There's a beautiful piece in today's Times on the UB40 split. Pete Paphides (when did he drop the 'r'?) talks to Ali Campbell and tries to cut through the distrust and bitterness of the split to get to the truth. And for all Campbell's openness, it's a quote from UB40 drummer James Brown which sounds the most convincing:
Campbell, impressively, manages to combine name-dropping with bitterness:
Sadly, no further light is allowed to fall on Macca's congratulations - did he call? Was it a chance meeting in a bistro somewhere? Was there a counterstrike, with James Brown rushing to get a telegram to Heather Mills applauding her progress through Dancing With The Stars?
The highlight of the encounter, though, is Campbell pretty much dropping his old chum Chrissie Hynde in it:
“She saw my band and said how brilliant they sounded. Then she says: ‘I’ve almost had it with my band as well. We went into the studio and it just sounded like the Pretenders . . . and who wants to hear that apart from four fat lesbians in Ohio? I wanna do what you’re doing.’ ”
We're sure Hynde will be delighted to be recorded as suggesting the Pretenders fanbase is restricted to the obese Sapphics of Akron. As, indeed, will her fanbase. Having done his bit to shake UB40 to pieces, it looks like Campbell is keen to destroy some other bands.