The Specials day in LA - so why no city tributes to Coventry's finest band? - The Coventry Observer

12th Aug, 2022

The Specials day in LA - so why no city tributes to Coventry's finest band?

Specials Day In LA – so why not more tributes here?

So Los Angeles is to have a day to honour Coventry’s finest band The Specials later this month.

I hang my head in shame that their own city can’t do something similar in this their 40th Anniversary year.

The celebrated Rolling Stone music magazine reports that Los Angeles City Council has announced that this May 29 will be forever be known as ‘The Specials Day in honor of the UK band The Specials’.

This band have put our city on the music map. Ask most people what Coventry is famous for and chances are they will tell you The Blitz, Lady Godiva, cars and 2-Tone music.

The current Specials have just hit number one with their comeback album Encore and last week appeared as guests on the BBC prime time Graham Norton Show.

Former members Roddy Byers and Neville Staple have always supported the city of Coventry, playing countless charity gigs through the years and generally being amazing ambassadors for this city, while the Specials creator Jerry Dammers is received in the musical world as a statesman and all-round genius.

As I have said before, maybe a Specials road or a civic reception when they play at the cathedral in the summer. It has to be all the original members, as they all played their parts in this wondrous story and RIP Brad no longer with us, but always remembered.

Sounding Off to the day

On May 4, The Specials released through Rough Trade the single ‘Gangsters” Vs The Selecter’, and thus began the 2-Tone movement.

So to celebrate the birthday, Specials alumni Trevor Evans will be in the Sounding-off hotseat at the museum at 12 noon. Trevor began as a DJ with Neville Staple and became the band’s roadie and now is the drummer in Barbed Wire.

To find out more come along on May 4 to what promises to be an exciting event.

Nev at Empire

Speaking of The Specials, Neville Staple, the legend himself and his band will be appearing at The Empire tomorrow (May 3) As special guest to The Undertones, famed for ‘Teenage Kicks’, ‘My Perfect Cousin’, ‘Jimmy Jimmy’ and host of other guitar driven Punk Pop. 7.30pm – 11pm 14+ show Tickets £25 advance.

Mouldy? Oh No

The Coventry Music Museum has just taken delivery of probably the most iconic piano in Coventry.

We have all heard this famous instrument and it’s unique sound, because we are now custodians of the Lieutenant Pigeon ‘Mouldy Old Dough’ piano.

This remarkable instrument was built in 1929, making it 90 years old. It was bought for Hilda Woodward, famously a member of Lieutenant Pigeon by her husband on gaining her music degree and consequentially becoming a piano teacher at her home in Kingsway.

Her son Rob Woodward, also a member of the band, is downsizing and the piano needed a place to go. So it now shares a home with another famous keyboard that was also used to make a famous Coventry number one hit, Jerry Dammers’ Ghost Town organ.

Rob said of the piano: “I will miss it, I wrote both Mouldy Old Dough and Desperate Dan on it, in fact all the Pigeon material on it. If it could talk it would have a tale to tell.”

The band hit the number one spot in the winter of 1972 for four weeks with the novelty song ‘Mouldy Old Dough’, a piano driven instrumental (apart from drummer Nigel Fletcher growling the title now and again).

A month later they hit number 17 with another instrumental Desperate Dan. Hilda passed away in 1999, though this song still remains the only chart topper to feature a mother and son.

The piano is now on permanent display at the museum, and is already attracting a lot of interest.

To watch the guys play a clip of Mouldy Old Dough on THE piano one last time go to

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