Pete Townshend said "The Jam were just so fucking British"!
Until I went to an exhibition dedicated to the band "The Jam" in London, I wasn't even aware how much they were and remained a favorite in England.
It is a kind of cult that has formed around this group. It's a typical British story that runs deep into their mentality and culture. It carries the features of British style and lifestyle, worldview, innovation, specialty, grace, perseverance and more.
I used to be a big fan of Paul Weller and Style Council (I still am), but it was just a continuation of one movement and wave that created "The Jam", among other things, that was so revolutionary.
The exhibition was organized at Somerset house and lasted until the end of September 2015. It was extended because of the great public interest. The curator was Paul Weller's sister, Nicky Weller.
The Jam: About the Young Idea - Paul Weller - vocals and guitar, Rick Buckler - drums, Bruce Foxton - vocals and bass, that's The Jam!
They were active for five years - from 1977 to 1982, producing six studio albums and one live album.
In the 1970s England was in economic crisis and The Jam were becoming politically engaged. Influenced by punk, the Clash and Sex Pistols, they wrote lyrics expressing dissatisfaction with politics. They wanted Britain to be a better place for all its people. Big class differences were apparent and the song "Eton Rifles" is a satire about the unemployed working class on one hand and the wealthy elite on the other.
In Sex Pistols\ concert in 1976, Paul Weller realized he could sing in his own English accent and dismissed the overtly American he sang until then.
The Jam addressed the audience directly and their influence spread from the music to the books they read, the collection of records to the style of dress.
Their songs also referred to the daily life of young people - young culture. Evenings, pubs, ordinary jobs they did ...
Weller's parents offered tea and music every day to fans standing outside their house.
Soon, The Jam became style icons. Fashion style with tailored suits and white shirts became their uniform.
Later this style became more colorful and personal, Fred Perry, Ben Sherman, Lonsdale, short boots, white socks, Prince of Wales pants.
Weller's mother stated that he would often be confused with fans as they were all dressed and alike.
And Paul Weller himself said that when he came on stage, he would see only a sea of green parkas in the audience.
They were a stylish young man whose fashion was easily copied and accessible.
Different in sound and appearance they had a problem with music production companies.
In 1980, they canceled their tour of America because they wanted to return to England and celebrate the number one spot on the English top list with the song "Going Underground".
After the sixth album, The Gift, they announced their breakup. This made a breaking news of an evening BBC news programme.
At the height of his career, Paul Weller stated that in his late twenties he could not sing the songs of "The Jam philosophy". This was a surprise not only to the public but also to the other members of the band.
For him, "The Jam" was About the Young Idea!
Covers of some boards: