Thursday, 1 December 2011

Another memorial

A sad anniversary yesterday, a year since the death of my foster father Alan Shotliff.  There was much to admire about him, but his best epitaph came from the doctor:  "Thanks, but I'm afraid we can't use any of his organs for transplant.  He's used them all up."  That says more about him than I ever could  *raises glass*

I've got one art O level, it did nothing for me

It's a while now since we saw the Specials at the Ricoh Arena, but a couple of things have stuck with me.  One was the obvious and genuine pride the city has in its alumni.  It was a much-needed reminder that Coventry isn't London-only-less-good, it has a proper civic identity of its own, however fragmented and buried that may be.  Not all the Specials fans were from round here, but it was easy to see that all the 40-something rude boys and girls shared a little part of the story of why we're the way we are today.  It was also nice to join in the singing and dancing at the bar as we waited to get served, you don't get that at a Kasabian gig.  I imagine.
It was a thoroughly warm "welcome to Coventry" for me.
I did wonder though why you never hear the Specials on the radio.  Ghost Town excepted, they never feature on    nostalgia radio stations or compilations, even "alternative" ones (on which, generally, if you are lucky you will get the Jam and Bananarama).  I've genuinely not heard Rat Race or even the eternally relevant Too Much Too Young since 1979.  Why not?  None of the words have become any less valuable in 30plus years, and none of the tunes have become any less enjoyable.
Still, even though these days the Specials are Dammersless, they made a very large number of very elderly teenagers very happy.