Paul Weller turns 52 today. I almost met him once…
When I moved to Dublin in September 1997, I only had a couple of hundred dollars to my name. During my first few months there, I struggled to find a job and maintain a bank balance that was greater than my age. But, eventually I got a job and (slowly) started saving money. Which, is important. But what was more important was that I could eventually start buying CDs again. Which, brings me to the story about how I almost met the ‘Modfather’.
It was a Saturday morning in Dublin in the autumn of 1998 and I was on my weekly excursion into town to look for some new CDs. The trip began in the Virgin Megastore on the Quays, when I walked in and headed straight for the ‘Sales’ rack. At this time, I didn’t have nearly enough money to buy everything that I really wanted to, so I had to be very discerning with my choices and subsequent purchases. As I was perusing, I came across the Jam’s album ‘The Gift’. It was their last album and one of the few that I did not yet own. It was also only five quid. Following several minutes of careful consideration, I decided not to buy it. After all there was new(er) music to buy and I had just recently picked up ‘All Mod Cons’. I told myself that it was a ‘definite’ for next time.
I made my purchases, left Virgin and walked across O’Connell Bridge, towards my next stop. While I was standing at the corner, waiting to cross O’Connell Street, I looked over my shoulder and who was standing right next to me? Paul Weller! I couldn’t believe it. Paul-fucking-Weller! If I had only known about this chance encounter 15 minutes and five pounds ago, I would have certainly bought ‘The Gift’. I immediately thought, ‘Bollocks! What should I do?’ He was just standing there and no one was really paying any attention to him. But then I remembered, this is Paul Weller and he does have a reputation for being really narky. I pondered. Should I say something? Should I ask him for his autograph? Should I share my story with him? Would he find it amusing or tell me to fuck off?
I contemplated what to do, until the light changed, and then I decided not to say anything to him. I figured that he probably would not have been very impressed with my little tale. Besides, since I didn’t buy the CD, I had nothing for him to sign anyway. At least that is what I always tell myself, when I think about missing such an opportunity.