“Personal Freedom, Personal Choice”

Joe Jackson

Back in the final throes of the Seventies (1979) as some may remember Joe Jackson sprang onto the national music scene with his single “Is She Really Going out with Him?” which reached No.13 followed by “It’s Different For Girls” four months later, which reached a giddy height of No.5 in the UK singles chart.

He has had a string of hits over the intervening years, rarely out of the album charts with some opus or other; he was even awarded a Grammy in 2000 for “Best Pop Instrumental Album” with his LP titled simply “Symphony No.1”.

Joe has also written the scores for seven films, probably the most famous being “ Tucker: The Man and His Dream” Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and staring Jeff Bridges.

An accomplished song writer and composer, his book a cure for gravity won him much critical acclaim as an author as well. If you wish to find out more on Joe’s talents I would suggest you check out his official web site at www.joejackson.com/ and the very informative unofficial fan site of www.jj-archive.net/ which is maintained by Andreas Wostrack.

Joe Jackson

What is less well known, and why he gets his foot in F2C’s door is his stance on Smoking bans, and more to the point he speaks out quite loudly on the issue. He is a patron of FOREST, a member of FORCES and a regular contributor to New York Times and UK Daily Telegraph. He also has the unusual distinction of being extremely well read on the subject, unlike some commentators in the media.

Joe moved to New York in 1982 which he made his home, although still maintaining a presence in the UK. After the events of 9/11, Mayor Bloomberg’s NY smoking ban was the final straw and Joe moved back to the UK, but not before he penned the song 20-0-3. Back in the UK, no sooner did he get his bags unpacked then our own ban was announced. So he will probably go and live in Germany now.

Joe’s interest in smoking bans was kindled, when he took the rather unusual step for a member of the public, on seeing various media articles, of saying to himself “something doesn’t add up here”. But he didn’t leave it there as many do but went on to research the issue for himself and discovered the lies and prejudices that we are all now discovering.

The outcome of his considerable research culminated in the release of his extensive essay ” The Smoking Issue”. This is a well written and well researched piece, and should be on the must read list of anyone who is interested in the myth and magic of second hand smoke.

It was through talking with Joe one wet, windy night in a local ‘boozer’ (i.e. A real pub) “The Pembroke”, with a real log fire and a half deaf octogenarian bashing out sing-a-long pub tunes on the pub’s ‘ole jo-anna’, that started me looking into the true facts behind the SHS hysteria. When he said to me that, quote, “you’re more likely to die as a result of being left-handed and using right-handed things, than you are from passive smoking” that I said to myself “can that be true?” the rest as they say is history…

Pete J.