On November 14, 1940, Germany’s months-long air raid, known as the Coventry Blitz, reached a brutal climax that destroyed more than 4,000 homes and killed hundreds in the English city. The Luftwaffe struck throughout the night, using the light of the full moon to sight its targets and cripple the industrial stronghold. Within hours, a third of Coventry’s factories were leveled. Large parts of the Daimler plant, the birthplace of the first British car, were reduced to a pile of bricks and dust. The once fortified city, the automotive hub of the West Midlands, was shrouded in smoke plumes by morning. The German code word for raid borrowed the name of one of Beethoven’s most famous works: mondschensonetOr “Moonlight Sonata.”
After the war, recovery was incremental. Estates emerged on the periphery of the city and apartment towers rose from the ashes. As the auto factories were rebuilt, Coventry regained its status as “Britain’s Motor City”. Car manufacturing boomed in Detroit as well in the 1950s and 60s. Shopping centers and multi-level parking garages signaled the rise of post-war leisure. It was a boxy, cinder block vision of the future, but a glimpse ahead nonetheless.
And then the city was leveled once again – by a very calm force that lacked size and purpose. A nationwide recession separated Coventry from its core industry; Between 1974 and 1982, local jobs in the manufacturing sector had declined by about 50 percent, and the revitalized city center was in decay. Youth gangs roamed the streets, which were often littered with closed shop windows. Coventry’s second fall cannot be measured in a mound of rubble. The debris was invisible and ambient – a sour but fertile soil that sprouted one of England’s most vibrant music scenes.
Unlike Motown, which coincided with Detroit’s economic boom, special And the crumbling infrastructure of Coventry exploded 2 tones. Named by bandleader and organist Jerry Damers, the 2 Tone style was a bubbling mix of Jamaican ska and snide, stripped-back punk. By the early 1970s, many had relocated to Britain from the West Indies, many of whom had settled in the city of the Midlands. Some Jamaican-born Coventry residents throw sound system parties, place speakers in great towers and splurge on roots and rocksteady at night. The cross-pollination of the glowing ska loam and the blue-collar malecat was inevitable.
Damers was the son of an Anglican minister, but he devoted his life to a different trinity: the Beatles, the Stones and the Kinks. He ate records from Motown and Stax, and began writing songs at the age of 10. As a teenager, Damers became hooked on radio hits like Desmond Decker’s “Israelites” And “liquidator“By Harry J. All Stars. Piecing the Specials together was a winding, multi-year event. The group was known first as Automatics, and then Coventry Automatics, and then Special AKA, adopting their younger, more understated moniker. Before. The lineup came together in pieces. At age 15, the Damers played drums in their first band, Gristle, which included future Specials lead guitarist Roddy Radiation (née Byers). To study art at Lanchester Polytechnic. During this he met bassist Horace Panter. The two students shared a love for reggae and mischief. “We used to ruin hippie parties, play Prince Buster records,” Panter once said. said About his early antics with Dammers. After college, the Damers played in a cover band, but yearned to record their own music, a souped-up fusion of Jamaican pop and British grit.
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