Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Modfather: Mr. Paul Weller

John William Weller

Starting with the mod/punk-rock band ’The Jam’ (1976–1982), Weller then went on to branch out musically to a more soulful style with The Style Council (1983–1989). In 1991 he re-established himself as a successful solo artist, and continues to remain a respected singer, lyricist and guitarist, a fact reaffirmed by his awarding of the 2009 BRIT award for Best Male Solo Artist.. He has remained a national rather than an international star, and much of his songwriting is rooted in British culture. He is also the principal figure of the 1970s and 80s mod revival and is often referred to as the Modfather.

Weller was born on 25 May 1958 in Sheerwater, near Woking, Surrey, England, to John and Ann Weller. He was initially known as John William Weller but later acquired the name Paul.

His father worked as a taxi driver and his mother was a part-time cleaner. In 1963 Weller started his education at Maybury County First School. His love of music started with The Beatles, then The Who and the Small Faces. By the time Weller was eleven and moving up to secondary school at Sheerwater County Secondary music was the biggest part of his life and he began playing the guitar.

In 1972 Weller formed his first group, ‘The Jam’, playing bass guitar with his best friends Steve Brookes (lead guitar) and Dave Waller (rhythm guitar). Weller's father, their manager, began booking the band into local working men's clubs. Joined by Rick Buckler on drums, and with Bruce Foxton soon replacing Waller on rhythm guitar, the four-piece band began to forge a local reputation playing a mixture of Beatles covers and a number of compositions written by Weller and Brooks. In 1976 Brookes left the band and Weller and Foxton decided they would swap guitar roles, with Weller now the lead singer.

Soon after the formation of The Style Council, Weller and Dee C. Lee, Style Council's backing singer, began a romantic relationship. The couple married in 1988 and divorced in 1994. They have two children Leah and Nathaniel (Natt), who is also a working musician and once appeared on stage with his father at Hammersmith Apollo at age 12. Weller has another daughter, Dylan, by a short-lived relationship with a make-up artist called Lucy

While he was recording at the Manor studios in the mid 1990s, he became involved with Samantha Stock. They have two children, daughter Jesamine and Stevie Mac named in homage, for the Small Faces band members. In October 2008 they broke up and Weller moved in with a backing singer on his 22 Dreams who has toured with his band, Hannah Andrews. The pair were married in September 2010.

On April 24, 2009, John Weller, Paul Weller's father and long-time manager since the days of ‘The Jam’, died from pneumonia at the age of 77.

Weller has stated a wide range of influences throughout his musical career, frequently listing Small Faces, 'The Beatles', 'The Kinks', 'The Who' and 1960s and 1970s soul music.

During the Britpop explosion in the mid-1990s a number of fledging bands, such as Oasis, Ocean Colour Scene and Blur, cited Weller and ’The Jam’ as a major influence. As a new generation of bands emerged, Weller was again noted as an influence by bands such as Hard-Fi, Arctic Monkeys, the Enemy and the Rifles.


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