Recently, Beth and Bubs had nice posts about the ska bands English Beat and the Specials. When I was a teenager, in the late seventies, ska was in its second wave. Ska came in on the same wave as punk and new wave. Ska did the impossible-- got white guys of my generation to dance. Ska was political, infectious, friendly and danceable. And the fashions were a lot of fun.
There was the Selecter and others. In central Illinois, there was a terrific group called the Uptown Rulers. Some of the best nights of my life were spent drinking and dancing at Ted's Warehouse, in Charleston, Illinois, to the Rulers. Their version of the Clash's "Charlie Don't Surf" is etched in my memory. Me and my friend Dan digitized the vinyl they had come out on, and we've been sending them out to our college friends as fast as we can.
Here's my favorite-ever ska song-- the Specials' "Concrete Jungle."
"Glad I got my mates with me..."
For years, my friends and I tried to figure out the chant at the beginning of the song (on the record version). A few years ago, my friend Suzy from college saw the Specials and got a chance to chat them up after the show. They told her the chant was "You're goin' home in a f*ckin' ambulance/You're goin' home in a f*ckin' ambulance"