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Friars Heroes Hall of Fame

The Jam
Inducted in February 2009

The Jam broke through in a big way in 1977 starting the year playing pubs and clubs, including Leighton Buzzard's Hunt Hotel twice. Within a few months, they were headlining at Hammersmith Odeon and at Friars Aylesbury where they remained the only band to play a matinee show. As the band got bigger and bigger, they kept loyal to Friars playing further gigs in 1978 and in 1979. By the spring of 1980, The Jam achieved, in Going Underground, the first single to go straight to the top of the charts since Slade in 1973.

Much to everyone's surprise and pleasure, The Jam, influenced by the annual Friars Aylesbury poll results, came back one more time in 1980 and took the place apart. This was very much a band of the people and the Aylesbury people took them too their hearts. After the Jam split in 1982, Paul Weller's Respond record label's package tour came to Friars in 1983 maintaining the Jam link with Friars.

The Jam were a true people's band and were always welcome at Friars. They remained the only band to ever play a matinee performance (in November 1977).  They never forgot Friars and played here when the venue had outgrown them culminating in the 'secret' 1980 gig when they were huge. It was no surprise how well they performed in the annual Friars members polls and this had a direct influence on them playing Friars when they were in the arena league.

Rick Buckler: A lot of people went there (to Friars), it was a good venue. It was like Guildford Civic which was an important venue for local people. Woking is about seven miles away but Guildford Civic attracted a lot of musical interest because it had a great reputation...much the same as Friars. We knew it was a proper music venue.....We were very reluctant to give up those sorts of venues [like Friars] and we did secret gigs and went back to The Marquee and the smaller venues because they were so much fun to play. We didn't want to detach ourselves from the audiences too much [in a bigger venue] so it was good to go back and do some of those places.

Rick Buckler accepting the Friars Heroes Award on behalf of The Jam, Guildford, February 2009

Picture: Mike O'Connor

The Jam's history at Friars




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