The Jam

I watched an excellent documentary on The Jam the other day, with the incomparable Paul Weller in fine mod form. It reminded me of the state of England in the early 1980’s, especially as captured in their song “A Bomb in Wardour Street”. This is the world I tried to depict in my novel Bad Patches, which I wrote around that time: the world of the yob, with artist-as-yob. The anger and despair of the Jam song matches the anger and despair of the main character in my novel. I wanted my novel to feel like their record–raw, violent, sad.


7 responses to “The Jam”

  1. The aesthetic challenge, for Paul Weller and me, was how to make art out of that kind of material.

  2. Alan says:

    It also includes the best use of the word “whoosh” I’ve ever seen… calls to mind the Roger’s Profanisaurus definition of “two pot béchamel”.

  3. Alan says:

    Sorry; sure: Roger’s Profanisaurus is a pun on Roget’s Thesaurus. It is an offshoot of the Viz comic’s franchise. Roger Melly (incidentally voiced by Peter Cook in the animated version) is a potty-mouthed TV anchorman and putative compiler of said ‘Profanisaurus’. It is in some ways similar to the online ‘urban dictionary’ but with a heavily cockney’d bent. Page 53 of Bad Patches utilises the word “whooshed” in a way not dissimilar to the definition I mentioned before. ” Two-pot béchamel n. A thick, white bollock sauce produced by heating up one’s two-pots without serving. ‘The wedding was pucka, but straight after the honeymoon I had to spend a month away filming. By the time I saw Jools again, I was gasping to dish up a bit of the old two -pot béchamel.’ ”
    The interesting truth (I think) in the comparison has something to do with the way this mode of expression appeals to (in a humorous vein) the typical male psychology far more than it does to the generic female sense of humour. I have only met one woman who truly seems to ‘get’ Derek and Clive and no female to whom I’ve recommended your novel has enjoyed it in the same way my male friends obviously have.

    • Ah, all is explained. Derek and Clive is a very advanced form of humor, not for the faint-hearted. Bad Patches is also far too near the knuckle (like a male Amy Schumer).

  4. Alan says:

    …all quite peculiar

    • I went to see John Cleese and Eric Idle last night at the Fillmore theater in Miami. Those guys still have comic teeth. Cleese commented that their material is unacceptable on American campuses today; murmured assent from the audience.

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