This Day In Music 25.05.2016
Weller was born on 25 May 1958 in Sheerwater, near Woking, England. Although born as John William Weller, he became known as Paul by his parents. He always knew he would be a musician. His mum tells a story about taking him to see an Elvis film when he was three, and him standing in the aisle with a plastic guitar singing along. 'I take that as a sign...' And he always had self-belief. Even at the age of 15 when he was playing with his first band every weekend in working men's clubs and pubs around Woking, often resenting the fact that he wasn't spending the evening with a girl or his mates, he knew that all the effort would be worthwhile. “It sounds arrogant, but I always knew I'd make it. I didn't have any other career options. It was either this or nothing”. He left the Surrey town of Woking, when he was 18 years old.
Weller's career can be divided into three distinct chapters. There were his years with the Jam, Mod-revivalists who emerged from the convulsions of punk to become one of the most successful British bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s, with 18 consecutive top-40 singles. Then there was the Style Council - a different musical direction, soul-jazz (and a different haircut), who again enjoyed a run of success until petering out in the late 1980s. Weller's career seemed to be all but over; then came his remarkable renaissance as a solo artist in the 1990s, when he was acclaimed as the 'Modfather' of Britpop, lauded as one of Britain's finest songwriters and garlanded with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Brits in 2006.
He won the NME Award for ‘Best Guitarist’ for four consecutive years from 1979 to 1982. Similarly, he received the NME Award for ‘Best Songwriter’ in 1979, 1980, 1981and 1982.
He was awarded the BRIT Award for ‘Best British Male Solo Artist’ the years 1995, 1996 and 2009.
The NME Award for ‘Best Male Singer’ was awarded to him in 1980 and 1982.
He won the NME Award for ‘Best Solo Artist’ in 1995 and 1996.
He received the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the BRIT Awards 2006 for his ‘outstanding contribution to music’.
In 2010, he won the ‘Godlike Genius Award’ at the NME Awards. The same year, he was awarded the ‘Ivor Novello Lifetime Achievement Award’.
What are the four things that Weller would choose to define himself. “The bubble off a Lambretta SX 200,'”he says. '”A decent pair of shoes; a fag on the burn…” He pauses. “I've got a fantastic French Small Faces EP with an amazing picture of them on the front. Definitely that. See, it's always clothes and records.” He throws back his head and laughs. '”That's how shallow I am”.
Weller's favourite song: Tammi Terrell – All I Do Is Thinking of You (1966)
Weller's latest single: These City Streets (from Saturns Pattern, 2015)