February 19, 2007, 9:00 AM ET Greg Prato, N.Y. The Jam bassist Bruce Foxton and drummer Rick Buckler are reuniting for a tour, minus the group's most famous member, Paul Weller, under the moniker "From the Jam: Bruce Foxton and Rick Buckler." The duo, who will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Jam's debut, "In the City," will be joined by singer/guitarist Russell Hastings and guitarist/keyboardist Dave Moore on a U.K. that runs through May.
"I had been away from the live scene for about twelve years prior to 2005," Buckler tells Billboard.com. "And at that point, I felt that I wanted to play live again, along with a longstanding desire to revisit the songs of the Jam. It all made good sense for me to team up with Russell Hastings and Dave Moore, whom I had seen on several occasions in the band Maximum High. We went into rehearsals for a few months and as the Gift organized about six shows at the end of 2005. I was unsure at first, as to the reception we would get, but after speaking to some of the fans, I quickly realized that this was not only a gift to me but to all the fans of the Jam."
The first thought on many fans' minds will be why Weller is not involved, which Buckler offers to explain. "Paul had cut all lines of communication with myself and Bruce after 1982 for reasons of his own," he says. "I do know that he was aware of the Gift and what I was doing, and that he was not interested in any way in reforming the Jam. For my part, there seemed little point even putting the question to him, or even if he was open for any dialog on the subject."
Foxton, however, bumped into Weller not long ago during a Who concert at London's Hyde Park. "It was very brief but fantastic to be on speaking terms again. At that time [the tour] was not even thought of. I haven't got a contact number for Paul, but even if I did, I don't think he'd be interested, given what he's supposedly said in the press, but it would be nice to get his blessing, though. Then again, Sting's just got the Police back together!"
Weller could not be reached for comment about the upcoming tour. Since leaving the group in 1982, he has repeatedly told journalists he will never reform the Jam. However, he saluted the band's past during a run of shows earlier this month in New York and Los Angeles, performing a number of Jam songs not usually featured in his set lists.
Despite Weller's absence, From the Jam will be offering a set list comprised of all the classics. "Difficult to choose which songs we would leave out," Buckler says. "As we have chosen the set from what are our own personal favorites, there is so much to draw from - 'Strangetown,' 'When You're Young,' 'Down in the Tube Station at Midnight,' 'A Bomb in Wardour Street' and 'Start!' are all in the set. The covers were always fun to play and maybe we could add some of these -- 'Midnight Hour,' 'War,' 'So Sad About Us,' 'Get Yourself Together,' etc."
Only U.K. dates are planned for the time being, but Foxton doesn't rule out the possibility of playing on American soil as well. "Let's see how the U.K. tour goes," he says. "All being well, tomorrow's the world."
A pre-sale for tickets begins Wednesday (Feb. 21) at LiveNation.co.uk .
So what are your favorite examples of bands that simply should not reunite, seeing as how they are missing a prime part of the band ???
Also posted at worstsongsever