Paul Weller

Paul Weller - The Face

Paul Weller - The Face 1981

Whilst Terry Hall never appeared to smile, he was certainly not miserable, he just saw no need to smile, if you asked him to he did, albeit in a very minimalist fashion. The same was not true of Paul Weller.

I remember this shoot well, it was a cover story for the Face, he was wearing a bright red vest, a clean white shirt, and his hair was a perfect copy of Stevie Marriott. You could certainly direct Paul, it did not do you much good however. All you got was the look, a stare that questioned his reason for being there, that this was part of the job, that you would never see below the surface.

Being for the cover it needed to be good, I tried everything to get some kind of look on his face, every angle failed, nothing brought a smile to his face, nothing I said caused any change in him, the photo needed something and I told him so.

Out of his pocket he produced a box of matches, he put one in his mouth and the picture somehow now had a life, he moved it around slightly between frames, as if it were an important prop. His face is exactly the same in all the pictures, the position of the match governs the choice, yet somehow there is something here, a flicker of interest in his eyes, but you have to look really hard to see past the persona he has always projected, that of Paul Weller, leader of the Jam, leader of the Style Council, and now the Godfather of Pop, I'm amazed he has lasted this long.