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The Jam was a family affair for Paul Weller’s little sister

The Jam
The Jam

Following an exhibition of the band’s memorabilia earlier this year, Paul’s sister Nicky has co-written a book on the band’s history.

She told Murray Scougall all about Growing Up With The Jam.


 

Why did you stage the exhibition and compile the book?

I was contacted by a fan called Den Davis, who had an amazing amount of memorabilia, including Rick’s drum kit and stage set-up from Brighton.

So we started to look through our own archives and the book was an idea by Gary Crowley, which in the end actually became the exhibition book with all our memorabilia and unseen pictures in it.

Did you know there was so much archive material?

Not until we started to look through the stuff my mum and dad had, and then mine and my brother’s.

There was tons of it – much more than we thought.

What was it like growing up with a big brother who was a famous musician?

It was fun. My dad got him and Steve Brookes’ gigs round the local working men’s clubs first, so it was a progression moving into London and playing the scene there at places like The Marquee,

The Vortex, The Hope and Anchor and The Nashville.

I was only 14 when they took off so it was great fun for me.

I understand the band was very much a family affair behind the scenes?

Yeah, my dad became their manager very early on.

He worked on the building sites, so this was a whole different world to him. But he went into it head on and did an amazing job. He was quite a character and well liked in the business.

We supported them from day one.

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What was your role with the band as a teenager?

My mum and I ran The Jam fan club.

Sacks of post started to turn up on the doorstep and someone had to answer it. They paid me five quid a week – probably quite a lot in the seventies.

How did you go about compiling the huge list of contributions from famous people?

Gary Crowley and I contacted them and everyone was happy to write lovely memories of the band, even the likes of Ray Davies and Pete Townsend.

What’s your favourite quote?

I think The Who’s Pete Townsend saying The Jam was the sort of band he would’ve liked to have been in.

What do Paul, Bruce and Rick think of the book?

They all said they loved it. And my brother was very impressed with the unseen photos and memorabilia we’d uncovered, thanks to the co-authors Russell Reader and Den Davis.

With the exhibition and book now complete, any other plans for the archive material?

We are hoping to move the exhibition abroad and hopefully somewhere north in the UK, so watch this space…

Growing Up With The Jam (Omnibus Press) is out now.