Damon Albarn recalls first encounter with The Specials’ Terry Hall

3 March 2023, 23:14

Damon Albarn remembers The Specials' Terry Hall
Damon Albarn remembers The Specials' Terry Hall. Picture: 1. David Wolff - Patrick/Redferns/Getty 2. Michael Putland/Getty Images 3. Mike Lewis Photography/Redferns/Getty

By Jenny Mensah

The Gorillaz co-creator and Blur rocker has paid tribute to The Specials frontman and revealed he didn't get "the chance to say goodbye".

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Damon Albarn has talked about the first time he was in the midst of Terry Hall, calling him "the coolest human being on earth".

The Specials frontman sadly passed away on 18th December following a private battle with cancer and the Gorillaz co-creator, who was Hall's friend and co-collaborator, has recalled his first memory of the legend.

“I was a kid of 14," he told Radio X's Dan O'Connell. "I somehow managed to get to a filming of Top Of The Pops and I found myself standing underneath Terry Hall and thought ‘this is the coolest human being on earth'.".

Albarn went on to say how much of an inspiration the The Specials were and revealed he wanted them to support Blur's reunion dates at Wembley this summer, but he didn't realise how unwell Hall was.

Speaking of the Two Much Too Young legend he went on: "He was a lovely, beautiful, fun person and I didn’t know he was so ill, so I never got a chance to say goodbye”.

READ MORE: Damon Albarn "never imagined" Stevie Nicks' Gorillaz collab

Shortly after news of Terry Hall's passing last year, the Blur frontman shared a particularly moving tribute to the musician, which saw him perform a piano cover of The Specials‘ 1980 hit Friday Night, Saturday Morning.

He shared it alongside the caption: “Terry, you meant the world to me. I love you.”

READ MORE: The Specials' Terry Hall told bandmates to keep cancer battle private, says Horace Panter

The Specials announced the news of Hall's passing on Twitter the day before, writing: “It is with great sadness that we announce the passing, following a brief illness, of Terry, our beautiful friend, brother and one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters and lyricists this country has ever produced.

“Terry was a wonderful husband and father and one of the kindest, funniest, and most genuine of souls. His music and his performances encapsulated the very essence of life… the joy, the pain, the humour, the fight for justice, but mostly the love.

“He will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him and leaves behind the gift of his remarkable music and profound humanity. Terry often left the stage at the end of The Specials’ life-affirming shows with three words… ‘Love Love Love’."

They added: “We would ask that everyone respect the family’s privacy at this very sad time.”

A funeral service for the musician took place on Tuesday 3rd January at the Golders Green Crematorium in north west London with The Charlatans' Tim Burgess and Ocean Colour Scene's Steve Cradock among the mourners.

READ MORE: Why The Specials recorded Ghost Town