Flashback: October 1982
Paul Weller baffles fans and bandmates by quitting the Jam, as bass player Bruce Foxton recalls:
“Earlier that year, when we were on tour in Japan, it was clear that Paul was unhappy. Rick [Buckler, drums] and myself felt we all needed a break. It had been a hectic six years or so and there was a lot of pressure on Paul in particular, with the songwriting. When we got back in the UK, Paul called a meeting. He just said he wanted to leave the band.
“We tried to talk him round, said: ‘Take as long as you need off,’ but he’d made up his mind. We had no idea what direction he was going to go in but when he came out with the Style Council, it made more sense to me. I thought, ‘OK, maybe you made the right decision,’ because at that point I wouldn’t have gone in that direction. Possibly he knew that.
“The farewell tour was very emotional. It was a while before I was talked round to have one last fling, and do it for the fans. They were among the best gigs we ever did, but off stage it was totally different. We still met fans after the show, as we’d always done, but their only question was, why? And at that point there was nothing to say but ‘I don’t know.’ I did feel we had more in us as the Jam. That we wouldn’t have become an embarrassment.
“Paul and I have been on good terms again for a few years now. My wife passed away recently and he’s been amazing. The friendship has been renewed and music aside, that’s all I ever wanted. That means more to me than any reformation.”
• Bruce Foxton is touring the UK with From the Jam throughout December