All Around the World


Australia - May 2003

Bored I was. Bored and frustrated at the state of modern music. Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles everywhere. Here in Australia wasnt any better, with the likes of Air Supply and Little River Band. I needed inspiration, a new start, and I was only 12. Then I heard Stranded by the Saints, New Race by Radio Birdman, Anarchy and White Riot! Whew! How could you like that? said my sister. She was really old. 18. I just smiled a knowing grin.

Soon I was in high school, my best mate was from England and had all the records. He lent me In the City. Fire and skill! Wow! Now I knew this was the new art school, a time for truth and non-stop dancing!

Switch! 1984. I had the target T-shirt, Mod jackets, A Rickenbacker 330 and a Marshall amp. I formed a band, doing David Watts, Modern World, Midnight Hour, Batman and an electric version of Smithers-Jones (before Id heard the Jams version), and Small Faces and all the best of Mod we could. Paul Weller has opened so many musical doors for me, but truth be told, in hindsight, Style Council were rubbish yeah?

Put simply The Jam changed my life.

If youll excuse me, Im heading out the door to do some busking... thats entertainment!

Pete Shegog - Australia 2003

Los Angeles - July 2002

Just wanted to compliment you on the site. I'm a long-time Jam fan and I just saw Paul Weller solo acoustic at the House of Blues in Los Angeles this past Friday night ( Jill Sobule was the opening act. ) A terrific show, Paul looking very fit and happy. Claimed to be a bit nervous as he hadn't played Los Angeles in quite some time. Good mix of songs from the entire Weller canon.

One unfortunate incident: just as Weller was beginning the second verse of "That's Entertainment" someone from the crowd tossed a T-shirt on-stage, no doubt as a gift, but, unfortunately, they tossed it to hard and it wrapped around Weller's head like the beast from "Alien." Weller ripped the T-shirt off his head and quite angrily challenged the bastard to a fight right then and there. The challenge wasn't taken up, the tosser remained anonymous, and Weller lit into the song with more anger than ever.

I thought this incident might kill the show, but Weller continued unvanquished and did a two-song encore as well. A wonderful evening all around. Last time I had the opportunity to see Weller was with The Jam in 1982 at the Palladium in New York City. Show was opened by the Raybeats, who were terrific, then The Jam came out and blew them out into the street.

The show was so exciting that people were ripping up the chairs behind the dance floor and tossing them toward the stage, with no unfortunate involvement of Weller's head, as would occur some nineteen years later. Now that is rock 'n' roll.

Tom Hughes - Los Angeles, July 2002


In 1980 I was fourteen years old, and The Jam changed my life as much as The Sex Pistols had changed the lives of others. I even learned English by listening to, and learning the lyrics. And I could be found in the streets of Paris driving a Vespa, which is far less ridiculous than wearing a Parka in Los Angeles, don't you think.

But the most important thing about The Jam to me was the realisation that there were many many more musical treasures from the past waiting for me in the record stores. 'What's the point in saying destroy' you know the line. Thanks to The Jam I discovered Motown & Stax, The Small faces and later on Jazz. Then came pre war Country Blues and even Classical music. The band had increased my curiosity, which had never ceased since.

In 1983 I found myself putting away my Jam records, disgusted by the stupidity & mediocrity of bands like The Merton Parka's, Secret Affair and so on. I could never understand how someone could love both That's Entertainment and You Need Wheels at the same time.

Those in Paris who did, my friends of the time, couldn't care less about the music. To them it was just about the clothes, memories & good times but for me it was different. The Jam gave me a love for music, all music, and are responsible for me becoming a music journalist. To cap it all I even got to interview the Wellster, and it was great. I managed to do it without coming across as a contrived fan.

Despite putting away those records I never forgot that period of my life, it was far too important. When I dug them out again in the early 90's I was struck by the sheer quality of the songs, and how they have aged so well. Life from a window still gives me a shiver down my spine, and a tear in my eye. Does it ever wear off? I don't think so.... and I still ride a Vespa 125GTR

Good luck with the web site Nicholas Ungemuth - Paris, France. January 2000


I have been a fan of The Jam since In The City was released. I have seen them live several times both in Birmingham and Wolverhampton. I bought every one of their albums and singles in original vinyl form and they were a very important part of my youth. Recently got the chance to hear Fire and Skill, and I was quite excited at the prospect. Alas it turned out to be a major disappointment and no one on that album managed to capture the emotion delivered in the originals.

