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Sometimes spelled The Special A.K.A.
, the moniker was first was used in the late 1970's UK punk movement by the band formerly known as The Coventry Automatics
, that would eventually evolve into The Specials
. They used the moniker The Special AKA during the "On Parole Tour" with The Clash
( apparently as an abbreviation of the more protracted "The Special AKA The Coventry Automatics") and soon just went by "The Specials" until a band squabble arose in 1981.
Singer/songwriter/producer/label owner Jerry Dammers re-opted to unveil the name again after several of his previous bandmembers abandoned The Specials
, and left to form their own group called Fun Boy Three
in 1981. This began a decades long feud that continues with Dammers and his former band mates to this day.
With new backing vocalists, Stan Campbell and Rhoda Daka, Dammers had The Special AKA release an album on his Two Tone
label called "In The Studio" which included the successful 1982 anti-racism single "Free Nelson Mandela
". Dammers soon disbanded Special AKA and more or less vanished from the music scene, while various incarnations of The Specials have toured over the years, apparently against his wishes.
The Special AKA musicians credited on the "In The Studio" album were
Jerry Dammers - keyboards, vocals
John Bradbury - drums
Rhoda Dakar - vocals
Dick Cuthell - flugel horn
Stan Campbell - vocals
Egidio Newton - vocals, percussion
John Shipley - guitar
Gary McManus - bass guitar
Tracks We Played
The 2 Tone Collection: A Checkered Past