breaks at school. Fox-ton's been with them two and a half years. This is, of course, their first real band, and they had no special contacts to get them into the Music Business. John Weller, Paul's father, kept taking tapes of the group around for people to listen to. He used to he a construction worker and now manages the band. Well. they finally got a gig at the Marquee, a club in London, where they were seen by Chris Parry from Polydor, who now also helps with band management. "The bloke who signed us to Polydor is in his late twenties. He's totally into punk–he has to be." (Is this an admission of punkness?) Epand recalls hearing the Jam's first record, when it was sent over last summer by English Polydor. "Nobody knew what to make of them except me and the album promotion director. We immediately jumped up and down and screamed 'Sign them!' I immediately got in trouble with all my friends who are musicians and are working to make music more sophisticated–for liking a group that went basic. When they saw the group it was different ."
Incidentally, all three members of the Jam finished high school, unlike many other working class spokesman musicians. And they are all from Woking, Surrey, not the heart of London. Originally there were four guys. Eventually, they are again planning on adding keyboards or having some one sing and not play. Maybe in a year we'll get another guitar. Paul plays keyboards and bit of harmonica in the studio now. There will be no new players at this time." states Foxton.
Concentrating on building their careers and giving their peers some good rock and roll pop music, the Jam don't seem to be identifying too much or too little with the punk rock movement. And, having been to the States, their eyes were opened to the lesser significance of English punk in this country.
The Jam are getting AOR play but "lagging behind in sales in this country," as Polydor puts it. So far, they haven't released a single, so maybe it isn't so surprising. The single planned for the U.S. is "I Need You" from the second album, backed by "In the City" from the first. Epand is confident: "Here they just don't have the momentum but I'm sure that will be turned around with this tour." The Jam will be doing 20 dates in 40 days, beginning in New York in mid-March. Some of the concerts will be broadcast live, in halls that seat from one to fifteen thousand people.
At this writing, John Weller is here to complete the tour arrangements.
With a father like that behind them, they can't he all bad. Photo by Judi Lest,'