Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Neville Staple Autobiography "Original Rude Boy" Now Available for Pre-Sale
While we bask in the glow of President Obama's inauguration here in the US, I have also been celebrating all things related to The Specials 30th anniversary. Without realizing it, I noticed that the last few posts have been about long lost photos and cartoon artwork about the band. It seems only natural to keep The Specials theme going for a little bit longer.
Following in the foot steps of his bass playing band mate, Horace Panter, it's been confirmed that Neville Staples' 288 page autobiography will be released in time for the kick-off of The Specials UK reunion tour this April. The book was originally scheduled for a 2010 release but was rushed to take advantage of the tour. Indeed, news is that a photo shoot of the band took place this week and the pictures will be included in the book. The tome is called 'Original Rude Boy' and it will include Neville's life story as well as his exclusive inside take on the 2-Tone era. According to sources, both Ranking Roger and Pauline Black have contributed to the book as have a number of Third Wave American ska bands. In fact, the book will give Third Wave ska the recognition it's long deserved. Neville lived in California for eight years and worked with bands like No Doubt and Unwritten Law.
Here is a synopsis of the book that was posted on the Waterstone's web site: 1979. The dawn of Thatcher's Britain. It's a country crippled by strikes, joblessness and economic gloom, divided by race and class - and skanking to a new beat: 2-Tone. The unruly offspring of white boy punk and rude boy ska, the new music's undeniable leaders were The Specials. Bursting out of Coventry's concrete jungle, their lyrics spoke of failed marriages, petty violence, crowded dance floors, gangsters and race hate - but with a wit that outshone their angry punk forebears. On stage they were electric, and at the heart of this energy was vocal chemistry of the ethereal Terry Hall and Jamaican rude boy Neville Staple. In 1961, aged only five, Neville was sent to England to live with his father - a man for whom discipline bordered on child abuse. Growing up black in the Midlands of the sixties and seventies wasn't easy, but then Nev was hardly an angel. His youth was marked by scuffles with skins, compulsive womanising, and a life of crime that led from shoplifting to burglary and eventually borstal and Wormwood Scrubs. But throughout there was music, and now Nev tells how a very bad boy became part of the most important band of the eighties. He remembers sound system battles; the legendary 2-Tone tour with The Selecter, Madness and Dexy's - and their clashes with NF thugs; he recalls the band's increasing tensions and eventual split; his subsequent foray into bubblegum pop with Fun Boy Three; and a new found fame in America, as godfather to the third wave of ska and bands like Gwen Stefani's No Doubt. The Specials have announced their reunion tour - beginning on 22nd April 2009 and ending at the Brixton Academy on 7th May Horace Panter's "Ska'd For Life" (978033044073X) has already proven a clear market for The Specials' story. This book lays bare the difficult relationship between the band's white grammar school kids and working class rude boys. Neville continues to tour, both here and abroad, with The Neville Staple Band and has built up a large and dedicated following. A major publicity campaign includes signings, gigs, press, TV, radio and merchandise.
Aurum Press will publish in the UK; a US distribution deal is yet to be nailed down but the book will be available via Amazon in time for the UK tour. If you live in the UK you can pre-order the book from the Waterstone's Web site.