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It’s time to renew the campaign to erect a statue somewhere in Woking to commemorate the efforts of three musicians that helped to put this town on the map. I refer, of course, to the Jam.  The small recognition of their impact  in the museum at the Lightbox, put together by well-meaning, middle-class people of a certain age,  does not do them justice.  You could argue that it was all down to Paul Weller, whose second solo album was titled Stanley Road – the name of the Woking street he grew up in, although his house is no longer there  – and whose song, A Town Called Malice, reflects his feelings about the town, rather than the other two members of the late 70s- early 80s band, Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler.  But I don’t agree. The three of them all went to the same school in Sheerwater (now Bishop David Brown) and played their first gig at Sheerwater youth club.  When I first arrived in the area there was a pub in West Byfleet called the Carafino. The Jam had played there; I never saw them, of course. Foxton and Buckler are still keeping the flag flying with a Jam revival band, and good luck to them. So what about the next big prestige office development that comes to Woking including a space in its piazza for a statue honouring a band whose angry, impatient sound was undoubtedly influenced by the place they grew up in.

PS My wife once spotted Paul Weller staring into the window of Britten’s music shop in West Byfleet, looking at guitars. And we also sat in the row in front of the Wellers en famille at the Yvonne Arnaud theatre in Guildford. There must be some more local sightings and recollections out there!

http://backedwith.wordpress.com/2009/03/19/34-the-jam-tales-from-the-riverbank/

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May 2010: Great news that Paul Weller is returning to play in Woking next month for the first time in more than 30 years, in a charity concert to aid Woking hospice. We’ll get that statue up one day!

http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/entertainment/music/s/2071261_wellers_hospice_appeal_gig_set_to_wake_up_woking

3 Comments

  1. Cheers for linking to my tales from the riverbank. I’m afraid all my sightings of Mr Weller have been up in the Smoke rather than locally – first on a CND march leaving from Kennington Park, next in the Blue Note club on Hoxton Square, and finally on a zebra crossing on Marylebone High Street.

    I’m sure the Jam should be better commemorated by their home town than they are, but as is the way of things, it will probably only happen once they’re all in the ground. Something in the spirit of the Pegasus sculpture you recently posted about would be great!

  2. I think your Weller sightings have more street-cred than mine …

  3. http://www.findthetorchburntheplans.blogspot.com

    a blue plaque for weller in woking – stanley road


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