I’m not sure this post belongs on a blog about Los Angeles. John Weller was British and died today or yesterday. To my generation, he was Paul Weller‘s dad and manager.

Recently I was watching the “Strange World” video on You Tube and I laughed when I saw John Weller introduce his son’s band as he did countless and countless times with the famous: “Put your hands together for the best band in the fucking world!”

John Weller deserves this Smiling Spider tribute because it’s rare for artists to be supported by their parents, especially when you’re as young as Paul Weller was when he started (he dropped off of high school to dedicate his life to music.)

John Weller wasn’t one of those parents who push their kids to become stars or hope it will make them rich and famous. John Weller was a cab driver and construction worker who drove his son and his band mates to rehearsals and concerts for the sole purpose of indulging a son he loved and of whom he was so protective that he made himself their band manager. Seeing from comments posted on various websites today, the memory of John Weller’s lively introduction to The Jam’s concerts is dear to many. Witnessing at the beginning of every concert the tight father-son relationship became a significant and healing ritual for an audience composed of angry teenagers who were probably estranged from their parents.

weller

Paul Weller turned 50 this year… still writing original material after all these years.

John Weller went on to manage his son’s affairs for the rest of his life. Paul Weller, who fronted one of the most famous British bands of the late 1970’s-early 1980’s, The Jam, then went on to form The Style Council in the mid 1980’s, is one of the few musicians from the punk rock era (The Jam had more of a 1960’s style but they came out of the early punk years and Paul Weller always said he was influenced by the Sex Pistols’ sound) to have had  a very successful solo career throughout the 1990’s and up until today. At 50, he just won the Best Solo Artist at the Brit Awards and just released a successfully acclaimed double album.

I don’t think I would remember John Weller today if I hadn’t caught the first few bars of The Jam’s “A Town Called Malice” on the radio a few months ago and hadn’t fallen in love with it all over again. And when I was in DC for the inauguration of our 44th President, the soundtrack in my head was The Style Council’s “Walls Come Tumbling Down.” So here’s a tribute to Paul Weller, the lasting artist, and John Weller, the dream dad who made it happen.

A very young Paul Weller tells us what he thinks of institutionalized education.

The Style Council – “Walls Come Tumbling Down” – mid 1980’s

Advertisements