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HEDONISM Tony Fletcher's debut novel is available mail order in the USA from Barnes&Noble.com. It's available mail order in the UK from amazon.co.uk or musicroom.com.
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REMARKS REMADE The first ever R.E.M. biography fully updated with ten new chapters covering Reveal and beyond. Available at UK bookstores, amazon.co.uk and musicroom. Available at select stores in the States and through BN.com.

MOON The American edition of the Keith Moon biography is available in paperback at book stores, amazon.com, bn.com and amazon co.uk. More info here

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Limited hardback editions of Dear Boy/Moon remain available through amazon.com, amazon.co.uk and barnes&noble.com.


Never Stop: The Echo & The Bunnyment Story is out of print.

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from the jamming! archives:
THE JAM in '79
It was only a year after I had talked with Paul Weller for the first time (see the archive here), and yet so much had changed. Thanks largely to Weller granting that original interview, I'd propelled Jamming! from a poorly-printed school 'zine into a buzzing, colorful, provocative and informative national fanzine. The Jam, for their part, were no longer struggling to prove their relevance in the post-punk climate: All Mod Cons, the album they'd been recording at RAK the previous summer when I first interviewed Weller, had proven a vital artistic and commercial breakthrough, while 'Strange Town' and 'When You're Young' had continued the run of superb singles that would ultimately provide the band's real legacy. The summer of '79 found a newly confident and mostly contented Jam hunkered down at the Town House studios recording Setting Sons.

Personally, and not a little bizarrely, my relationship with Weller had also changed during those same twelve months. He had gone from being an icon, someone I looked up to on the posters on my wall, to something of a surrogate big brother figure. I still looked up to him, but I found that I could call him up as well; for whatever reasons, after that interview the previous summer, he took me under his wing, and I found I was welcomed in the recording studio. This isn't too elitist a claim: often you'd find 30 or more kids hanging out in the control room while The Jam were purportedly concentrating on their art! Still, it was an odd if enviable position for a 15-year old to find himself in, and one that I suppose I must have reveled in, given how often I would stop by the studio to say 'hello', grab a free game of Pool, and maybe some one-on-one time over a pint across the road.

All in all, then, it made total sense to interview the whole band for Jamming! 9, which I see I've already described as "The best issue ever, probably, in terms of pure fanzine energy and confidence." Only 2000 copies were printed and they sold out immediately. At that point, in late 1979, Jamming! was as hip as was possible to be without being mainstream.

The same could be said of The Jam themselves; that they'd been the most important thing in my life these last two years had perhaps blinded me to the fact that they were poised to explode. Setting Sons was to contain their first top ten hit, 'The Eton Rifles', and a few months later they'd have their first number one single, 'Going Underground.' After that, things would never be the same again.

Time, then, to flash back to that memorable summer. Between the mod revival (of which the Jam were highly reluctant icons), the emergence of 2-Tone, and the continuing development of the independent music scene, it was an incredible time to be a teenager in London. It was also a frightening time, and not just because Thatcher was suddenly in power: there was intense violence on the streets and at gigs between the different youth cults, to the extent that I wrote a full page rant about the dangers of 'Tribalism' in that same ninth issue of Jamming!. Weller voiced similar complaints about the nation's youth during a two-part interview that balanced irreverent good humor with serious commentary – the perfect fanzine piece. My school mate and Apocalypse band mate Jeff Carrigan was in on the interview and took the photos that have since disappeared; I can see another class mate Richard Heard sitting in on at least one of these interview sessions. I do have the full transcript sitting round, but it's in pretty poor shape, much of it written out by hand, and I simply don't have time to clean it up the way I did the 1978 interview. This, then, is all you get. Click on the thumbnail images below to open up a full size scan of each page, back from a summer when Life was timeless and days were long….


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