Jerry Dammers, one of the founding members of the Specials, has slammed his former bandmates' upcoming reunion tour.

The Ska legends recently confirmed they will take to the road for UK tour starting in April next year, some 30 years since the release of their debut single Gangsters.

But while frontman Terry Hall has said "the door remains open" for Dammers to take part in the reunion shows, the keyboardist has issued a statement saying he was neither invited to take part in the tour, nor told about it.

"The prodigal sons came home, kicked me out, and have left the door open, great," he remarks.

His statement continues: "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."

Dammers claimed he turned up at a rehearsal uninvited and was "subjected to a severe dressing down" but had always intended to take part in a 30th anniversary reunion tour.

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."

Tickets for the Specials' tour in April and May 2009 went on sale at 09:00 GMT this morning (Thursday December 11th).


11/12/2008 10:04:24