Jem Finer (Jeremy Max Finer)Born: July 25, 1955 in Stoke-On-Trent, England
Instruments: Banjo, Hurdy-Gurdy, Mandola, Saxaphone, Guitar, and more
Jem studied computing and sociology in college. After college, he worked on a barge in France. Then, after a year travelling around Europe he settled in London. Jem became the bass player in a group called The Petals and lived in 32 Burton Street, a house which he sometimes shared with Spider Stacey and Shane MacGowan.
Shane and Jem began rehersing together in 1981. They were backing a schoolteacher who wrote and performed her own songs. Jem played gutar, Shane bass and the drummer was Ollie Watts of The Millwall Chainsaws.
Shane and Jem tried busking and, among other places, auditioned for a busking license at Covent Garden. They weren't liked and a man who watched the audition told them that "Very few people have come here and failed what we like to call The Covent Garden Seal Of Quality. I'm sorry, you have failed."
Jem later learned to play the banjo. He was influenced by country music, so he learned the banjo while trying to play irish music in a country style.
In the video "Live at the Town & Country," Joe Strummer described Jem as the "Bill Wyman" of The Pogues, and that without him everybody would just float away into the air. In July 1996, Joe was proven correct when Jem left the group and prompted The Pogues to break-up.
Jem played hurdy-gurdy on The Levellers' album "The Levellers" (1994) and banjo on Shane MacGowan's solo album "The Snake" (1994). Jem formed a new band in 1996 called The Heironymous Monk Octet, which Darryl Hunt later joined.
Great wads of thanks go to Orjan Folcke for his invaluable help with these biographies.
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