of The Specials
Interview By: Dod


After 27 years since they played, The Specials reformed to play a sell-out tour in April, now that they have a rest period; I managed to get a few words with lead guitarist Roddy Radiation

Punk Globe- Did you listen to ska and reggae before you
joined The Specials?
Roddy Byers- I listened to Bob Marley and some Dub stuff in the mid 70,s
 but I didn’t really listen to Ska.
Punk Globe- Who influenced and made you want
to take up the guitar?
RB- Well I liked the Monkees when I was 12 yrs then went on to Jimi Hendrix, but Keith Richards and Johnny Thunders were the ones for me later.
Punk Globe- How much do you think punk and ska scene has changed in the last 30 years?
RB- I don’t really follow fashion but it’s become a bit Ska/punk by numbers,
by which I mean not very original nowadays.
Punk Globe- What originally attracted you to the music scene?
RB- My father played trumpet in soul bands in the 1960s, and before him my grandfather played trombone in dance bands in the late 1930s
so I guess it’s in my blood!
Punk Globe- What have you been doing till the reunion came about?
RB- I never stopped playing in bands! My own groups from 1981. The Tearjerkers, The Bonediggers, and my band now The Skabilly Rebels.
Punk Globe- It is as much fun playing with the guys now as
it was twenty-seven years ago?
RB- I love playing full stop!
Punk Globe- Do you think the songs are as relevant today
as they were 30 years ago?
RB- Well there’s still violence on the streets –“Concrete Jungle”. There are still people who are more privileged “Rat Race” etc., etc…
Punk Globe- Did you feel much pressure as the tour came nearer?
RB- Well I wondered if it would be as painful as the end
of the original band in 1981.
Punk Globe- I was at the Glasgow show and say it was my best gig I’ve ever been to. What are your thoughts on how successful the tour went and did you expect such a good reception?
RB- Glasgow was a great night but I can only recall one night where we weren’t quite on the ball - down to tiredness maybe?
Punk Globe- What’s your favorite Specials song to play?
RB- The ones I wrote, of course!!
Punk Globe- Do you have a favorite venue to play at?
RB- There’s a few, Ventura theatre - California + House of Blues - New Orleans .
Punk Globe- Slf does there version of “It doesn’t make it alright” have you heard it and what do you think?
RB- Jake Burns lead guitarist and singer of S.L.F. is a good friend and
 I like their version better than the Specials original.
Punk Globe- What music do you listen to chill out?
RB- Old Country'n'Western – Hank Williams, Jimmie Rogers, etc.
Also Spanish Flamenco.
Punk Globe- What makes a good crowd?
Punk Globe- Finally any last thoughts?
RB- I hope my band the Skabilly Rebels becomes
even more famous than the Specials.



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