Simon Jordan bribed The Specials to reform

Virgin Radio

13 Jul 2023, 15:00

Credit: Virgin Radio 80s Plus

Taking a break from his talkSport show White and Jordan, Simon Jordan told Virgin Radio's 80s Plus host Steve Deyner about how he was crucial to The Specials getting the band back together.

The former Crystal Palace owner was pressed by Deyner to confirm whether it was "true that you (Simon Jordan) gave The Specials a million pounds to reform?"

It seemed that Jordan was more than willing to admit that there was a least an element of truth to the long standing rumour.

He said: "What I did was, because I was so determined to reform them, and they were beyond reforming, I spent time with all of them. (Including) the late great John Bradbury, the late greatest Terry Hall. God rest his soul, I went to his funeral this year.

"There was such difficulty," Simon continued: "I was determined, this band will reform and I was in that frame of mind where I had the influence, and the ability, and the money to make decisions."

Not only did he start getting in touch with all the members of the two-tone pioneers, but Jordan started utilising some of his famed business connections in his cunning plan.

The talkSport host said that he'd hobnobbed with owners of large companies 'SJM productions' and 'Metropolis', which are both titans within music's gig and touring industries. Essentially, it would appear that Jordan was organising a reform tour before he'd even got the Too Much, Too Young band back together.

Eventually he was able to have a chat with the band's keyboardist and founder Jerry Dammers.

"So I said to the boys, I said to Jerry Dammers actually who was a strange little character, looked like a refugee from Middle Earth. I said: 'listen, if it need be I'll give you guys a million quid.'

And he said: ' you haven't told the rest of the band have you?'"

Jordan went on " 'we're not going to do it. We're not going to do it. Did see what happen last time put my head above the parapet? When I did Rock Against Racism with Nelson Mandela, and the Nelson Mandela song, they cut all my phones off."

A rather perplexing answer, considering that phones aren't exactly what the former owner of One2one would want to talk about these days.

He (Jordan) asked the confused musician: "What's the conspiracy theory you're referring to Jeremy? Maybe you just didn't pay the bill."

Doubling down on his ambitious plan and using some of his boardroom wit, Jordan then said: "if you don't reform Jerry, I am going to buy the back catalogue from EMI. That's what I am going to do!"

Then, taking maybe a little more credit than is actually deserved, Jordan ended the conversation with: "So yeah, I got them to reform."

You can listen to Virgin Radio 80 Plus HERE. You can also listen on DAB+ in London and Central Scotland and on smart speakers across the UK, as well as via theVirgin Radio UK app.