BOY ABOUT TOWN

(1977-1982)

Q (UK) - - Cover Story -

March 1977. Sid Vi­cious has just joined the Sex Pis­tols, The Clash are about to re­lease their de­but sin­gle and in the Strat­ford Place stu­dios of Poly­dor Records in Lon­don’s West End, a Rick­en­backer sails through the air and splin­ters nois­ily against the sound-proofed wall. “I think I broke at least a cou­ple,” says Weller, re­liv­ing his gui­tar-wreck­ing teenage frus­tra­tions mak­ing The Jam’s de­but al­bum, In The City. “We weren’t used to proper stu­dios, or a proper pro­ducer, so we were still naive. It was hard at first hav­ing to deal with that dis­ci­pline.” Weller paints us a self-por­trait of the artist as a young mod. “Ar­ro­gant, overly se­ri­ous,” he de­scribes, “and quite spoilt as well. By the time I was 18, al­though I wasn’t a fuck­ing su­per­star or any­thing, nev­er­the­less I was mak­ing my liv­ing play­ing mu­sic and didn’t re­ally have a boss as such. I was very hot-headed and prob­a­bly dif­fi­cult to deal with. But I was on a mis­sion and I was try­ing to keep the band on course, which was dif­fi­cult some­times. There were lots of things the record ecord com­pany sug­gested we should be do­ing that I thought, ‘No fuck­ing way!’ I had a lot to fight against.” Not all his fights were metaphor­i­cal. In Novem­ber 1978 while tour­ing third LP, All Mod Cons – the first truly clas­sic Weller al­bum that trans­formed The Jam from om sneered-at “’ 60s re­vival­ists” to the great­est Bri­tish band of their age – he found him­self in the dock after a ruckus in a Leeds ho­tel bar with an Aus­tralian rugby team that left bassist Bruce Fox­ton with a bro­ken rib. Out­side the court­house loyal fans waved “Paul Weller Is In­no­cent” plac­ards. Was he? “Prob­a­bly,” he says, a coy twin­kle in his eye. “That one was a bit hairy. I had a cou­ple of bruises and was in clink for a night, banged up with a few oth­ers. But it was alright, bum­ming cig­a­rettes and all that,

Jack the lads: The Jam (from left, Bruce Fox­ton, Paul Weller, Rick Buck­ler), 1978.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.