Dawning of a New Era

Post Specials Show self portrait

Can I share a moment, here? ok thanks.

The Specials was my palate band. Ya know…that band where you realize that you actually like a type of music and not just what you hear on the radio.

I was maybe 10 or 11 years old. While on the way to the mall, I saw the cassette laying by my feet in the back of a friends moms car. I liked the simplicity of the art work and asked if we could put it in.  I didn’t know anything about what I was hearing other than it had somehow instantly made me happier than ice cream and creepy crawlers ever could again. All I could seem to do was kind of let tears seep from my eyes and occasionally kick my feet with joy. I didn’t want that car ride to end because nothing could make me as happy as hearing that music for the first time just had.

What was your palate band? (I love knowing these little things about people!)

While some of my friends were on a munchie hunt on 4/20, my friend Smo and I went to see the Specials!

It was amazing to see a slew of men over 50 years old with more energy than I’ve had since I first heard their music. I had spent so many years just knowing I would probably never get the chance to see them though, that nothing about the show wasn’t amazing for me.

photo by Ryan Muir

When we left and I came to, I realized a few things:

  • my jacket got a beating
  • my Chucks are destroyed
  • my mouth was bleeding
  • I’d lost my voice
  • ……….I may have “skanked”

I regret nothing, except for not trying to weasel my way back in for day two of the show.

But my single regret won’t hold for long, because I was reminded that I will soon be heading back for their FREE show in Central Park on August 22nd!

Check out some impressive photos from the show: here.

and this kind of odd video someone put together: here.

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39 Responses to “Dawning of a New Era”

  1. Rog Says:

    Metallica circa 1987 was my palate band. At that time they couldn’t get 100 feet from a radio station without corrupting the youth of America, and they inspired the mullet I wore for 5 years.

    I saw the Specials in the 90’s and they definitely provided a gateway to Ska, punk, and rockabilly for me. I am so glad you finally got to see such an inspirational band.

  2. Francine Says:

    I had two, and they were both kind of generic but I don’t care. I’ve listened to U2 since I was 7, and I’ve been an Ani Difranco fan for about 10 years now. Both made me want to pick up a guitar but kind of in different ways.

  3. monkeyKing Says:

    a most awsome post.
    favorite palate band? just between you, me and the fencepost… watching HeeHaw as a kid and kicking it to those sweet fast bluegrass banjos. makes me smile and want to stomp ’round like a hillbilly.

  4. nat Says:

    The Replacements…and specifically “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out.” I was a pretty mellow boy, and I remember that song kinda snapped me out of the childhood trance I was in. I remember just laughing with disbelief, and feeling like “It’s okay to make songs like that?! We can listen to songs like that?!” That’s still one of my favorite albums.

  5. ! Says:

    thats a hard question… as a kid i listened to a bunch of music, not because i asked to, but because of the people around me.i did love music though,i remember feeling the pain a song was trying to express while i was doing something retarded like breaking my toys or something. as for creepy crawlers, i thought those were cool, but never had the chance to make any. awe… they made your mouth bleed… i really like the pic of you jumping around, you look so happy! as for the last picture of this post, its mean!

  6. Rach Says:

    palate band for me was Led Zeppelin. Watched a battered VCR copy of their movie Song Remains the Same and sat there entranced for the whole thing… especially when Jimmy Page morphed into an old man. I also remember being strangely creeped out by Robert Plant and his always emphasised bulge.

  7. Anna Says:

    We used to go on family road trips and I didn’t have as many c.ds as my sister so I used to steal hers. In the six-seven hours we were in the car together were the Distillers, Brand New, Good Charlotte and Less Than Jake. She hated me liking all the same music as her but they’re still bands I can put on during long bus trips loud on my iPod and smile like a creep and it’s the only thing we share in common apart from our last name.

    • ohChloe Says:

      yes! Hello Rockview is my favorite LTJ album. It does make you want to smile, don’t it?

      • Anna Says:

        Heck yeah! In with the out crowd was a bit average but otherwise so, so good. I like that you replied ‘coz I really love your blog. Not that that’s a real reason but I’m just going to go on a limb and hope you know what I mean.

