The Specials frontman TERRY HALL has dismissed accusations he banished fellow singer Jerry Dammers from their comeback tour.
The reformed British ska band has lined up a string of gigs across the U.K. in the spring (09) after their successful appearance at Britain's Bestival show in September (08) - the first time they played together since their 1981 split.
Founding member Dammers won't be joining the group on the forthcoming tour - alleging in a statement in December (08) that his bandmates had "driven him out" of plans for a reformation.
But Hall insists it was Dammers' decision to opt out of the reunion tour - and claims the keyboard player and songwriter will regret missing out on the experience.
He says, "I've read Jerry's statement and I just don't get it. 'They're trying to kick me out of the band' - not at all mate, not at all. I spoke to Jerry night after night all through 2008. He wanted to do one date, in (the band's native city) Coventry, in front of 30,000 people, at the football stadium. I thought that was a bit of a Take That thing. We wanted to play 2,000 to 3,000-sized venues.
"I don't think he likes the idea of touring, to be honest. I think he hid that a bit in his statement. But apart from that, I have no idea why Jerry isn't doing it.
"Hand on my heart, this is what I feel is a bit sad for Jerry. He's f**king missing out. He's missing out on being in this incredible band. We haven't changed that much, we still take the p**s out of each other, there's an understanding that hasn't gone away. And he's missing out on that, and it's sad for him, to be honest."