Thrilled to see that the Showtime network has sought fit to broadcast the British documentary, The Jam – About The Young Idea, as it’s high time a sizable audience could see/hear/learn about the most important band to come out of the 1977 punk/new wave explosion and be barely known in the United States.  The Jam were a particularly British phenomenon and 33 years after their split, new audiences/new generations are finding out about them.  Which means that a whole new audience in the United States may pick up on this incredible band.

I’m not going to waste time giving you their history, etc. – that’s what this very well-done documentary does and I think does it smartly and in an interesting manner.  It’s told in the band’s own words, uses archival footage of The Jam (including some songs that have not been previously heard) and speaks to various people – friends of and fans of the band, amongst them, noted actor Martin Freeman (Fargo, The Hobbit, etc.) and writer Paul Abbott (Shameless – both U.K. and U.S. versions).  You get a perspective of how deeply personal The Jam were and still are; how this band was set apart from most other bands of the period as their music and the lyrics of singer/guitarist/main songwriter Paul Weller inspired people to act.  I know this to be a truth as it’s well documented and known that were it not for Paul Weller’s influence, I would not be here in the same manner as I am now.

If you’re a long time fan of The Jam, you will love this documentary.  If you don’t know anything about them, you’re in for a very good and to-the-point education.  Most of all, you’ll probably wind up being inspired.  For me, it brought back a flood of memories and a warm nostalgia that can almost be tinged with tears.  When it comes to The Jam and my highly-personal thoughts, the only thing I can think is “didn’t we have a nice time?”  And we did.  And so will you, watching this.  Allow yourself to be enlightened and charged up by The Jam.


The Jam – About The Young Idea is currently airing on Showtime.  Check listings for viewing.

About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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