One of my all time favourite songs Going Underground was murdered, lost is all it's power and aggression. I have to wonder if the artist was taking the piss. So to died This is the Modern World. Was the whole point missed with this song, where is the emotion and aggression that Paul put in it? The song was transformed from a fantastic track that bears up as well today as it did back in 1977 to a lifeless plod along of someone whining about..... well I don't know what as I immediately lost interest.

A Town Called Malice, what a classic. There should be laws to prohibit anyone trying to recreate and ultimately spoiling such a master piece. Art School, I can only say the same as above. I did like Everything but the Girls version of English Rose and Butterfly Collector wasn't too bad, but I think Garbage are capable of better. This was supposed to be a tribute to The Jam right? not a piss take. I seriously doubt many of the artists on this album will be remembered twenty years from now. Were any of them Jam fans or had they even listened to the originals.

Whilst I was looking for this album, in a record store called Music World a few weeks ago, I found a CD of The Jam "Master Series". When I took it to the counter to pay for it I was confronted by a young girl of around 17 or 18 years old. She gave me a surprised look and said "You like The Jam?" To which I replied with an equal surprise "Yes, I've been with them since the very beginning." She was amazed that someone my age (34) would be into The Jam. "What about you" I asked her. Another assistant in the store, also around 18 jumped in and said "We all love The Jam in this store" We chatted for a while and I told them about some of the concerts I had been to, and described the feelings around at the time.

Isn't it fantastic, but not surprising, that some 18 years after the band called it a day they are still attracting new fans who weren't even born when they had their last number one. Now add to this the fact I am not in England, I now live in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. The store, Music World, is in a small hamlet called Sherwood Park just east of town and they carry all The Jam compilation CD's. Some record stores in town actually have CD copies of the originals. My wife bought me All Mod Con's recently and I added it to my music collection where The Jam hold a mythical status high above the rest of it.

My niece, who is 16, is into the punk thing with groups such as Silver Chair, Green Day etc. She had heard of The Clash and The Jam but not heard the music so I lent her one of my Clash albums and a tape of some Jam stuff. She loves it and now some of her friends are getting into it, both male and female.

I think that is evidence of the real Fire and Skill Paul, Bruce and Rick have left us with. I am not one for living in the past, but I am glad I was there when it happened, and got to experience The Jam live. Thanks guy's for giving me something special to remember my youth by, and thanks for the Web Site and all the memories it revives. May the beat never surrender for the best band in World - ever.

Neil Armstrong , Edmonton Canada, December 1999

Chicago America

The Jam-Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL 5/26/82 One Sunday morning while in college eating breakfast at Ladyman's Cafe in Bloomington, IN, I was reading the Chicago Tribune and came across an ad for a live performance by The Jam, and attending this event was probably the singular defining moment of my life up to that point. This concert taught to me the power of live music and is most likely the reason I have been involved in the music business to this day.

I was 19 years old and managed to borrow my mother's car for the 6 hour drive from Evansville, IN up Highway 41 North to Chicago. After spending the early part of the day researching some family business history with the Sear's historian at the Sear's Tower in downtown Chicago, I ate some lunch in a diner on Michigan Avenue, and then made my way up to the north side to find the Aragon. Of course, it being 3 or 4 O'clock in the afternoon I had arrived way too early for the show, but none-the-less found a parking space for the car and made my way on foot to find the venue. Much to my surprise when I arrived there was already quite a line of people in front of the Aragon waiting to get in, and because it was starting to rain and I did not want to spend several hours getting wet, I decided to walk around to the rear of the venue to see what I could see. What I discovered was The Jam's touring bus and all the band's gear laying out on the ground with the crew hurriedly hauling it inside before it gets drenched. As I stood by watching this scene, one of the crew who I now assume was Kenny Wheeler looked at me and said "Are you just gonna stand about or are you gonna lend a hand?". The gear nearest to me happened to be a pile of guitar cases so I picked a couple up and made a few trips back and forth, carrying in some catering food as well, and then decided to stay out of the rain and to watch the goings on inside.

The Aragon is laid out on two levels with a dance floor on a lower level and then an elevated balcony and after milling around a bit downstairs I decided to wander up to the balcony to stand above the stage and watch the crew finishing up the set up of the stage. I am thrilled to see Paul, Bruce and Rick walk out on stage to do their sound check, and at the conclusion of the sound check I am approached by a squarely built man with a grey pompadour who sticks out his hand for a shake and says "Goodaye Bruce." I must of been quite the site as I stood in front of John Weller with a confused look on my face, and visions of the Monty Python "Bruce" skit dancing thru my head. After a few seconds John Weller asks "You are Bruce the promoter, aren't you?", to which I respond "No, I am just here for the show", as I finally reach out to shake his hand. After a few moments of conversing with John Weller, during which I figured out he was both Paul's father and The Jam's manager, John went of in search of Bruce the promoter.

