(Article by Den Davis)
The first day I met the Jam was at the Townhouse during the recording of Going Underground Jan (was it?) 1980. I was with my incredibly lazy unemployed mate Pete Rowe . Late on in the afternoon there was an idea (from Vic, I spose ?) that you Bruce, my mate Pete and I, plus tape op George (without his dog, Lonely, who was as usual asleep under the table) all cram into a booth and do backing vocals on the “Boys-all-shouting-for-tomorrow” bit. “WHOA” la-la-la-la.. And if that was the line up –which it was- I assume the velvet jacketed pseudo-mod-rascal Paul Bradley wasn't there – I spose I musta met him only in spring in the early days recording of Sound Affects.
Next hook up for us, then, woulda been the Sound Affects demos at Polydor Studios that spring before settling in to the loooong pool game that was recording Sound Affects all that summer, though of course I worked on oilrigs at the time so missed a few days.. plus I went to Italy for a month and came back with a tan like a chip-shop savaloy.. Lets see: Next I remember woulda been a tour rehearsal in a deserted Rainbow .. a highlight for the 3 or 4 of us sitting there in the stalls.. with Dennis Munday prowling, and ..er.. oh gawd the video for Funeral Pyre down at whatever gravel pits those were Woking-way when you were driving some nutty volvo like a stock car and John almost caught Paul in the back of my motor smoking some pretty decent Afghani as it ‘appens while I revealed Teardrop Explodes and The Sound to him for the first time.. Come to think of it I seem to recall whoever (NME/SOUNDS?) journalist covering the event revealed to the world in his article your nickname was “PUTE” (heheh, nice inside scoop mate)
Later tours saw ever-the-cheeky-ligger Bradders eventually run off by Kenny? Paul? (who knows, but he was taking the piss and taking things for granted, that's for sure) and anyway.. to the saddest end: In my view Guildford on the Thursday was the true swansong for sure.. Everyone in shock but fans kinda buying into the Quadraphenia schtick of driving the whole thing into the sea of Beachy Head .. and then there was Brighton itself (which I eventually bought a 80 (!) quid tout ticket for because I didn't want to ask to be on the list) ..and I watched ...as Crowley did his scarf/thing early on, right up till the lights went up and Little Tin soldier came on.. aka THE END.. and so I scuffed through the dropped cups out into the night with no one to share the sadness with.. but then by then I knew it had died two days prior in Guildford – magnificent and never-to-be-repeated. Style Council? mahh.. It was never the same for me, I think I met Mick once or twice, but while I can listen with nostalgia now, its more nostalgia for what came before it than it produced in its own right, know warraimean? i.e. It was never the soundtrack to my life the Jam had been, and actually it wasn't till Guildford when it was about to die that I truly realized how many others lives it was too. Liusten mate.. thanks for all that stuff, I often think about it, and over the years I ‘d hear this n that about you having a strip tank or summing in Lightwater-ish.. I ended up living in US, or between US and UK. I'm now in Portland, Or, and was so sorry I'd missed you and Bruce through here on a From the Jam tour 3/4 years back.. anyway, cheers mate and thanks for the memories I hope you see this. Genuine affection, and all that.
Den Davis Gummidge Firm Member, 1980
(Article by Den Davis)