The Specials drummer John Bradbury has died at the age of 62, the ska group announces.
As the 70s began back in my home town of Coventry I used to frequent one of the most magical pubs ever known – the Golden Cross, euphemistically known as just – the Cross. I met all sorts of people there and was introduced to a whole range of music thanks to the upstairs. It was here that I met and so briefly knew Brad. He invited me to audition for a project he had on then. So I travelled up to his place then in and around Wyken/Walsgrave and attempted to sing and play – I was crap! What I saw and heard there, though, was incredible. Here was a musician, essentially a drummer, but then I saw him turn his hand to guitar as well, who could seriously play almost any genre of music known to any young chap. In later years I was surprised to see him with the Specials on Top of the Pops and so my love of 2 tone began, having had a previous liking for original ska and rocksteady from my time spent up in Foleshill and with various of the groups of mod youth who also had a taste for such (in addition to soul, northern and various forms of rock cum pop). Everybody knows Brad for his work with the Specials but he was also at the very heart of the beginnings of Selecter being their driving force and the major force behind the writing of their first song after which they were named.
Bradbury, the multi-instrumentalist and key component of the 2 Tone sound, was drumming ‘powerhouse’ who played with the Specials for more than four decades
There were times when a lot of my old skool moments were to say the least a little seedy – the streetcorner things, backstreets, alleys with strange doors opening onto a passage leading to a party and more … I am so much older now but probably still as badly behaved – joke! There were some great times back then, indeed great times to be had in all sorts of decades, each had its own quality and flavour. A fond memory or three involved meeting people such as Daryl Pandy of Chicago fame, Nicky Blackmarket and John Bradbury in the Cross in Cov …
Yes we are having a bit of a bash – all sorts of old skool plus newere bits and pieces
June 13th the Redhouse Solly Street from 8pm free entry