If I had been a London teen in the ’60s, would I have been a Mod or a Rocker?
Thank God I was born a decade too late for that and was able to experience the mutation of the two in Great Britain’s mod revival of the late ’70s and early ’80s. The problem was I grew up near Detroit and had somewhat limited musical exposure until I went in the U.S. Army. I had never heard of the mod revival or The Jam, until they were about to split up in 1982.
There was probably no band more significant in the mod revival than The Jam. Combining new wave and punk rock music with rhythm and blues reminiscent of The Who and The Kinks along with a relaxed yet formal presentation of the 1960s jazz modernists, The Jam were like the new second coming of rock and roll to me.
It was the clashing and symbiosis of the old and new music that intrigued me. It made me realize that there were so many bands and so much music beyond just what was popular in the United States. The Jam were highly influential for me expanding my musical tastes beyond just what I was comfortable with. To me The Jam was life changing music. Although I was disappointed that The Jam broke up shortly after I discovered them, Paul Weller did move on to form Style Council and release some great solo stuff. That was a pretty good consolation.