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About The Young Idea

The Ultimate Exhibition of The Jam Memorabilia

Written By Andy Gunton

Brighton - 1st to 31st August, 2020.

The Jam were one of the most famous, and most successful, of all the bands to have emerged from the Punk and New Wave era of the late 1970's.

Between 1977, and the bands break up in 1982, The Jam scored 18 consecutive Top 40 singles, including four number ones. That's quite some pedigree.

Splitting up at the height of their powers was probably, in hindsight, a very good move on Paul Wellers part.

They are a band who have never been forgotten, hence the intriguing prospect of 'About The Young Idea', a ambitious celebration of all things The Jam, which is taking place in Brighton, where else, in August of this year.

To quote the official press release for the event:

 

"The biggest ever collection of The Jam memorabilia – ‘About The Young Idea’, launches in its spiritual home of Brighton on 1st and runs through until 31st August 2020. Situated on the iconic beach location made famous by the 1979 cult film Quadrophenia and as featured on the cover artwork of seminal Jam album 'Setting Sons'.  

A must see exhibition for The Jam fans, music aficionados and lifestyle curious, this huge collection of rare, mainly unseen material and fan memorabilia, will be accompanied by acoustic performances from bands from the Mod revival era, film screenings and guided talks.

In a pop-up location on Brighton beach with a modernist bar and a selection of street and locally sourced food to create a month-long place of homage for The Jam fans and lovers of UK culture alike.

The exhibition takes its title from their debut hit single,‘In The City’ and charts the trio’s journey from Woking to superstardom until their split six years later following 18 consecutive UK top 40 singles and over 14 million global album sales, before passing into the era of The Style Council with an additional room of never-seen before memorabilia.

The personal archives of all three members of the band, Paul Weller, Rick Buckler, Bruce Foxton, the Weller family and music archivist Den Davis - have shared their extensive collections for this show.

Curated by Nicky Weller, frontman Paul’s sister and former head of The Jam’s fan club, together with music archivist Den Davis following hugely successful exhibitions in London and Liverpool. Discover hand-written lyrics, original stage outfits, personal photographs, rare footage, unreleased music videos, early scrapbooks, letters, postcards, posters, fanzines, and the band’s instruments – it’s a completist’s dream.

Nicky Weller and Den Davis commented, "We want the fans to be involved in this exhibition and to include their memories and special items from The Jam days and will be curating a new area of the exhibition to showcase these.

Anyone interested, please do get in touch with pictures of what you would like to include in the exhibition at: exhibit@abouttheyoungidea.co.uk"

Nicky Weller comments, “If you’re a Jam fan there’s every single thing you can possibly imagine, if you’re not a fan it’s still interesting as far as social history goes.

If you’re just a music fan it’s just a noisy fun exhibition".  

She continues, “ I’m so excited that we will be taking “About The Young Idea” to Brighton this year with the biggest collection of Jam memorabilia on show- just a stones throw from the last ever live gig at the Brighton centre in 1982".

 

So if you have any memories and memorabilia that you think might be of interest to the curators of About The Young Idea, please get in contact with them via the email mentioned above.

It promises to be a great celebration, of a great band. Maybe I'll see you there?

 

On a Hastings based note - The Jam played on Hastings Pier only once during their career, on Saturday, 23rd April 1977, just a week before their debut single 'In The City' was released.

I still have my copy by the way...

Unfortunately I wasn't at that gig, but a man who was, Pete Fairless, remembers it well.

He told me: "A strange gig as it should originally have been Johnny Thunder headlining, and Paul Weller & Co. were either a replacement or the support band.

So the choice was a refund or stay. A friend of mine counted that only 23 stayed - I thought it was more than that.

Anyway, it was the week before 'In The City' was released, they were all short hair, black suits, red Rickenbackers, and so much energy and attitude that it almost hurt! 

I'm so pleased I was one of the few that stayed. 

A lot of people say the Sex Pistols gig changed their lives, but for me, it was this one."

 

The email address for any memorabilia you may wish to submit is: exhibit@abouttheyoungidea.co.uk

You can buy tickets for About The Young Idea via: abouttheyoungidea.seetickets.com

 

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