Skip to main content

Paul Weller -The Soundtrack Of My Life!

When I discovered the magic of music
Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane (1967)

This was the first time I had heard music that made me sit up and think, 'This is something else.' I was nine, so I didn't know anything about psychedelic music or acid; it just sounded so different, so otherworldly. From then on, I lived and breathed music. I watched Top of the Pops every week, playing air guitar in front of the TV. I would be on plastic guitar and a mate would be on biscuit tins, drumming. That was it, really. Then my dad bought me a guitar at 12 and at 14 I was playing gigs in working men's clubs in Woking.

When we got the Jam together
Down by the Jetty - Dr Feelgood (1975)

At first we only played Beatles covers, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, not only because we loved that kind of music but because the songs only have three chords. The rock'n'roll influence comes through my mum, a big Elvis fan, and then through Dr Feelgood. This album's menacing, edgy sound was a turning point amid the hangover from the Sixties that went on with Fleetwood Mac and Reo Speedwagon. Wilko Johnson is an English Chuck Berry: he takes English subjects and puts them into an R&B idiom.

When I left school
Odessey and Oracle - The Zombies (1968)

I was never bothered about making it in America. I wanted to portray my surroundings, and whether that translated on a universal level wasn't an issue. Odessey and Oracle showed me that you could write from your own perspective. Its sense of melody has been a huge influence, whether that means using mellotrons or certain chord sequences. It's similar to Nick Drake or Village Green Preservation Society by the Kinks: it did nothing when it came out, and could only have been made in England. It's autumnal.

When I formed the Style Council
What's Going On - Marvin Gaye (1971)

It's a choice between this, Innervisions by Stevie Wonder and Curtis Mayfield's first solo albums: all beautiful soul records that say something. Curtis was a prophet back then, out there on his own, putting humanitarianism and spirituality into black consciousness. But What's Going On is a symphonic concept album and Marvin Gaye the greatest singer of all time: his range and control over his voice is amazing. He raised the bar for me when I wanted to stretch out musically. Records this good take years to be properly appreciated.

My latest discovery
Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes (2008)

I really love this. It has a lot of choral harmonies, almost like church music, combined with Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys, and great melodies. But most important, it sounds fresh. Funnily enough, all the American bands I like are much better known here than they are there. I was in the States recently and was raving about Midlake, Black Mountain, Dr Dog and Fleet Foxes, and nobody had heard of them. Even Kings of Leon aren't particularly well known. It's a shame because there's a lot of good music coming out of America right now.

From The Guardian


Popular posts from this blog

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 ‘…