By now The Jam had finished their sound check and are starting to wander up to the balcony where the dressing rooms are located and where their pre-gig meal will be served. First up was Bruce, with whom I had a very relaxed conversation, talking about the tour so far and its high points and low points. Next up was Paul with whom I exchanged the briefest of greetings. Finally the band and crew sit down to their meal and I decide to make my way out front to buy a ticket, which obviously at this point I do not need but wanted anyway for a souvenir. The same crew person who I assume to be Kenny Wheeler was informing the Aragon staff they could start letting the audience in, and as I was unsure of how to make my way out to the box office I approached him and asked where it was located. Naturally, he appeared slightly confused as to why I would want to buy a ticket when I was already inside and after explaining my reason he escorted me to the entrance and I thanked him. One of the Aragon staff took note of me trying to make my way out against the audience now coming in, and proceeded to take offence at the fact I did not have a ticket attempting to "throw me out" at which point Kenny exchanged some words with him telling the Aragon staffer to let me out.

After purchasing my ticket and making my way back in, I visited the merchandising stand and purchased a copy of the "Trans Global Unity Express" tour program and an "Absolute Beginners" T-shirt and then descended again to the main room of the Aragon awaiting The Jam's arrival on-stage. I was recently reminded of the incredible power of The Jam's performance this evening when I picked up a copy of the show on a live tape from a fellow listee from the Paul Weller Mailing List. The band kicked off their set with "Running On the Spot" and "Happy Together", and Paul, Bruce and Rick performed an amazing hour long show to an ecstatic crowd and thunderous response.

To my recollection the highlights of the show were "Happy Together", "Ghosts", "Precious", "Little Boy Soldiers", "In the Crowd", "Move on Up", and my first hearing of the new song "The Great Depression". After leaving the stage The Jam returned for two encores and at this point my mind was fixed on getting back out front to meet up with the band again as they leave in order to get my program autographed. As the crowd finally started to give up on a third encore I started making my way out with them up the stairs at the rear of the main room. Then a truly amazing thing happened. Everybody, including myself turned around and walked back down into the main room and the cheer went up until The Jam returned for a third encore. The power of this evening's music was confirmed in my mind when in the liner notes to "Dig the New Breed", Paul Weller remarked "Chicago gig, brilliant!".

After waiting for the band quite a while in front of the Aragon, Kenny Wheeler came out and did his usual "Oh, you lot are waiting on the band, they already left" routine. But we were not to be disappointed as Paul, Bruce, and Rick emerged to spend a half hour talking to the fans and signing autographs. I first got Bruce's signature, then moved on to get Rick's and having a nice 5 minute conversation with him, finally moving on to get Paul's signature. Last but not least, I approached John Weller who was watching over the scene standing in the open door of the tour bus. A brief conversation ensued and I explained to John that I would like his autograph as he obviously was an important part of it all, but he modestly declined saying it was "just about the boys". Finally the band boarded their bus and I set off to make my way back to my car and to locate my hotel.

A few things in particular have stuck with me from this evening. First, the potential of live music- to aspire to that cathartic moment where band and audience are joined, each inspiring the other to a higher level. Second, that this moment in time was created by a group of individuals who struck me from our interaction as very sincere and down to earth. From this evening on, I became a devoted and die-hard music fan generally, and Jam, then later Style Council, and now Paul Weller fan in particular. In a lot of ways, it feels like we have grown up together!! That's music with impact...


Jeffrey Andrew Caddick Evansville, IN - 2/5/98...... joyshout

Boston - America

I have the ticket to May 20th 1982 at the Orpheum in Boston. I worked for the opening act and bought a ticket before they were added to the bill. It's not ripped. I remember that show pretty well. I have a tape of Boys Life that night thanking the Jam for letting them open the show. Afterwards The Jam came out into the house and sat around and chatted to about 20 of us. I took a few snapshots and still have them in my photo album, I also have the backstage pass from that night. Wow! Almost 20 years ago. I was 18. Anyway that's my trip down memory lane.

John Bionelli

Southern England

Hi, As I trawl the net in search of artist's websites, I come across loads and loads of absolute dross. Your site is a shining example of how to do something right. I am not the first to congratulate you and I am sure I will not be the last. I was lucky enough to see a few of The Jam's gigs in the south during the late seventies and your site brought all those memories back. I particularly have fond memories of sharing a couple of bottles of Bull's Blood with Rick in Portsmouth, before the show, when we blagged our way into the sound check. I will be posting your link in the next few days, I hope you get some traffic, Keep smiling