Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Paul Weller: Biography

Paul Weller (born John William Weller 25 May 1958, in Sheerwater, near Woking, Surrey) is an English singer-songwriter.

Weller was the leader and creator behind the formation of two successful bands, The Jam and The Style Council, before starting a successful solo career. He has remained essentially a national rather than an international star, probably because much of his songwriting is rooted in English culture. He is also the principal figure of the Mod revival and is often called the Modfather.

Weller was born into a working-class family. His father worked in the building trade as a scaffolder and a bricklayer, and his mother worked as a cleaner. Weller was brought up in Stanley Road, Woking in a Victorian council house, which had an outside toilet but neither hot running water nor central heating.

Early life
Weller was not academically minded and he disliked the discipline and routine of school; however, he keenly read the lyrics on pop music records and watched Top of the Pops on the television. From about 10 years old he was interested in playing in a band, and when he was 12 years old his family gave him a guitar, which he learned to play from a few basic music lessons and by playing along to music. In 1973, at the age of 14 years, Weller performed his first gig, which was at Walton Road Working Man's Club, with his friend Steve Brooks, who helped to form The Jam. They had a regular Wednesday evening slot there and they played cover music to a very small audience. As a teenager, he began to realise that a career in pop music would be ideal when a gig the band played in the lunch hour at his school was successful and popular with girl pupils. The band played in social clubs, working man's clubs and pubs in Surrey and London for about five years, with his father as manager always keen to promote the band and take care of the organisation. They attracted a good following, which was particularly noticeable when they played for three weeks at a pub called the "Red Cow" (now rebuilt and renamed Latymers) in Hammersmith, and increasing numbers of people attended to the extent that queues formed. The Jam were signed by Polydor Records in 1977 for £6,000, at a time when they were short of money, and later in 1977 The Jam performed on Top of the Pops.

Personal life:
Soon after the formation of the Style Council, Weller and Dee C. Lee, Style Council's backing singer, formed a romantic relationship. The couple married, and have two children. The couple are now divorced. Weller has five children in total: two with Lee, one from a short relationship, and two with his current partner.

Weller has a good relationship with his father and appreciates his practical approach and honest opinions. When Weller's father's health began to fail in 2003–4 he retired from being Weller's manager; nevertheless, Weller still welcomes his opinions.

Weller is a fan of Chelsea F.C. and can regularly be spotted at their games.

Paul Weller declined to receive a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list of 2006.

Career
The Jam
The Style Council
Solo career
Legacy
-Three of Weller's songs - two Style Council numbers and one song from The Jam - appeared on the soundtrack to the film Billy Elliot.
-His influence upon the 1990s generation of British guitar bands, coupled with his love of 1960's Mod-era music, had earned him the affectionate nickname "The Modfather". In 1995 he collaborated with Noel Gallagher and Paul McCartney to form a one-off 'super group' called The Smokin' Mojo Filters, releasing a charity version of The Beatles' hit "Come Together" in aid of Bosnian children.
-The Style Council came in at No. 97, Weller as a solo artist at No. 21 and The Jam at No. 5 in British national radio station Virgin Radio's poll in December 2002 to find the top 100 British artists of all time.
-In February 2006, Paul Weller received the Lifetime Achievement award at the BRIT Awards. At the presentation, he played his solo tracks "From The Floorboards Up", "Come On"/"Let's Go", "The Changingman" and also The Jam's "Town Called Malice".
-With Steve White, Weller also set up a website called checkemlads.com following a chat with a fan Philly Morris who was going through cancer treatment in 2003.
-In 1983, The Jam broke The Beatles' record of seven singles in the Top 100 simultaneously. The Jam placed 14 singles in the same week. This happened when Polydor rushed to re-release their entire back catalogue following the split.
-Paul Weller's career features strongly in the Arts. In film, The Style Council song Have You Ever Had It Blue featured in the film Absolute Beginners starring Patsy Kensit, Eddie O'Connell and David Bowie; The Jam song Town Called Malice is used in the film Billy Elliot starring Jamie Bell; The Weller solo song You Do Something to Me appears in The Truth About Cats & Dogs starring Uma Thurman and the Paul Weller song Everything Has a Price to Pay is heard in the film Face starring Robert Carlyle, Ray Winstone and Phil Davies. On television The Jam song News of the World is the theme tune to Mock The Week whilst the Jack Dee comedy Lead Balloon includes One Way Road written by Noel Gallagher performed by Paul Weller. There are numerous books written about Paul Weller's career and even in the world of fiction the 2004 Lad lit novel 'You Are Here' includes a character, Dave Holliman, who is a big Weller fan and there are numerous references to The Jam and Style Council.
Solo discography
Studio Albums
Compilation and Live Albums
Re-issues
Singles

Source: Wikipedia

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