Paul Howden asks, “Hi, I’m fascinated by your relationship with Paul Weller. I think I read once that you did the sleeve design for “In the City” before HC100, then there was the Style Council skit in the “Love All Day” video with the cycling and then some references to Jam songs in your solo career and a rumour about your mutual involvement in Boogie Box High and The Groovetrain (also with Steve White). You also seem to share a lot of influences but he never seems very kind about any of his contemporaries…so how is it??”
Nick replies, “Hi Paul. Looks like you have something in common with him too. Ha! I was nearly called Paul, too. For real!
I didn’t actually do the sleeve design for In The City. I was a junior at the art company who put the sleeves together for Fiction Records. I delivered some In The City artwork to Chris Parry, the Head of Fiction, who thought I’d come in to play him my demo. Something clicked when I told him I was just there to deliver artwork. I thought, I could bring in our band’s demo, couldn’t I?
The reason for all the Paul Weller connections is simply because I am a Jam fan. I’ve met Paul quite a few times now and he’s even lovelier and funnier in person than in print.
I’ve enjoyed all Paul’s different styles throughout his career too. He’s truly a great artist.
Les Nemes and I had the pleasure of playing with Steve White at Nomis Studios for a couple of days sometime in the late 80s. He showed us some of his martial arts moves and we were really impressed. You wouldn’t want to mess with Steve. Just like you wouldn’t want to mess with Graham Jones in Haircut either. These men can take you down with one swift move!
I shared the same publisher as Bruce Foxton, too. We had many a lovely chat and let’s face it, Down In The Tube Station At Midnight is definitely alongside Paul McCartney’s Silly Love Songs as the greatest pop bass line of all time. It’s the first thing I play when I pick up a bass in a music shop.
I haven’t met Rick… yet! But I keep bumping into Mark Brzezicki when he visits his mum. Totally unmistakeable because he drives enormous American classic cars. We’re all connected in some way, really…
All the Pauls, Bruces, Ricks, Marks, etc…