Saturday, 29 April 2017

40 years on.

This is a weekend full of anniversaries that mean a lot to me and I'm afraid I'm going to write about them over the next couple of days.

40 years ago, The Jam brought out their debut single; "In the City".

"In the city there's a thousand men in uniforms
And I've heard they now have the right to kill a man
We wanna say, we gonna tell ya
About the young idea
And if it don't work, at least we said we've tried

In the city, in the city
In the city, in the city
In the city there's a thousand things I want to say to you"

The single didn't really get anywhere but for a section of punks (like me) this was something new and really special.

In those days the band must have had a sympathetic record company because it re-issued the record in September of that year to have another go.

I was out and about with some friends that September, we'd been to another concert and on our way home we decided to pop in to 'The Nashville Rooms' in West London, an old style pub that had live bands on every night.

We'd heard The Jam were playing and that turned out to be right. Unfortunately, apart from a small number of punks near the stage, this was a record company organised showcase for the re-release of 'In the City' and the venue was full of record company execs, A and R men, journalists and other freeloaders.

The bouncers were as aggressive as usual and wouldn't let us in and, despite all our efforts to sneak past them, distract them or generally blag our way in......we failed.

However, they didn't stop us lurking in the doorway and we watched the whole set from there. The only problem was that all we could see was The Jam from their knees down.

I have to say that I would rather see The Jam from the knees down in 1977 to almost any other band I've seen.

It was unforgettable and because of that I don't think I missed them live in London for about the next year and a half.

See what I mean?

Contrary to many fans I don't regret that Paul Weller broke up the band five years later to start up 'The Style Council'. Times were changing and Weller took the MODS much further towards their origins than The Jam ever could have.

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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