Original Rude Boy

Original Rude Boy (2009) is the autobiography of Neville Staple, vocalist in ska band The Specials. The book was launched in May, 2009 to coincide with the reunion tour of The Specials. It sets out to chart the black British influence on the second wave of ska which originated in Coventry in the late 1970s. In particular, Staple's involvement in the rude boy scene.[1][2]

Original Rude Boy
Original Rude Boy.jpg
AuthorNeville Staple and Tony McMahon. Foreword by Pete Waterman
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherAurum Press
Publication date
Media typePrint (hardback & paperback)

Major themesEdit

In Original Rude Boy, Neville Staple describes the Sound system (Jamaican) scene that developed in Britain in the 1960s and 1970s. He became a DJ with a system called Jah Baddis alongside future Specials road crew members Trevor Evans and Rex Griffiths. Staple candidly describes how he slipped into a life of crime, eventually resulting in his conviction for burglary and a period in borstal. This part of the book has attracted criticism from some ska fans.[3]

At the Holyhead Youth Club in Coventry, Staple first heard a band called The Coventry Automatics rehearsing and became their roadie. After a couple of years touring with them, he joined the band on vocals and they renamed themselves The Specials.[4]

Staple details his involvement in the Third Wave or American wave of ska music. His production work including time in the studio with US ska bands like No Doubt, Unwritten Law and Rancid. Original Rude Boy details how Staple spent several years in California working on various production projects before returning to the UK in 2001.

The Specials announced a reunion tour in 2008 with sell-out UK dates in April and May, 2009. Specials founder member Jerry Dammers refused to join the tour and Staple gives his explanation why Dammers declined to tour with other band members.[5][6]


  1. ^ "Rude Boy Neville still in with the ladies". Metro.co.uk. 2009-04-20. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  2. ^ "Huge turnout for ORIGINAL RUDE BOY signing in Birmingham - Blake Friedmann Literary, TV and Film Agency Ltd". Blakefriedmann.co.uk. 2009-04-27. Archived from the original on 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  3. ^ "2 Tone Records - Original Rude Boy - From Borstal to the Specials - A Life in Crime and Music - 9781845134808". 2-tone.info. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  4. ^ "The Band". The Specials. Archived from the original on 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  5. ^ Bushell, Garry (2009-05-03). "Simply The Best 7 Days A Week :: News :: Specials Nev beds 3 groupies a night". Daily Star. Retrieved 2009-06-21.
  6. ^ "News | Jerry Dammers Damns Specials Reunion". The Quietus. Retrieved 2009-06-21.

External linksEdit