Check out our book spotlight on Sound and Track Mag.
Shout out to them for recognizing one of the influences of the book, the Specials!
click on the link!
This post will double as a book spotlight and blog post. It explains part of the inspiration for The Rude Boy USA Series.
I will do the second one in late fall. That will introduce John’s character.
Back in 2009, I went to London, England at Brixton O2 Academy for the first time in my life. I went there as an excuse to see The Specials perform. I use concerts as an excuse to travel.
At the time, I kept getting questions on when I was going to start writing again. It had been fifteen years by then since I sent out my first story. I’ve told people that I needed to live a little more in order to put out the kind of story I always wanted to write.
While at this show, The Specials started to play one of their biggest songs, Gangsters.
The first line sparked an idea. “Bernie Rhodes knows, don’t argue!”
Then it hit me. A black and white SKA band singing about gangsters and Bernie Rhodes was their leader. Bingo! The very first character I created was Bernard “Bernie Banks” Rhodos. I made him the founder of the Chimera Investment Group. This older gentleman managing these young men in his gangster operation. Rude Boy USA was born. After that, the story began to take shape. The song Gangsters samples the song Al Capone by Prince Buster. Al Capone being the most famous gangster of all time, the idea made sense.
I did not use any of the band members themselves (outside of the manager) as inspiration for the other characters. I could not make it work with the storyline. I decided to look for other outside influences for the story but the concept remained.
Rude Boy USA is heavily Ska themed and if you take a look at the soundtrack there are a lot of SKA/ROCKSTEADY music listed.
Toots and the Maytals
Eric ‘Monty’ Morris
And some NON SKA bands such as (Noosha) FOX
and others are on there repeatedly. Many of their songs influenced the theme of the series.
I am proud of how it turned out. I think that when people think of SKA/ROCKSTEADY, they do not have any idea about the great music that was produced in the early years, perhaps their only knowledge comes from groups like No Doubt (whom I love actually.)
So when you read the series, keep the music in mind.