Terry Hall, lead singer of The Specials and former member of Fun Boy Three and Colorfield, has died at the age of 63, his bandmates have confirmed.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beautiful friend and brother, Terry, one of the greatest singers, songwriters and lyricists this country has ever produced, after a brief illness. is.” the band tweeted.
“Terry was a wonderful husband and father, the kindest, funniest and purest soul. battles, and most of them were love.
“He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him and will leave behind the gift of his great music and profound humanity.” I would often leave the stage with the three words ‘love love’.
The band asked that the Hall family’s privacy be respected.
Hall joined the first incarnation of The Specials (then called The Automatics) shortly after the formation of the Coventry Band in 1977, replacing vocalist Tim Strickland. After a stint as Coventry Automatics, they became Specials AKA known as The Specials. His pioneering two-tone band grew thanks to the support of Joe Strummer, who invited him to support Clash Live, and BBC Radio 1’s DJ John Peel.
They released their debut single, The Gangsters (Al Capone’s reworking of Prince Buster) in 1979, reaching number six on the UK Singles Chart. , peaked in 1981 with a second No. 1 single and calling card, Ghost Town. and disenfranchised youth.
Its popularity peaked in the early summer of 1981 as riots broke out across Britain between young blacks and police in response to racism and the use of stop-and-search tactics. For three weeks he held the No. 1 spot, his 10th week in the Top 40 and is widely regarded as his one of the greatest pop records of all time. Guardian critic Alexis Petridis said in 2020, “It was in the past, brooding and illuminating us, and undiminished in its astonishing dark power.
Hall was born in Coventry on March 19, 1959, into a family that primarily worked in the automobile industry. He was an academically gifted kid as well as a prominent footballer who was invited to try out for West Bromwich Albion. His parents turned down the opportunity, citing the inconvenience of crossing the Midlands. His parents also declined admission to a nearby grammar school after he passed his 11-plus exam.
“Suddenly they were buying books and school uniforms,” he told Fantastic Man. There was always a little bit of that: uneducated.
In 2019, Hall told comedian Richard Herring that he was abducted by a pedophile ring in France when he was 12. The 1983 Fun Boy Three single “Well Fancy That! You took me to France with the promise that you would teach me French,” he sang.
Hall “kept it hidden” and didn’t tell his parents. “We both worked in factories. They were paid in cash. My father was a heavy drinker. They had their own lives, right?”
As a result, Hall took medication throughout his teenage years and lived with depression and manic depression. “I was on Valium when he was 13 and it cost him six months of his life,” he told The Big Issue.
He dropped out of education at the age of 14 and found himself prone to lack of adaptability. “It’s funny now, but something in my head seemed to switch and I didn’t have to do that. From that point on, I didn’t listen to anyone.”
His interest in politics began as a teenager. Only white people can enter. It really upset me. i couldn’t solve it.
After working as a bricklayer and other jobs, he joined his first band, the Punk Outfit Squad, inspired by The Clash and the Sex Pistols. “It didn’t seem too difficult,” Hall said. “They didn’t seem like they could play very well either, so we ended up forming a band to work that out. That’s what we did.”
His sister Teresa, a leading influencer, introduced him to Trojan Records and it was David Bowie’s 1975 album Young Americans that pushed Hall to become a singer. he told The Guardian in 2009. Like it or not, everyone was singing in the pub. I didn’t want to be that kind of singer. And at 16, this album gave me the look, the sound, and a way to hold myself. Apparently all his clothes were from Walmart. He had blonde streaks in his hair and so did we. ”
Then came the Specials. The band released his self-titled debut album in October 1979, fusing punk sensibilities and incisive lyrics about the decline of modern Britain with his sound of traditional Jamaican ska, featuring songs from Toots and Maytals, Prince Buster, Dandy Livingstone.
