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Ska'd for Life: A Personal Journey with The Specials Hardcover – October 1, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The most comprehensive book on the Ska Movement."  —New York Waste

About the Author

<div>Horace Panter is the former bass player with The Specials, General Public, and Specialbeat.</div>
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Trans-Atlantic Publications, Inc. (October 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0283070293
  • ISBN-13: 978-0283070297
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,161,520 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I was pleased to find this book an enjoyable read that was hard to put down!
Kevin Wisniewski
Ska'd for Life gives a good solid overview of the life of the Specials by Horace Panter, bassist.
Gina Cassill
This is a must-read for anyone into The Specials or the history of Two-tone.
Dash

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By K. Weston on February 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had recently read The Specials' MC Neville Staples book, "Original Rude Boy" and when I saw Specials' bassist Horace "Gentleman" Panter's book "Ska'd For Life", I wanted that too. I used to dress like the 2-Tone crew in thin man suits and pork pie hats. I considered myself a part of their army.

On its own, Panter's book is an ok read. The good thing is if you're a fan of The Specials, you'll enjoy many of the anecdotes and narratives. Also he wrote it all himself, while Staples had an assistant writer help him put his book together. However, compared to Staple's book, I can't say I enjoyed Panter's book even half as much. Panter is pretty much the opposite of Staples in demeanor. Where Staples is an alpha male who thrives on social interaction and found himself in the thick of everything, you get the sense that Panter pretty much stayed in the background and just witnessed everything going on. Panter's book is mostly just taken from a diary or journal he kept while on tour with The Specials from '79-83. While he does have a decent sense of humor, his style of writing isn't a very interesting read overall. He tends to meander on the mundane. Just the same, there are loads of facts about the different band members in The Specials and other 2-Tone bands and if you're a fan of the second wave of ska, this is a must own.

I know I'll get flamed for saying all this but I have to be honest in my opinion. So, if you haven't read either book, read this one first then read Staples' to keep the momentum going on an upswing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By L. Haynes on November 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent insider's look at The Specials & the 2-Tone movement. Very funny, and detailed view of how the band evolved, songs were written & recorded, & performed live. I especially enjoyed the U.S. Tour diary, and cool photos.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Arnold on August 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Now more than ever, the messages carried by the music of The Specials are pertinent. The economic strife that accompanied the original ska progenitors in Britain in the 1950s (and in the late 70s) is back again, and the need for the pure, danceable music like The Specials played is back too. This book takes a humorous look at life in in an up-and-coming band and yet is tinged with the dread that happens when the downsides of the music industry rear their ugly heads. If you are a fan of The Specials or of Ska music, this book is a must-read. It is very well written, and in a conversational tone which makes it an easy read. Horace Panter is a wonderful story teller, and the stories and personalities represented in the book are highly entertaining.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Wisniewski on November 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
Admiringly as a Ska fan and having my own band, this book was a no-brainer for me to read. I was pleased to find this book an enjoyable read that was hard to put down! Horace Panter, bassist for the Specials, is very candid and honest in his writings and recollections of the band's fast rise to stardom and rapid destruction. By the time I discovered Ska and the Specials here in America in 1980, the ride was all but over for them. This was a chance to follow their path from the start and get behind the scenes of being in the middle of a music phenomenon. How their own label, "Two-Tone" started from a modest idea to being the catalist for a whole new Ska revival, birthing many great bands. I only wish I had all this insight when I met the man himself back in the mid-90's! Anyone who has been or is currently in a band will connect to many of the great stories. Music fans will enjoy the many experiences this group had in just a few short years and how Stardom can destroy what a band sets out to accomplish. A great slice of rock and roll history! Careful what you wish for! For the grass is always greener...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lovblad on April 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
While I was never abig fan of the Specials, I was still enough interested to buy this book and I am glad I did. This is one of the better rock biographies to have appeared lately. It is very different from the usual drivel about how many groupies and how much drugs they have done which seems to be atrend in recent music books. The Specials were one of the most important groups back in the early 80's in Britain. The degree of coverage and adulation they got in the rock press was very irritating and which more explains why I did not like them. However this book is a very entertaining recount of it's authors years as the bassist of the band and it does provide quite some inetersting insights into the creation of music and touring which is usually not present in other books. Really recommended
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dan Wagman on June 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A really Very enjoyable accounting that covers The Specials (and their Two-Tone label) from their early days in Coventry in the late 1970's to their early demise in the beginning of the 1980's. From "Gangsters" to "GhostTown", Horace relays his experiences and observations (some of the bands' dynamics and evolution, playing, recording and touring) with keen wit and the perspective of a person who was clearly a fan of the music (and music scene) first, who would soon become an integral part of an innovative and important band that was able to defy gravity for a little (too-short) while...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gogol on February 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A great book that charters the life and times of the Specials, probably one of the most influential bands of their time. No "I was there" No "I did this I did that" Just an honest straight forward account of what it was to be in the band through good times and bad.

Though the book is detailed it reads almost like a reflective diary which I suppose in a way it is. For anyone who loved the Specials then it will bring back some memories, for anyone who has just found them now or just loves to read biographies of bands or musicians this is definitely the book for you.
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