Passings: John Bradbury, Drummer For the Specials (1953 - 2015)

by Paul Cashmere, Noise11

The Specials drummer John Bradbury has died at the age of 62.

Bradbury joined The Special AKA following the split of the original Specials in 1981 with three members becoming Fun Boy Three. John (JB) was the band’s drummer for the hit Nelson Mandela.

As a songwriter John wrote The Selecter, the double A side of Gangsters for The Specials.

Bradbury was also the drummer for the reunited Specials in 2009 after getting together for an appearance on Later…With Jools Holland. That lead to a full-blown reunion and a tour of Australia and Japan. The latter day Specials recorded the live album More … Or Less … The Specials Live from their European tour of 2011.

The Specials announced the death of John Bradbury in a tweet:


They later issued a full statement:
It is with deepest regret that we have to announce the very sad news that our much loved husband and father John “Brad” Bradbury passed away on Monday the 28th of December. Brad’s drumming was the powerhouse behind The Specials and it was seen as a key part to the Two Tone sound.

He was much respected in the world of drumming and his style of reggae and ska was seen as genuinely ground breaking when The Specials first hit the charts in 1979. He was an integral part of The Specials reforming in 2008 and toured with them extensively up to the present day.

His contribution to the world of music can not be understated and he will much missed by family, friends and fans alike. It is the families sincerest wish that they are allowed the time to remember him privately.

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