By JOHN DALY
Los Angeles City Council has declared Wednesday, May 29th “The Specials Day” in Los Angeles, it was announced Tuesday.
Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez representing LA’s 7th District, introduced the resolution, which will include an official presentation commemorative certificate at City Hall.
The iconic British ska band will be in Southern California as part of a North American tour in support of their new album Encore – the first new music the band has released since 1980, and the first Specials album to go to No. 1 on the UK charts.
The Specials formed in Coventry, England in 1977 and released two albums The Specials (1979) and More Specials (1980), to kickstart their career to become one of Britain’s most successful bands. They released a string of hit singles, including “Gangsters”, “Ghost Town”,“A Message To You, Rudy”, “Too Much Too Young” and “Rat Race.”
“We’re delighted to have May 29th named “The Specials Day” in Los Angeles, the band said. “We love the city and have found Los Angelenos to be some of the warmest and most enthusiastic audiences in the world. We love spending time there and have made a great many friends over the years. It’s extremely rewarding to see our music resonate so deeply with the people of Los Angeles and we thank the LA City Council for this honor. We share it with the fans.”
The Specials’ message of racial harmony has been integral to the music. The band’s music pointed out injustice during a time of high unemployment in the UK and during a rise in neo-facist skinhead groups of the punk era. Along with fellow UK bands like The Clash, with whom The Specials toured in 1978, The band has worked with the Anti-Nazi League and Rock Against Racism.
“The Specials’ legacy is emblematic of the strength derived from our diversity here in Los Angeles,” said Councilwoman Rodriguez said. “Their music is an example that embracing our differences and uniqueness makes us more powerful.”
The Specials’ music infuses ska, punk and approaches politics with racial harmony. Their black-and-white checkered pattern logo has been symbolic of the multiracial makeup of the band. The band’s popularity has continued for 40 years.
“The Specials Day” declaration is a new chapter in The Specials’ longterm love affair with the City of Los Angeles. The band first played in the city in 1979 and has enjoyed a loyal and dedicated following ever since. The Specials’ Walt Jabsco logo and their original Two Tone record label checkered flag is recognized around the city and the world.
The Specials’ founding members Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Horace Panter will attend the commemorative certificate presentation at City Hall on May 29th. The presentation is open to the public and will be broadcast at 10am pacific in Los Angeles on LA CityView Channel 35 and live streamed via LA City Council.org and socials via Facebook.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the band members pursued other musical projects before reuniting in 2009 for a 30th Anniversary reunion tour. On February 1, 2019 they released their first new recordings in 39 years. Encore and its singles “Vote For Me”, “The 10 Commandments” and “Embarrassed By You” continue the band’s tradition of social commentary. They play an all ages show at the Novo Theater at LA Live in Downtown Los Angeles on June 1. They will tape a performance for ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live in the JKL parking lot in Hollywood on May 28th. Tickets available HERE.
The Specials on Tour
5/23 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
5/24 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
5/25 – Oakland, CA @Fox Theater
5/27 – Las Vegas, NV @ Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival
5/28 – Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC 11.35/10.35c
5/28 – Anaheim, CA @ House of Blues
5/30 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
5/31 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
6/01 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
6/03 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Van Buren
6/05 – Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre
6/07 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
6/08 – Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre
6/10 – Silver Spring, MD @ The Fillmore
6/11 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts
6/14 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel
6/15- Boston, MA @ House of Blues
6/17 – Montreal, QB @ Corona Theatre
6/18 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall
6/19 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall