From The Jam Should Go Back To Where They Came From

We get press releases on a continual basis here at ‘loper HQ, but not every press release is touting something that cuts us to our very souls.

Here’s one that does:

Rock legends From The Jam are putting the final touches on their soon-to-be-released live DVD. The two-disc set will feature their blow-out performance at London’s Kentish Town Forum as well as in-depth interviews with each of the band members. The release date is TBD, but in the meantime here is a fun sneak preview of the band performing their hit song “Down In The Tube Station At Midnight”

Not “The Jam.” But “From The Jam.” Rick Buckler & Bruce Foxton? Yes. Paul Weller? Not so much. He went away from The Jam in 1982, never to return.

I realize that this type of shit happens all of the time, and will happen forever, but The Jam play a special part in ‘Loper history. In the early 1980s, loving The Jam — especially if you didn’t identify as a Mod — wasn’t as commonplace as it is today, so an essential part of the glue that brought us together at KFSR was the realization that long before we’d ever met, we’d all seen The Jam in concert.

It’s the little things, ya know?

Look, look, look . . . Rick Buckler and Bruce Foxton were without a doubt an essential part of what made The Jam so awesomee in the first place. Just check out “Going Underground” or “Funeral Pyre” or “Town Called Malice.” The Jam were a great, great band. Weller wrote some amazing songs, sure, but all three of them were responsible for that sound. Hell, you can see that by comparing their 5-year catalog to everything Weller has done since.

But that “all three of them” works both ways. Even if you replace Paul Weller with two guys, it ain’t going to be the same. That said, I really don’t have a problem with Buckler & Foxton making a few bucks from The Jam’s memory by going on the road and playing gigs to aging geezers desperate to recapture their faded Mod glory. They’re essentially a glorified tribute band, nothing wrong with that, even if it’s not my cup of tea.

It’s another thing entirely to release a live CD and DVD of the spectacle.

Who is going to buy it? With plenty of in-print offerings from the real The Jam, who is going to buy anything from the From The Jam? It just seems so unnecessary.

I think that it comes down to this: since the real The Jam isn’t performing, it’s fine for a tribute band to go out there and play those songs. Yay! However, it ain’t so good for that same tribute band to be competing against the real band in terms of selling product.

That’s just my opinion, but then again, maybe I know nothing of the modern world.

13 Responses to “From The Jam Should Go Back To Where They Came From”

  1. Kirk says:

    Oh man Jim, I meant to tell you about this a while back. We came out of a show at the Troubadour and they were handing out gig fliers for From The Jam.

    My head exploded.

    It’s this sort of thing that crushes any hope of Weller ever getting back together with the other two. Not that any of us would want that at this point.

  2. FTJ fan says:

    What a poor article. I’d buy any DVD of Bruce and Rick playing Jam songs live over anything Weller has done since – urrr – 1995, more likely Wild Wood in 1993.

    Russell Hastings is also a very good front man and sings the songs HIS way.

    Let’s face it. Anything ‘new’ that is released by From The Jam is bound to be compared with The Jam 1977-1982.

    But in reality, who cares if its as good, better, or worse? We all know Weller’s best songs are Jam songs! Even his solo stuff couldn’t compare to it.

    Comparing any FTJ with contemporary acts of 2008, the Style Council or anything Weller has done in the past 15 years is more realsitic.

    I’ll buy the FTJ DVD. Can’t wait for it to come out.

    Bruce’s solo stuff was very good in 1983/84 – it sold poorly because of bad marketing from Arista records, as much as his songwriting skills. People also forget that getting a hit like ‘Freak’ into the charts in 1983 (Number 23! I have it on clear vinyl) meant you had to sell HUGE amounts of records – unlike today where record sales have plummeted.

    I really wish journalists would stop giving Bruce and Rick a hard time. They were – and still are – fantastic musicians with a lot to offer.

  3. Jim says:

    I have a different memory of the quality of Bruce Foxton’s solo material.

    Also, if FTJ wanted to be compared to other contemporary acts, they’d make, you know, contemporary music. But since they’re making music by The Jam, that’s what they get compared to.

    Finally, plenty of great musicians with a lot to offer end up doing so by playing with other artists — moving forward, as it were.

  4. Scooby Dubious says:

    Yes, but have you actually SEEN them play?

    No, of course you haven’t. It’s much easier to be condescending when you’re talking out of your ass.

  5. Jim says:

    Well, @Scooby, in a manner of speaking, I have seen them play.

    I saw the real The Jam back in San Francisco in 1981. Foxton and Buckler playing, you know, Paul Weller’s songs with, you know, Paul Weller.

