Hundreds of people have taken part in a scooter ride-out in Terry Hall’s home city of Coventry to mark what would have been his 64th birthday.
Hall, singer with The Specials, died in December of pancreatic cancer.
Scooters were a symbol of the Two Tone scene of which Hall was an icon, at its peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
“The whole mods and rude boys, it all just amalgamated into one scene. They all rode scooters; they all looked sharp,” said organiser Richard Willie.
Hannah Tobin, from the city, said the sheer number of scooters who turned out from all over the West Midlands had been “absolutely amazing”.
“It was quite moving and brilliant seeing them all in convoy to remember him,” she said.
Suki Singh, who helped to organise the event, said many people had been in touch, asking to take part,
“We’ve had other clubs – CV Collective, All or Nothing, groups from Solihull, Kettering and Northampton – that all wanted to get involved and as soon as people found out about it – it just got sort of bigger and bigger,” he said.
“Some things pass you by at the time but suddenly, years later, we realise how big Two Tone was, and a massive part was played, obviously, by The Specials.
The city’s 2-Tone Village has music and stalls to raise funds for Tonic, a charity supported by Hall, that aims to help people’s mental health and recovery through music.
The top end of Marlborough Road became a scooter park for the day, affecting parking in some roads, the village said.
The Specials spearheaded the Two Tone and ska scenes, their music reflecting an era of upheaval, unemployment and racial tension.
I’ve just been up to Terry Hall’s birthday scooter ride out. Absolutely amazing at the sheer number of scooters who turned out from all over the West Midlands. It was quite moving and brilliant seeing them all in convoy to remember him. Love, love, love. pic.twitter.com/4u5BYXRmqC
— Hannah (@bodudley82) March 19, 2023
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They split in 1981 but hits such as Ghost Town and Too Much Too Young ensured their legacy.
Hall went on to found Fun Boy Three, The Colourfield and Vegas, and also performed as a solo artist.
The Specials reformed in 2008, featuring Hall, but without co-founder Jerry Dammers.
Mr Willie, who runs the Lounge Lizards Scooter Club, said Hall had “touched all of our souls”.
“We all loved Terry Hall,” said Mr Willie.
“When he died, we just wanted to do something to honour his legacy and all the music he made, which was a massive part of our lives.”
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