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Blueberry Rock / Takin My Love

Holy Grails

Blueberry Rock / Takin My Love

“It was recorded somewhere like Kingston – some little demo place,” Paul Weller 1992. “It was the very first thing we ever recorded as a fourpiece,” the four being Weller, Brookes, Buckler and Dave Waller. Encouraged by local Tom Jones soundalike Vic Black, the band booked a session at Eden Studios, which had been opened in 1967 by Philip Love and Mike Gardner, with help from Piers Ford-Crush. The facilities were originally at 11 Eden Street in Kingston-Upon-Thames (hence the name), before moving to Chiswick in 1975 (playing host to The Jam in summer 1978 during early sessions for All Mod Cons). The studio finally closed in July 2007 – but sadly, no one who worked there at the time recalled The Jam’s modest beginnings. After a tempestuous midweek evening session, The Jam left with a master tape of Blueberry Rock and Takin’ My Love and had a handful of acetates cut at Fanfare Studios in Guildford, a grand name for what was actually a one-man/backroom operation run by one Len Farley, which centred around a Neumann lathe. “We went to a tape duplication place and they cut some little acetates,” recalls Rick. “We had four or five of them done with labels. We sent some of them off to record companies but never got a reply.” Today, Weller has only the vaguest memories of those tentative, teenage days: “I just remember the studios being pokey. But it was our first time. No anecdotes or stories apart from the fact we were very nervous. We also used to rehearse at this shitty studio called Michael’s.” A copy of Blueberry Rock sold at Christie’s Auction House in April 2007 for £4,320. An illustration from Christie’s’ catalogue revealed that Fanfare used Emidisc acetates and had their own printed labels to stick on top. It also confirms that Takin’ My Love was a joint Weller- Brookes composition, a fact conveniently forgotten in the songwriting credits on In The City some four years later (Brookes later revealed its inspiration was The Beatles’ country rock-flavoured One After 909). Soon afterwards, Paul ‘loaned’ Blueberry Rock to another local band, Squire, later to make their mark on the Mod revival. But neither recording has ever surfaced.

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