22nd Feb, 2019

MUSIC MATTERS: 2-Tone trip down memory lane

2-Tone Just Came Home

The secret was out on Thursday night at The 2-Tone Village as The Coventry Music Museum revealed what it had in store to celebrate 40 years of 2-Tone music, a genre that Coventry gave to the world.

The crowds gathered in Knights live venue for speeches and music from Skaman Micky Two Tone.

Then it was into the museum to find out what I had been keeping a secret for the last few months.

So The 2-Tone Brothers parted the curtains, and behind the lights and the smoke into view came something very familiar and truly iconic, was it? Could it be?

Well yes, it was indeed the Ghost Town car, lifted straight from the Ghost Town music video, and sat in the driver’s seat was former Special Neville Staple, with his wife Christine by his side.

There was an audible gasp from the gathered crowd, as the cameras and phones went into overdrive.

After saying “WOW”, the question remained the same.. How did you get that in the museum?

Well it’s all down to master mechanic Steve Kearns and his team, who carried each section up bit by bit, finally creating the famous Vauxhall Cresta car complete with the 4218 RO number plate.

It looks exactly like the real thing (well half the real thing), but is it? Well it gets even better, there is a trail that looks like that parts of our car are from the original, the investigation continues.

Either way it’s a dream come true for me, and music fans have been queuing up to get into the car for the ultimate photo opportunity since Thursday last week.

This is the ultimate exhibit, and already three of the original Specials have sat in it, Jerry Dammers, Neville Staple and Lynval Golding who also came bearing the new Specials LP as a gift for the museum.

One Ghost Town Car rider said: “ For just a moment we felt like we were starring in our own Ghost Town video.”

So now I guess it’s your turn.

Apart from the car, we also have another dream item and that’s the very instrument Jerry Dammers wrote Ghost Town on, and the one used on the number one single too.

It’s an amazing looking keyboard, and stands next to an exclusive interview I did with Jerry in December.

It is a fascinating account of how the Specials and the 2-Tone movement came about.

On top of that, kids go free, plus we are collecting photos of guests’ ‘YOU’ tattoos, the ones that say something about YOU.

Massive thanks goes to Pat Webb, Steve Kearns and the SLVW team, Shaun Donnelly, Roger Medwell, Dean Eastment, Richard Lock and Dale Studios, Julie Chambers, Suky Singh all the volunteers, Kev Monks, Nigel Meffen, Jerry Dammers, Chalkie Davies and Carol Starr and many more.

So if that’s not enough on Saturday 26th at 12 noon, Selecter legend Neol Davies begins our series of 40 Years of 2-Tone ‘Sounding Offs’.

Normal museum prices apply. Please note this is a Q&A, not a gig.

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