The 35th anniversary is a weird one to be celebrating though…
I remember queueing to get my special edition Lp the day this was released: the “specialness” of this edition was that it came in a paper bag of pink and white stripes just like this poster, designed to looked like a bag of candy. Still got the bag and the Lp somewhere amongst all the others.
April 1st 1982, Queens Hall, Leeds (otherwise known as that cavernous old tramshed), skipped school with my mate Rich and was somewhere near the front of the queue for my first ever gig…and probably best ever. None since has ever meant half as much. Really had no idea what carnage would ensue down the front of a Jam gig. Came out of it deaf for two days, one shoe missing and my shirt half ripped off and biggest fucking cheesy stupid grin on my face.
A Town Called Malice had either just, or was just about to hit the top of the charts (double A side with Precious…they got to play both on the same edition of TOTP, pretty much unprecedented). They were just about the biggest thing right then, a ferocious live act and the crowd was insane. So much sweat rose and condensed on the metal rafters and glass roof that it began to “rain” inside towards the end of the gig.
About 4 months later Weller split the band, which took some balls, he was about 23 years old…I was 15 by then and heart broken.
I’d never want to see then reform; the last thing The Jam were about was self-satisfied nostalgia.