NME’s Tony Stewart said the album “embraces, puts into perspective, and reflects contemporary rock ‘n’ roll culture… 20 years of black and white music. Musically, it’s an immense kind of album.” , would probably establish the Specials.” As a true hope for the 80’s. This debut is essential, at least for those who want to know what’s going on in rock and roll today. ”
Today the album is widely regarded as a landmark recording. On Pitchfork’s list of the best of his albums of the 1970s he is ranked 42nd, and on NME’s list of his 500 greatest albums of all time published in 2013, he is ranked 260th. His second, even darker album in 1980, More Specials.
Multiethnic groups actively participated in the Rock Against Racism movement, gave benefit concerts for anti-racist and anti-nuclear organizations, and even supported the 1978 Labor Rights March protesting unemployment. . “Our government leaders have no interest in knowing how people feel,” Hall told the New York Times. Children cannot go to the Prime Minister and say, “We are unemployed. What are you going to do to help us?” You can’t approach someone like that. So they express themselves by breaking things. ”
After the success of Ghosttown in 1981, the band split violently that July. “From where he had seven kids in the back of the van to being awarded a gold disc, I’ve never felt so comfortable with it.
Hall formed Fun Boy Three with Specials bandmates Lynval Golding and Neville Staple. They also had chart success for several years, collaborating with girl band Bananarama on his two occasions. Hall also scored a Top 10 single with her Urshield, a song co-written with US indie star and then romantic partner Jane Wiedlin for her band, The Go-Goes, Our Lips. .
Hall formed another band, Colorfield, in 1984 and had a hit with Thinking of You. He became a frequent collaborator over the decades that followed, with Ian Brudy of Lightning Seed, American actress Blair Booth, Toots and the Maytals, Lily Allen, Damon Albarn of Blur (later his band Gorillaz), and Dave of Eurythmics. I worked with Stewart and others. He formed a duo known as Vegas in 1992.
Hall did not participate in the Specials reunion, Specials Mk 2, which lasted from 1993-1998. His follow-up, Laugh, was published in 1997.
In 2008, inspired by the 2004 Pixies reunion, Hall announced he would reform the Specials for touring and new music, but without founding member Jerry Dammers, who claimed he had been kicked out. , was this big hole in which I spent four years of my life,” Hall told The Telegraph. “Above all, I wanted to see those people again.”
They embarked on a 30th anniversary tour in 2009, performing at the closing concert of the 2012 London Olympics, but faced the death of drummer John Bradbury.
The band made news again in 2017 when 18-year-old Birmingham woman Safiya Khan was photographed wearing a Specials t-shirt and confronting protesters at an EDL march. I felt like everything I was trying to do was proven,” Hall said.
In 2019, they released a new album, Encore, on which Khan performed on the new song 10 Commandments. “Having our first No. 1 album in the ’60s restored faith in humanity,” Hall told Quietus.
He said Hall had trouble writing the lyrics for the follow-up. “The arrival of the pandemic had a huge impact on me. It took me about three months to realize what was happening. Instead, they covered historical protest songs, releasing Protest Songs 1924-2012 in 2021, which peaked at #2.
Hall was still struggling with his mental health, he admitted around this time.In 2003, he began self-medicating with alcohol. For the last ten years of his life, he sought medicine. Since he took Valium as a teenager, he has been cautious and has taken art into his therapy as well.
“I got to the point where I had no choice, and it did me a great deal,” he said. “Speaking up about mental health issues is a conscious decision. It’s something I want to share. Stigma is hard, but it affects so many people, especially last year. Knowledge And if you have history, I encourage you to talk to people who are going through it, rather than telling you what to do, suggesting ways to live a calm life.
Hall was bequeathed to his wife, director Lindy Hyman. They had one son. Hall has two older sons with his ex-wife Janet Hall.
In 2019, Hall told Uncut magazine that he’d been enjoying his 60s since becoming a 27-year-old fan of Andy Williams, Tony Bennett, and Frank Sinatra. I have to shut it down,” he said. “I’m happy that we’ve reached that stage. A lot of people think 60 is part of a downward spiral. If you let it, it will, but you can fight it. Yeah. No, it’s just part of the story.”