Remember these guys?
Ska bands were just all fun–they’re my memory of party music in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Ska bands–English and U.S. American alike–were frequently racially and gender-integrated, too. Anti-racist, anti-skinhead, and the Specials (for example) were anti-domestic violence and pro-birth control. In graduate school, I liked to dance at the North Star Bar in Philadelphia when the Toasters were in town. This was back in the day before they banned smoking everywhere, so I remember coming home and having to shower and shampoo before bed. (Otherwise, the next morning was especially nauseating.) Good (if polluting) times!
And besides: without ska, we never would have understood the rock-and-roll potential of the trombone!