In which we re-watch the Graduate, wonder when Yes songs stopped making sense, salute the best rock stage names and the Björn Ulvaeus song credit campaign, ponder the curious UK launch of Rolling Stone, note the bands who never did cover versions and wonder if – and this may be stressful – Queen could become more popular than the Beatles.
‘The Best Of Jamming!’ is a powerfully nostalgic collection of extracts from the fanzine Tony launched in 1977 when he was 13, born of the lost age of spraymount, cow gum, Tippex, typewriters and cut-and-paste issues stapled together on the bedroom floor. He looks back at the hand-drawn covers, letters from Paul Weller, cash loans from his Mum, in-office debates (“Can we have American acts on the cover?”) and the magazine’s eight glorious years on the edge of insolvency, a story someone really ought to make into a movie. Copies of Jamming! now fetch £50 on eBay.
.. where we consider the brave new world in which Rick Astley plays the Smiths, a documentary explores the reasons people detest Kenny G and Rolling Stone rather self-consciously revise their list of the Best 500 Songs Of All Time (should they declare 2001 the new Year Zero and just reset the clock?). And featuring … worst supergroups, acts who’ve never put out any cover versions, bands who arrived at the venue but never played and Morrissey answering the phones on Rock Around the Clock.
Among the white-hot news items fondly examined this week you’ll find … the eternal wars in Fleetwood Mac, how we broadcast our love of bands before the rock t-shirt arrived (involves a canvas bag, a biro and the words ‘Chicken Shack’), Michael Chapman, Dumpy’s Rusty Nuts, the one good thing about the pandemic, albums that were too long and a night featuring a navy surplus greatcoat and the non-appearance of the Move’s Ace “The Singing Skull” Kefford.
In which we consider the melancholy of Abba (and find a 45 year-old bar of Abba soap), applaud the hidden message in Lee Perry’s Cow Thief Skank, wonder how Judee Sill would be marketed today, remember the Beach Boys’ purple patch and note the only two things of any worth ever achieved by Iron Butterfly.