Thursday, September 05, 2002

WELLER, WELLER UH...: Maybe it's part of getting old, but it just seems former heroes are so keen to demonstrate their feet of clay they're wearing flip flops and pointing going "look! look!"
Now, Paul Weller has long since stopped putting out anything worth listening to - indeed, since the demise of the Style Council it's been awful to hear one of this nation's greatest songwriters emitting what seems to be one long wail of male menopause after another; and the hanging out with the Gallaghers has been disappointing (like watching Jesus fawning round Paul Daniels). But he's gone another notch down with his new anti-war stance.
Talking to BBC News, he's announced that he doesn't intend to take part in any campaign against the forthcoming Iraqi adventures. Which would be fair enough - nobody should be forced to protest against anything - but his reasons are pretty disappointing: But he said he would not get behind any campaign after being "used" by the political group Red Wedge in the mid-1980s.
"It was the biggest mistake ever for me because once you get involved with those people you see how it's all run," he said.
"It's more about their egos and it's not about really making a difference."

Whats this? Weller was "used" by Red Wedge? A curious word for him to select; and even more curious is the way that Weller, who was one of the main spokespeople for Wedge at the time (along with Bragg and Somerville), now comes to speak of his former cause as being ego driven. Maybe the jibes endured by Red Wedge still rankle with him - and even fifteen years on, 'red wedge' still gets thrown about to stop any pop person with aspirations to agitate, educate and organise in their tracks - and maybe his subsequent misadventures, including the very public accusations from a year or two back, have just calcified his soul, but to do nothing because he met some people who were interested in themselves more than a cause sounds like a lame excuse. After Red Wedge, remember, Weller was involved in the no-less ego-fuelled Band and Live Aid, which surely shows that sometimes these things can make a difference, even if they're unlikely to change the world?
Not that Weller is entirely sitting at home hoping the world will go away of its own accord. He has written an anti-war song, and that's where his clay feet get fired, painted and sold as a doorstop. The man who wrote Going Underground is now coming up with this sort of thing: "His song, called A Bullet for Everyone, is included on Weller's new album and is aimed at "Tony Blair and his boyfriends, or Bush and his." The man who once fondled Merton Mick's ear is now using "queer" as the ultimate insult. Cheers, Paul.
That a Bullet For Everyone was written at Noel's house probably says it all.
Maybe it is for the best if you stay away from the rallies, Weller.

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