Thanks to his sister Eky (who I work with), today I had the honour of meeting the legend that is Ranking Roger.

For those of you that don’t know, Ranking Roger was a member of The Beat (or ‘English Beat’ if you’re reading from the US) who had hits with songs such as ‘Ranking Full Stop’, ‘Mirror in the Bathroom’, ‘Hands Off She’s Mine’, ‘Tears of a Clown’, ‘Can’t Get Used to Losing You’ and ‘Whine and Grine/ Stand Down Margaret’ amongst others. Without any doubt, Ranking Roger was the coolest member of the band and the one that me and my white friends all used to try to impersonate and also want to be…!!!

The Beat were part of the 2 Tone movement (paraphrased from Wikipedia):

2 Tone was a music genre created in England in the late 1970s by fusing elements of ska, punk rock, rocksteady, reggae and pop music.

The 2 Tone sound was developed by English musicians (mostly based in the West Midlands area) who grew up hearing 1960s Jamaican music and decided to play a similar style of music. They combined that style with influences from contemporary punk and pop music. The new music genre (and associated subculture) became known as 2 Tone because most of the bands were signed to the record label 2 Tone Records at some point. Other record labels associated with the 2 Tone sound were Stiff Records and Go Feet Records. Bands considered part of the 2 Tone genre include The Specials, The Selecter, The Beat, Madness, Bad Manners and The Bodysnatchers.

Many people think the 2 Tone name refers to black-and-white outfits worn by rude boys and skinheads, and to unity between black people and white people.

As a teenager, I was heavily influenced by the 2-Tone movement. Not only was the music fantastic but it was also highly political and had lots to say, not least about bringing people of different colour and cultures together. Because of this, it made me think about and indeed challenge some of the prejudices and stereotypes that I had grown up with. Undeniably, 2 Tone has left an indelible mark on me and has helped shape some of the values and principles that I believe in today.

Meeting Ranking Roger then even after all these years was something that I really appreciated and so offer my sincerest thanks to both Eky and Roger for making it happen.

“Funny how the best things never last for every day…” (From, ‘Hands Off She’s Mine’)


3 thoughts on ““Ranking Full Stop…”

  1. i grew up in the same road and at the same time as ranking roger i can assure you it was nothing like what he says, we never saw the nf in stechford ever, and everybody was friendly. my husband and i have lived in stechford all our lives and there was a great community spirit then and still is now between all cultures.

    1. Hi
      I am replying to what Joanne said i think she has missed something i doubt Roger is making this up.on less you are black or Irish and i am guessing you are white and English so how would you have seen the likes of the NF you had nothing to fear you would have been blind to the fact.when a person has a label on his head because he or she is not the same colour or not of the same race then they stand out. when this happens people become aware of what is going on around them because of fear and this hatred towards them .now if you ask your husband a question what way his father felt when he came to Birmingham from Ireland you would find that he to was very aware of all these different groups that hated everything that wasn’t British or because there skin was a different colour. you married to someone of Irish decent even your husband would of at times felt alienated .i know this because i was born in Birmingham and lived not to far from stechford. i felt alienated from when i was a young boy growing up there .my father is Irish and use to work in the rover car plant at the time of the Birmingham bombing and he had to stay off work for 8 weeks because .as the saying goes being Irish meant that he was also guilty.and his so call mates he worked with called him all the names under the sun and threatened him so he had take off work for his own safety.so please before you comment again think about what you are saying . Roger was right in what he said. it just that there was people out there. that couldn’t see what was happening around them as it didn’t affect them.and it is still happening today pure ignorants

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