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Paul Weller Featured In Record Collector!

As Paul Weller celebrates his 50th birthday, John Reed investigates the secret history of an English icon.

Paul Weller’s 50th birthday was on 25 May, not that he’d thank us for reminding him. Rumours suggest it was not exactly something he was celebrating. And yet, as he reached his half century, Weller had much to feel proud about. As his Lifetime Achievement Award at the Brits in 2006 reflected, the once angry young man from Woking is inarguably the most successful British musician to have emerged from the punk wars of the late 70s – whether that be in terms of commercial success, critical acclaim, iconic status or musical influence.

Forever restless, Weller is still consumed with ‘the Now’, consistently scornful of nostalgia, preferring to speak enthusiastically about his new double album, 22 Dreams, which just might be the most ambitious and eclectic work of his entire career – his ‘White Album’. Although betraying Weller’s long held love of psychedelia, Motown, Mod-rock and more recent passions for the mysticism of English folk and the rustic charms of 70s journeymen like Ronnie Lane, 22 Dreams is a positively schizophrenic experience at odds with any previous solo effort.

This is scarcely the behaviour of a quinquagenarian comfortable with his bank balance, with one eye on his dotage and the other on his musical legacy. It’s also a far cry from his erstwhile …

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Steve White On The Passing of John Weller...

It wasn't unexpected to get the news that John Weller had passed away , it was a beautiful sunny morning in fact , but the news still stung even though the anticipation existed .

I finished work today , a day peppered by texts and calls , I missed the call that mattered but made ammends and spoke to the one person I needed to speak to , I raised a glass at dinner and reminisced with my beautiful partner of days of travel and nights of glory that followed , and after a little to much wine the drowsiness lifted and the harsh reality that someone very special had passed hit me , I wanted to say that , with my emotions bubbling very much to the surface , I wanted to remember those decades and shows and nights that we all spent together , indestructible , laughing and making the music of our dreams , wide eyed vagabonds not quite believing .

I remember the day on arriving back from Sydney, John telling me it was all over and he had enough of "this lark" , that was 24 odd years …

John Weller Obituary From The Independent...

For thirty years, John Weller managed the career of his son Paul, through the salad days and success of The Jam in the Seventies and early Eighties, the ups and downs of The Style Council and Paul’s re-emergence as a solo artist in the Nineties. Theirs was a unique father-son relationship in the music industry, built on John’s unwavering belief in Paul’s talent and shared values like hard work and pragmatism.

John could be blunt, and once refused to have lunch in a record company’s executive dining room, remarking to the managing director: “I didn’t come here to eat, I came to do business.” But his bark was worse than his bite.

John’s success was all the more remarkable since he started in his forties after years working in factories, on building sites and driving a taxi. When The Jam signed to Polydor in February 1977, for a £6,000 advance and a six per cent royalty rate, John admitted he didn’t have a bank account and asked for cash instead of a cheque. A&R man Chris Parry duly we…

Paul Weller's Son, Natt Gives A Candid Taxi Interview

Where else to meet the musician son of the agelessly groovy Modfather but at London’s trendy Met Bar? And there’s more than a hint of moody Mod style about the Japanese parka that Paul Weller’s eldest child Natt has slung over his Vivienne Westwood top.

Yet there all similarity ends, for singer-guitarist Natt has inherited the exotic beauty of his mother – former Wham! and Style Council backing singer Dee C Lee – rather than the famously angular features of his father.

‘Everybody always goes, “Luckily he took after his mum…”’ laughs Natt, whose mother is from France and St Lucia and whose great-great grandma was Japanese. Hence Natt’s fascination for Japan, where he moved in 2006 for a year to learn the language.

To pay for his studies, he modelled and deejayed, ‘I felt like an outsized monster,’ confides Natt, 21, a 6ft 1in beanpole. He returned a fan of Japan’s popular culture – from manga cartoons to punk-goth music – and with a different spelling to his name, which now features two ‘…