FUNNY old game, life. One minute you’re up, the next you’re down. One minute you’re in, the next you’re out. The trick is not to worry about it too much – certainly not the things you can’t change anyway.
That’s the gist of the half-hour chat I had with one of my boyhood idols – former Jam bassist Bruce Foxton – in the summer of 2010.
The first time I saw The Jam I wasn’t even a teenager and the sense of loss felt when the band’s front man and main songwriter Paul Weller split the band up on the eve of my 16th birthday in 1982 was palpable.
But none of us felt as angry or betrayed as Bruce and drummer Rick Buckler. Embittered by their former school friend’s decision, years of acrimony and at least one court case followed. In 2006, Weller and Foxton met at a Who concert, chatted and parted warmly. They further bonded when Weller got in touch with Bruce again after hearing his former bandmate’s wife Pat was ill with cancer. The two finally got together again to make music for the first time since The Jam’s last shows in December 1982 when Bruce contributed to sessions for Weller’s Wake Up the Nation album.
Pat died in April 2009, a couple of weeks before Paul’s dad John who had managed The Jam from the working men’s clubs of Woking to Wembley Arena. Foxton and Weller found themselves drawn closer still by the search for positives in the wake of such tragedy.
But for all the healing, that it also precipitated the end of Rick Buckler’s involvement in From The Jam, the band he and Bruce had put together in 2006 to play The Jam’s songs, only serves to prove the point at which we came in.
So what went on Bruce?