Kendra Steiner Editions

July 13, 2008

THE JAM, “Private Hell” on ABC-TV “Fridays” 1980

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 8:13 pm

In 1980, I was attending college part-time and working full-time as a cook/dishwasher at a restaurant/club in Stillwater, Oklahoma with three guys from Thailand (who drank a lot of beer every shift and listened to old Grand Funk cassettes while they worked—they must have had EVERY Grand Funk album, including obscuros such as SURVIVAL and GOOD SINGIN, GOOD PLAYIN!!).  I remember the night THE JAM were scheduled to perform on the short-lived FRIDAYS tv show: someone brought a tiny b&w tv, we plugged it into an outlet in the kitchen, and we four, some of the bartenders, some of the waitstaff, and even a few customers who were fans huddled around the TV, turned up so loud it distorted everything into a punk wail, and we all watched the following performance:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUo5lKDUJVw

Jam frontman/composer Paul Weller was born three days before I was. Wherever I was living and whatever situation I’ve been in over the years since then, I’ve always “checked in” with Weller every year or two, picking up his latest album and, when I can find them, a boot or two.  Although I have weathered a lot of extremes on this long, strange trip,  and I have been missing-in-action from friends and family for years at a time, I could always find a recent Weller album somewhere, and the arc of his career and the consistency of his vision have always provided me with a constant against which to compare the arc of my own journey. Weller’s had has digressions, his artistic cul-de-sac periods, his wrong turns, just like the rest of us, but he’s doing it in public and under the spotlight (thankfully, no one was paying any attention to me during my difficult periods!), and he always manages to land on his feet. I hope I have aged half as gracefully as he has.

People of the generation previous to mine may feel that way about, say, Dylan or Neil Young or Van Morrison, but for me, it’s been Paul Weller…and Alex Chilton.

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1 Comment »

  1. Bill:

    Weller is one my favorite singers/artists of all time.
    I listen to The Jam’s greatest hits often on my drive
    to work. I have a tape player in my car, no CD or MP
    player. In fact, The Jam is in my cassette player in
    my car right now. I think Weller is playing live in
    September in L.A.

    & Alex Chilton, Big Star, The Box Tops (I love his
    work). I found Chilton through the Replacements,
    who loved Chilton enough to write a song about/for
    him.

    Paul Weller @ The Wiltern
    Tuesday, September 2, 2008

    Comment by Luis — July 21, 2008 @ 8:47 pm | Reply


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