mod cookie dough... mmmmm. He must like soft, because when he had his arm around me, he said "wow, you have the softest skin." And then he kept stroking my arm. (TRUE STORY.) Those "Blobfather" pics must have prompted the old boy to cut some calories or start using hand weights or something, because he def. looked trimmer.
danf: he did a little double-take when I came in, but when we started chatting he said he couldn't remember my name. "Did you and I run off to Mexico last time I was in L.A. or somefing? Too bloody much to drink that whole time I was here last year. I'm not drunk tonight, so I'll remember your name this time, I promise."
I'd gotten waved in while strategically hovering around after the show -- there were a smallish group of people with passes (have no idea how they got them) who were about to go in. One of the crew said, "that's it, if you don't have a pass you've got to leave." Weller's main road crew manager who had given me my pass last year saw me, pointed back at me, and said "no, the tall blonde's in!" So he waved me in.
Then there was a little comedy of errors when someone else back stage waved me to the "upstairs" party, which turned out to be the (awful) opening band's party (which wasn't even a party, just a couple of guys having sodas). I marched back into the hall and said "there must be some mistake; I was invited to see Paul." At which point the roadie who first let me in appeared, laughed, and said, "yeah, THAT way" and pointed me in the right direction.
Saw Weller's son Natt briefly and said hello. Then hung out for a few minutes in the green room before getting ushered into the party. Chatted much more with Weller this time around -- mostly about the new album, his newfound appreciation of Bowie (I asked him point-blank about rumors that Bowie was going to do a surprise appearance at the NY shows next week; he said it's not happening, but they'd like to arrange something for the future), etc. I would say we talked all told for 15 or 20 mins., maybe? Also chatted with his new bassist (and his wife) for quite awhile and a briefer chat with his new drummer while I was getting a beer.
All told, pretty great. (Also got to chat a bit with Tim Burgess from the Charlatans, who gave me a copy of his new CD.) After awhile, the party started winding down a bit, so I went over to Weller to say goodbye and he put his arm around me, walked me to the door, and said "I promise I'll remember your name for the next time I'm in L.A." Then he said my name a couple of times and tapped his forehead.
*sigh* *another sigh*
Yeah, the man knows exactly how to work it. Not bad for a guy who just turned 50!
Anyway, I should mention that the shows themselves were great, too! Mostly new stuff, which sounds terrific and you can tell he and the band really had fun with it; 3 or 4 Jam songs each night, only 1 Style Council song each night, and a good selection of his other solo material (with the emphasis on songs from Stanley Road). They closed last night with a surprising version of "All You Need is Love," complete with the bassist on cello, which was pretty amazing.
Here's a nice session from NPR's World Cafe, with 4 new songs and a brief interview. (I esp. like the acoustic version of "All I Wanna Do (Is Be With You)" and the cover of Mannfred Mann's "Pretty Flamingo.")