    And naturally, in your rush to defend the fake The Jam, you missed my point: that it’s OK for people to indulge in nostalgia for things that the missed the first time around by seeing a tribute act, but it’s bad for the tribute act to put product out in the marketplace that competes for sales with the real act.

    Oh, and lame that anybody would buy that product.

  6. Scooby Dubious says:

    Yes, continue with the condescending manner there when you actually HAVEN’T seen them play.

    Let me just take you down a notch in your imagined music-geek hierarchy of cool there pal. I TOO saw The Jam play back when they were still together, you know, with Paul Weller? You know? OH! SNAP! (This is where you chime in with the old “re-living your teen years” fallback insult, right?)

    Whether or not YOU consider them to be the “real Jam” is completely irrelevant as they aren’t promoting themselves as the “real Jam”. But just as food for thought.. were the Rolling Stones the “real” Rolling Stones after Brian Jones left the band? Didn’t Jones START that band?

    But I digress, the point is…you HAVEN’T even seen this band play!…PERIOD. Yet, you’re sure full of pompous condescending hot air aren’t you?

    I haven’t bought this DVD, and I don’t have any intention of ever doing so…
    because I have actually seen them play live! You, on the other hand, feel no need to actually know of what you speak.

    Now THAT is lame. But typical.

  7. Jim says:

    That I am full of pompous condescending hot air is not disputed. As it was in the beginning, is now, and shall always be, world without end amen.

    I do love all of those great Brian Jones songs that the Rolling Stones had to stop playing after they had him killed.

    Because these two situations? Exactly parallel.

    Once again, I should point out that seeing From The Jam is fine, no better or worse than seeing any other tribute band.

    But weren’t The Jam — the real The Jam — totally awesome in concert? Do you not own all of the albums, maybe the CD box set, and possibly even the DVD of the videos? And why? Because The Jam were one of the all-time great bands, and owning those records back then meant something.

    And yet, despite the fact that you’ve seen From The Jam, you have no intention of owning the DVD. And why? Because From The Jam mean nothing.

    So thanks for making my point!!!

  8. Pete in Miami says:

    Wow I am not the only one who has heard of The Jam in the states?
    Hey we “modest” folks might …

    “spread some loving all around
    Old fashioned causes like that still stand
    Gotta rid this prejudice that ties you down”

    I respect and defend your right to love or hate 2/3s of The Jam… I am still blown away that Sting made a boatload on his reunion tour and even if The Jam DID regroup they would be on the DIVE circuit!

    The best group that never got huge, oh wait what about Crowded House…

    Do you guys think Wilco might be following these paths?

    Why do I hold so dear- this music so many will never hear?

  9. C J says:

    Jim,

    Am off to see FTJ on Sat and to be honest all I want is a good night out. Not quite the tribute band u keep babbling on about and to be honest Weller seems so much up his arse these days releasing bland toss I am glad they are without him. BUT any dvd sales do seem a bit pointless as all Jam fans have these songs many times over.

  10. Harry Bollocks says:

    First may I say that my thoughts and prayers are with Bruce, his wife Pat and their entire family.

    I got a flyer as well when I went to Weller’s two nights at The Wiltern last September. I’m going to see him again next week , April 17, 2009, at The Warfield in San Francisco.

    I LOVE the contributions of Buckler & Foxton in The Jam. It wouldn’t have been the same without them. No I haven’t seen FTJ. I saw the real thing 5 times. Why would I want to watch or listen to FTJ when I can watch or listen to the real thing? I do however, hope that they would – in this order- Change the name and keep writing their own stuff. That I would support.

    There simply is no bigger Jam supporter than me, period. I don’t want to see Weller do Jam songs either. Move on.

    If one of Paul Mccartney’s backing band members started a “From Mccarntney” band would you seriously go see it or buy the cd’s when you have the real thing availble?

    If you missed it or want to watch it again, play THE JAM cd’s or dvd’s. I DO DAILY!

  11. Old Man from the laTE 70S AND 80.S says:

    I have seen The Jam last year in Perth Ausrtralia and Paul Weller they were brilliant. The Jam was a great knees up which is maybe something that is missing in todays music. Yes most people were over 45 andit was packed , the Emo bar staff could not beleive it and truley thought todays music lacked the spark style and fun that the( From The Jam) Concert had. I lived in London through the Jam era and yes it was a trip down memory lane and whats wrong with that!!
    They were and still are a great band. I think The Businees is touring the states at the moment go and see them and learn some culture as todays climate is very similar to the UK back in the late 70,s and early 80,s

  12. Billy Hunt says:

    I always thought Paul Weller was the weak link. Give me Buckler on the bashers and Foxton on the bass any day.

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