Rock legend Rick Buckler, whose drumming helped drive The Jam's unique sound, has come onto the Big Friday Show to chat about how the band started, not realising how famous he and his band-mates were and being a modern-day Lovejoy.

At the height of their fame, the English punk rock band had 18 consecutive UK top 40 singles, including four number one hits dating from their debut in 1977 to when they broke up in 1982.

"I remember the first time we started to realise that we were becoming quite successful was turning up at a show and seeing this huge queue of people down the street and we thought, 'I wonder what they're queuing for'?

"It wasn't until we turned the corner in the bus to get to the venue that we realised that they were all queuing to come into our show."

Rick joined Jay James and Hal Stewart on the Big Friday Show to chat about his new book 'The Dead Straight Guide To The Jam' which chronicles the band's rise to fame and takes a look at 50 of their best songs and how they were produced.

In 2015 Rick released "That's Entertainment: My Life in The Jam", an autobiography detailing his personal journey with the band. He describes this book as something very different:

"It's more about picking 50 songs and writing about what it was like to write the songs, record them, play them live and was a bit more sort facts and figures in there than the autobiography which I purposefully stayed away from."

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Rick and band-mates Bruce Foxton and Paul Weller are one of the most popular bands of their generation. While their contemporaries were wearing ripped clothes, The Jam set themselves apart by always wearing tailored suits and incorporating 1960s rhythm and blues, while still sounding quintessentially British.

"We got out of bed just to do the band."

"Me and Paul and another guy, Steve Brooks started it when we were at school and it was everything really.

"Everything else came second. Girlfriends, jobs, holidays were all second place to the band for 10 years."


In the 1990s Rick was working as an antique dealer in Woking, Surrey. He had decided it was time to take a break from the music scene. As Hal suggested, this made him a 'modern-day Lovejoy', the antique dealer played by Ian McShane from the BBC comedy series of the same name.

"I tend to do what my heart says I should do. I got into that because I wanted to get away from the music industry for a couple of years."

Rick is now helping to promote music and recruitment for The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment (PWRR) Surrey Army Cadets. Surrey is the oldest county in the Army Cadet Force and a single cap badge county. The drummer says he is proud to be associated with PWRR:

"They invited us down to talk to some of the musicians who were starting off. It was a real treat, there was a small brass band in there doing their stuff.

"They played Town Called Malice which was fabulous. I mean it was really great."


Before The Jam tasted fame they performed gigs at local clubs in Surrey and even for the British Army a few times.

"We used to do quite a few shows that the Army used to hang around in and one of them was actually in Aldershot Grounds which was the Cannon Club."

"Back in the day, we were a covers band when we were doing the clubs so people used to book us because we'd play a lot of the Kinks numbers and The Beatles.

"We were just the turn for the evening."

Rick says that The Jam's relationship with their fans was a little different from the “them and us” vibe happening with massive bands touring arenas in the late 70s and early 80s.

"There was a feeling of trying to break down those barriers so that we didn't have that sort of 'us and them situation' and we forged our own relationship with our own fans at our own level."

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