(Johannesburg, South Africa) – Calling them close for what his family assumed would final pronouncements of love, former South African president Nelson Mandela instead whispered a shock deathbed confession: “I don’t like The Special AKA’s ‘Nelson Mandela’ and I never have.”
“Obviously, I approved of the sentiment,” he sighed, managing the merest trace of a smile. “But I always found the lyrics trite and the ‘party’ air a bit forced.”
“It’s a problem with a lot of Jerry Dammers’ music, but especially The Special AKA, that tendency towards polemicism,” continued the anti-aparteid revolutionary. “Please don’t let them over-play it on the radio when I’m gone.”
With his dying breath he allowed that, “‘Ghost Town’ was awesome,” before closing his eyes for the last time.Editor’s Note: A couple more from a batch of records given to me a few years ago by a friend. I’ve played it a few times today to remember the great man.