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Paul Weller - The Changing Man Paperback – 16 Jun 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Corgi (16 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552156094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552156097
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,184 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Powerful and even emotional ... probably one of the best books about what it's like to be a Famous Person's Friend. And it's almost certainly the definitive Weller biography." (The Word)

"Fascinating... Hewitt pries into the dark corners of a personality that has long been kept under lock and key." (Guardian)

"A one-off... an intimate picture of a seemingly arrogant man" (Metro)

Book Description

The definitive Weller book, written by the man who knows him best

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By S. J. Lightfoot on 26 Sept. 2007
Format: Hardcover
This books took me completely by surprise and was so compelling I read it straight through. For anyone interested in the man behind Paul Weller the artist, this is a fascinating read. Once Weller and Hewitt were fast friends, but now - and this makes for a more revealing and better read - they have gone their separate ways. The book is tinged with sadness, yet Hewitt tells all with honesty and fairness, and how friendship with Weller is akin to living on the sea, with all its unpredictableness. The portrait he gives is that of a domineering, self-centred, neurotic, paranoid, generous, talented, hugely attractive and at times unpleasant person, the bottom line being that you either buy into his game-plan, or you don't take to the field. In looking for a framework to hang his book, Hewitt has used sixty-eight of Weller's songs whose titles preclude each piece. Some of the pieces are only a page long and read like snapshots of some greater picture, and often leave you wanting more. Throughout Hewitt sticks to his own perceptions of Weller and never looks beyond. For example he talks of Mick Talbot as a man of consummate ability and taste, yet there is nothing on his relationship with Weller. Steve White too hardly gets a mention. What does become clear is that Weller is very intolerant of anyone who does not agree with his vision, and one is left wondering how Talbot and White got on with him over the years. Needless to say Weller is often right. In one very funny snapshot Hewitt runs through some of the musicians Weller has slagged off and the way he tells it is hilarious. Weller even spits on a picture of Sting (a ***t of the highest rank to be sure!) in the Albert Hall.Read more ›
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. Pacey on 9 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Just finished reading this book, not bad but no major revalations. I think we all knew about PW's personal side anyway as it comes across in interviews and on the few occasions I met him (which kind of put me off meeting my "heroes" in future so as not to be disappointed- like PW with Marriot I suppose). Hewitt doesn't really bring anything new to the table as regards fresh insight on the man, just a few personal anecdotes about various drinking sessions and temper tantrums. I really expected more from the writer considering his closeness to his subject over the past 26 years.
Anyway not a bad book but I noticed some glaring inaccuracies: Waiting released in 1986??? Have you Ever Had It Blue was a re-write of With Everything To Lose??? He helped to write We Are The World and not Do They Know It's Christmas?!?!?
Ok for the casual fan (post- Stanley Road) but nothing really of interest to an "anorak" like myself......... 5/10

Note to author: The TSC years are probably Weller's best documented years available in print via Iain Munn's "Mr. Cools Dream". At the very least you should have used this book as a reference and got the facts right.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gary Sd Law on 26 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback
I bought this book a few years ago being a long term Weller fan. Even though I knew that Paolo Hewitt and Weller were no longer friends, I was quite surprised at how acidic the author is in certain chapters. We all know that Weller can be a gruff opinionated man and indeed that's why many of us like him but for every sentence showing Weller's good side, there seem to be five showing him in a bad light. If Hewitt finds him so disagreeable, then why the hell did he hang around with him for so long. If I was a cynic, I'd say that he may have been feathering his own nest and clambering up his own career ladder on the back of their connection.
Not a bad read but I wonder how much is the real thing and how much is sour grapes.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By MarkJ4 on 6 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Poor Paulo. If he thought it was all over, it is now. If Hewitt's assessment of Paul Weller's character is correct (hardline, determined, unforgiving - and that's when Paulo's feeling charitable), he's not going to be best pleased to read this all-guns-blazing attack. And who can blame him?

You really have to wonder who the publishers thought this book would appeal to. As another reviewer has pointed out, surely the only people who will be interested are Paul Weller fans, people who like the man and/or his music. This book mercilessly attacks both. Paul Weller is a monster, it says, and all those songs you so love? Actually he copied them all. Titles, chords, riffs, lyrics, they've all been ripped off. Yeah, right.

Well, now I'm the one who feels ripped off. I bought this knowing Hewitt had fallen out with Weller and was therefore expecting some sort of insight beyond his previous matey assessments, or at least some new stories. I got neither.

Hewitt seems reluctant to reveal ANYTHING about his relationship with Weller - there's almost nothing about what it's like being a pop star's friend, being on tour with him, hanging out with his famous friends, watching him work and nothing worthwhile about the other people involved in this story - Bruce and Rick, Dee and Mick, the two Steves.

So what DO you get? Hewitt's third-rate music hack assessments of a handful of songs and the standard biog, which everyone who buys this book already knows. We don't even get any new photos! Well, at least now I can say I feel like Paul Weller - disappointed, fleeced and well and truly shafted.
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