubt that twenty five years later, we have pop that is so bland - it says nothing to anybody.

So are we really dooomed to Pop Idol pap for ever or can something like 2 Tone emerge?

Monday, 25 May 2009

Neville Staple in the Metro

In case you missed Neville Staple featured in London's Metro newspaper - click or copy the link and read:

Nev was also featured in a great article in the Daily Star written by Oi music expert Garry Bushell - all about Nev's ongoing womanizing. Very funny and I understand Mr Staple found it amusing.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Oh dear, somebody doesn't like Original Rude Boy

There's a review of Neville Staple's biography on the 2Tone website (written by somebody who obviously loved Horace Panter's drier tome on The Specials) which makes the most bizarre critique you can imagine of Nev.

Nothing to do with his music, voice or role in 2Tone. No - there's a long moan about the fact that Nev admits that when he was five years old, he used to torture animals. Now - I'm not condoning that. But he was five. This was the late 1950s in Jamaica. And he's making a point about his rough upbringing. But this guy decides that on the basis of that and later in his teens working in a slaughterhouse (well, there were three million unemployed at the time and you took what jobs you could get), Nev is a very bad man and his book is not to be read lest you become an animal torturer yourself!

Then we have a moan about Neville admitting that he was a burglar. And he did time in borstal. But because he says burglaries were "exhilarating" - that drives our reviewer on 2Tone nuts. Again, Neville was a rude boy - what do you expect? He says Nev is glorifying burglary. That's like saying - don't watch the Godfather in case you end up supporting the mafia.

Original Rude Boy finally shows the black British influence on 2Tone and some white folk don't like it. They don't take the sound system scene that Nev came from seriously because sound system DJs didn't pluck guitars. But I for one am glad Mr Staple has finally put pen to paper and upset the right people.