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February 26, 1980 - Image 5

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1980-02-26

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, February 26, 1980-Page 5
Specials concert: A lteral riot

There's, bad planning, and then
there's bad planning. It seemed Satur-
day night that the management of Cen-
ter Stage could do no right. Through a
last-minute change in booking, a con-
cert originally scheduled for Bookies in
Detroit by Britain's latest wunderkin-
ds, The Specials, was tacked onto a
concert by local heavy metal bar band,
Teezer. That sort of booking is inex-
able. So was Teezer. My mother
always taught me that if I didn't have
anything nice to say then I shouldn't
say anything at all, so I won't mention
Teezer again. . . except for a bit of ad-
vice to the aforementioned group:
Louder is not necessarily better.
SO, the entire night was set up for
conflict. The disco-retread, Coliseum-
like interior of the Center Stage was
ready for the opponents, with.Teezer's
fans playing the lions, The Specials'
ns playing the gladiators, and the
uncers ... Well, the bouncers were a
whole different war. Not only did the
Specials' fans object quite loudly to
being forced to tolerate the opening act,
but many Teezer; fans stayed through
the Specials' set to wreak vocal
vengeance. Verbal abuse was not the
limit to the evening's expression of ten-
sion, but it certainly was preferable to
the unrelieved stress as we waited for
he Specials to enter the arena.
IT IS QUITE a tribute to The Specials
that they were able to deliver their
audience (at least those who were in-
terested) from this all-too-realistic
scene to a dancing euphoria. They
brilliantly fuse the contagiously
twisting rhythms of early reggae
("ska") to the drive of punk and end up
with a whirlwind of irrestible energy.
During some of their most frantic num-
bers, they had to have half as many
padies on stage as group members just
keep the seven crew-cut lads' cords
untangled as they careened all over the
stage.- One of the vocalists, Neville,

never ceased to move throughout the
entire concert. While reserved to the
microphone, he insisted on running
around in circles as if he was all hepped
up with nowhere to go. Jerry Dammers,
the organist and brains behind the
band, occasionally got so carried away
that he had to come out from behind his
Vox Continental to do a toothless class-
clown jig with Lynval Golding, one of
the guitarists.

In contrast to all of that enthusiasm,
Terry Hall, the lead singer (and the one
with the scary eyebrows), stood tensely
motionless, his expressionless face
matching his expressionless voice. The
two vocalists actually made a nice pair
- Neville with his unbounded energy,
black face, and white shirt; Terry with
his menacing stare, white face and
black suit. The only time he smiled was
when dedicating a song to "that twat
over there who keeps booing us between
numbers." Even aside from Terry's
severe look, The Specials' appearance
(sort of "neo-skinhead": crew cut, thin
tie, dark suit, and white socks) is cer-
tainly alien to America.
STILL, THEY seem to be doing quite
well for themselves. Their Elvis
Costello-produced album is selling well
enough here in America and is a huge
hit in Britain. That's been their story
from the beginning, though. The first
five singles on their own label, Two-
Tone Records, all made Top Ten, a feat
which has only been equalled by Apple,

the Beatle's old label.
If their concert is any indication, they
certainly deserve their success. By
halfway through their set, they had
people crammed onto the dance floor
and the overflow dancing in the aisles.
When the dance floor got too tight, a,
couple of skinheads from the audience,
joined the band on stage to dance to
"Nite Klub." (Key line and general
omen: "What am'I doing here?")
That was their first mistake. Their
second was when one of the dancers ac-
tually got off the stage when the boun-
cers motioned them to come off. That's
when the proverbial excrement hit the
proverbial air circulation device. Of
course, the bouncers propelled the guy
right toward and through the nearest
exit. The Specials stopped playing in
shock and quickly demanded that the
bouncers let the absconded fan back in
the door. When the bouncers refused,
smirking superiorly, The Specials left
the stage. The crowd's shouts rang up-
ward into volvanic force. The bouncers
only smiled more sadistically.
AFTER FIFTEEN minutes of clap-
ping and pounding on tables (oc-
casionally punctuated by the crash of a
beer mug pounded just a bit too hard on
the tabletop) the Specials returned to
the stage. After snarling "Respect
human beings" in the general direction
of the stony bouncers, they launched in-
to their hit, "Gangsters." In no time,
the crowd was piling up on the stage
faster than the bouncers could do
anything about it. Before long, they had
what must have been close to one hun-
dred people on stage with them, dan-
cing and hugging them.
The concert could very well have en-
ded on that triumphant note, but the
crowd wanted more and The Specials
were glad to give it. Thunderous ap-
plause brought them back for yet two
more encores. The second of this set
was "You're Wondering Now," which
also ends the album with a bittersweet