      • :: smo :: Says:

        losing streak all the way sucka!!!

  8. morti Says:

    How awesome to see The Specials, Oh Envy!

    My palate band… Eleven years old… My cousin’s house…

  9. Laura Says:

    It is with much hesitation that I say… Blink 182. When I was 12 I totally believed they were punk rock. It was that naivete that led me to discover actual punk music, which changed my life.

    There! Now you and the internet know my most embarrassing secret.

  10. :: smo :: Says:


    definitely one of the bands i never thought i’d see, and so amped it happened! and yeah thanks to our new friend who will “see us there” for telling us about that central park show! i love the mix of people the specials brought out, it’s always funny to me when i feel like “i fit at this show!”.

    and first bands…dang…my first favorite song was “mac the knife” but the bobby darren version, from when i was super little. my mom played that cassette a lot, and i now have the vinyl. i was admittedly big into weird al and early green day, during my “developmental stages” and when i first saw the video for weezer’s “buddy holly” i remember clicking with how much i liked it. it’s a weird exhilarating feeling when something clicks with you like that. but also early in the mix were things like madness “one step beyond,” some specials too!, the descendents and mr. t experience. reel big fish, bosstones, and the aquabats definitely shaped me as a sax player because i spent most of my early teens writing out how to play the sax parts for various songs. if you ever want to know how to play the bari sax solo in cat with two heads and look up the tabs online…it very well might be signed by this kid. again i’m writing too much!

  11. Ivy Says:

    My palate band were The Teardrop Explodes. They make my toes curl with joy.

    I saw the Specials last November when they came to my town. They’re from my area of the UK so are very rightly hailed as local heroes – grown men wept and it was one big raucous party from start to finish. My personal highlight was ‘Stupid Marriage’ – oh man, what I wouldn’t give to see them again!

    • ohChloe Says:

      I have a live album from when they played somewhere in the UK in 2009 and it sounded pretty crazy. I can only imagine how THAT show must have been!

  12. dietplaid Says:

    The Replacements were totally my palate band. Or one of them at least. I discovered them in the middle of high school, and sure I was into music before, but The ‘Mats really defined my taste.

  13. TC Says:

    Oh, tough, but such a good question.

    Merlene Webber, ‘Stand By Your Man.’ The first time I was really exposed to early reggae and the pop/country influence from the States. Amazing.

    Black Sabbath, ‘Lord Of This World.’ Rock as it was meant to be. Metal as it could have been.

    I hope to be at the 22 August Specials show, bikes and friends permitting.

  14. ! Says:

    stupid insomnia!

  15. ! Says:

    too much energy!

    • ohChloe Says:

      dude, what the hell? this is a comment section, not your internet therapist. Go ride a pogo stick and get off my blog when you cant sleep. Its creepy

      • ! Says:

        my mistake! i dont know why i did that! im tripping. wont happen again! plus i dont like pogo sticks! as for creepy ,thats what i probably am…

  16. krista Says:

    is it weird to comment after reading your blog anonymously for so long?
    it might be but i found myself answering this question out loud and that just seemed ridiculous.
    i used to sneak into my step-brothers room while i was in elementary school when the 70s turned into the 80s and listen to his albums when he wasn’t home. i fell in love with, yes, the specials. hence the reason i felt the need to comment.
    however, i think the first serious crush i had on music was the go gos. i used to put a face mask on and wrap my hair in a towel singing ‘lust to love’ around the house. i was nine or ten. i don’t think i’ve ever felt as cool since.

  17. Eva J Says:

    In Utero

  18. Peppermint Says:

    The Shins ❤

  19. Barnicles Says:

    oh man LOVE the specials

    I think cat empire have to be mine. Just makes me want to dance and play and dance some more!

  20. Gala’s Curious Tuesdays (or Wednesdays) « the resident artist. Says:

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  24. Sonny Pittard Says:

    Great Post, thanks for this fine Post. I will come back soon . Great information about learning and mastering the guitar: learn and master guitar

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  26. Rest In Peace, 2010. « Shoplifting in a Ghost Town Says:

    […] to see The Specials play, thanks […]

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