(Article by Peter Rudkin )
Where do you start with something like this eh? So much of my life was taken up by music when I was a young disaffected herbert late 70s and early 80s and one voice kinda struck the chord, lit the fuse, call it what you will and that was The Jam. I cant remember when I got into them, maybe the hormones decided when it became important but boy oh boy when I got it it became so relevant. I look back on concerts at Guildford Civic hall as the defining ones, still the spiritual home of the band, I cant remember how many times I saw them their but every time was stunning. My dad bought the tickets off Pauls old man at his house in Balmoral drive all those years back, strange I lost my father and Paul his...time marches on I suppose. The last night at the Brighton centre never did it for me but looking back I am so glad it was finished, wonderful, untarnished, and mine, something for me and my generation and I wont go and see a reunion if it ever happened, some things need to be remembered for what they were. I have so many great memories of so many great concerts, realising that music could really talk to me when I heard the soundcheck on the Sound Affects tour at the Hammersmith Odeon. The Band launched into Dream time and it was like a bullet between the eyes, raw, watching a man torture himself trying to express just how he felt, he seemed to care soo much and thats what really did it for me. I saw them at the Palais , twice I think a couple of days later and it just stunned me.....The Baltarde in Paris when the riot broke out, The BBC concert at Golders Green one christmas, Woking YMCA when Weller could hardly stand up he was so trashed. One that makes me smile was me and an old buddy didn't have tickets to se a Rainbow show so we went up there to give it a go, we went round looking for open doors and eventually found a fire escape open, up we went half expecting a big grumpy bouncer until we got to the top or so we thought.....we opened a couple of doors and found ourselves in the houses and buildings that used to be above the stage at the old Rainbow. a hell of a place to watch a concert from, we watched a bit of the support band and realised we couldn't stay there so made our way down some more stairs until we emerged in the pit in front of the stage. there we got rumbled and got chased around under the stage while the band where playing, we gave them the slip and dived head first into the crowd......result we got to see the gig!
I took my son to see Weller when he headlined at Guilfest a few years back, he had an old tour t shirt of mine on, Weller was marvellous, angry, passionate all those things I used to love.....Then he played In the Crowd and it had the same affect on my young son that Dream Time had had on me all those years before
Heady heady days indeed, you don't realise how good things are till they are gone for sure