a capella refrain -
"o ' t-oI* 4ring tnii
It hatto toi
.1o e vottknow.
-repeated endlessly. Before they'd
sung this refrain more than twice, the
entire audience had joined in. As they
left the stage, the audience continued to
sing. The feeling was surprisingly com-
parable to singing "Give Peace a Chan-
ce" at a' candlelit peace rally. All the
tensions of the evening were behind
But not all the dancing. After we had
sung the refrain over and over again for
what seemed like fifteen minutes, The
Specials returned for again two more
encores. One of them was "Gangsters"
again, I guess because they'd run out of
songs. There was no doubt in our minds
as we filed out of the gaudy fast-food
music hall that The Specials had given
their all. What's more, they had even
won the war by simply standing their

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'U' study says inflation hurts
some firms more than others


Gateway to a great way of life.


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f f r
N r
rff rf F.

While inflation can be a severe
problem for American business, the
impact of rising prices is much less
noticeable in some firms than others,
according to thfee University
researchers i& he Graduate School of
Business Administration.
The researchers-Raymond Reilly,
Thonas Gies and Timothy
Nantell-found in a recent study that
he consequences of inflation on
inancial performance varied with
management policies rather than with
the inflation rate in the industry. Their
study focused on the performance of
wholesale-distributors in four product
areas: metals, foods, drugs, and
building materials.
According to Reilly, 'an associate
professor of finance, the study involved
642 firms at its first level.
'WE SENT OUT a questionnaire to
at many firms," he said. "It was sort
of a two-phase effort. We wanted to
determine the degree of susceptibility
to inflation."
Susceptibility to inflation may varyj
according to several factors, such as,
the variability of product lines, the
number of suppliers, and the number of
customers, he explained. A firm locked
into a customer market, serving two or
three customers who largely dictate
erms, will suffer under inflationary
* onditions more so than a less
restricted firm.
"We then sent a second questionnaire
to those indicating susceptibility,"

Reilly said. The second questionnaire,
which was sent to 250 to 300 firms,
analyzed management policies.
"We tried to control for
representativeness, and that's why we
chose those," Reilly said. "They
provide us with examples across the
spectrum of price change.
"WE WANTED to know if there was
a difference. From our perspective,
there was really no difference."
The researchers found that the
average inflation rate varied from 6.2
per cent for drugs to 12.3 per cent for
building materials, compared with 9.7
per cent for all commodities.
-Reilly said that, for purposes of the
study, the current inflation rate
(approximately 13 per cent) was
defined as high. The 1971-72 three to five
per cent rate was used as the low
reference point, he said.
The researchers studied specific
management policy areas, such as
credit policy, number of product lines,
and pricing behavior.
One study question sought to analyze
pricing behavior, Reilly said. In a
hypothetical situation in which a
competitor decided to reduce prices,
the most common response was to wait
out the situation, the study found.
according to the rate of inflation, the
researchers noted.
"We found that a high rate of inflation
did change policies in that firms were
less likely Ao let customers dictate
policies," Reilly said. "In general, the

result we found was that firms are
more likely to enforce terms. If they
don't get their money from the
customer, they have to borrow at
very high terms."
The variety of product lines may also
be influenced by the inflation rate, the
study determined.
"In the past, wholesale firms have
tried to be everything to everybody,"
Reilly said. "Today, there is a tendency
to cut out some of those lines.
"Managers are acting in a way that I
think leads to greater efficiency," he
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