The Picture | The Story

Janette Beckman, Paul Weller & Pete Townshend, Soho, London, 1980

05/19/18

Janette Beckman

Paul Weller & Pete Townshend, Soho, London, 1980

16 x 20 inches - Archival Pigment Print - Edition of 50

30 x 40 inches - Archival Pigment Print - Edition of 25

40 x 60 inches - Archival Pigment Print - Edition of 15

Janette Beckman

Paul Weller & Pete Townshend, Soho, London, 1980

(original Melody Maker publication October 11th, 1980)

In 1980 I went to photograph Paul Weller (of the The Jam) meeting his hero, Pete Townshend (of The Who) for the first time, for Melody Maker Magazine. We arranged to meet on Wardour Street in London outside the famous Marquee Club. 

My friend, the writer Paolo Hewitt, had organized the interview. He had grown up with Paul in Woking, ‘Smalltown Britain’ where they had seen, as Weller said, “the top faces walking through Woking town center.”  Weller’s look was resolutely Mod.  He later told Mojo magazine “You could say it’s a fashion statement, but I think it’s more than that: the working-class love of clothes, looking good, rising above your station. I don’t think it will ever die … These clothes, my haircut, reflect my attitude and the music I listen to, and they say, ‘I am an individual’.”

This is one of the first shots I took of them that afternoon – it is a moment in time – Weller looking so sharp in his pin stripe suit. Sir Paul Smith said this image “completely sums up my teenage years - self-conscious and fanatical about detail”.  Later I listened to Weller and Townshend talking about music, mods and life.  Paolo Hewitt’s interview and this image ran as a cover story for Melody Maker, the headline read “The Punk and the Godfather.’ 

  • Janette Beckman, 2018