Pandora: Weller still in a town called malice, says Jam drummer

Click to follow
The Independent Online

It appears that Paul Weller's fractious relationship with members of his former band, The Jam, are now wrecked beyond any possible repair.

Last month, the cantankerous singer conducted an interview with Mojo magazine in which he expressed irritation at his old bandmates, drummer Rick Buckler and bassist Bruce Foxton. The duo are currently performing the band's back catalogue without Weller under the new name From The Jam.

In one particularly charming aside directed at Buckler, Weller said he "couldn't give a fuck if he never saw Rick ever again". Now Buckler has hit back. In response to Weller's comments, he claims to have been surprised, since the pair have not spoken to each other in years.

"I don't understand the spleen-venting. It is totally out of the blue and I was shocked by it," says Buckler. "In the Jam days, we were quite a unified force. We had to be. I don't know why he's got it in for me – we haven't spoken since 1983. You can understand my bemusement. The Jam was a band, it wasn't just Paul Weller."

Weller, it should be noted, is fast becoming Britain's foremost grumpy old man. Just recently, he branded the Tory leader David Cameron "thick" for professing a fondness for his song "Eton Rifles" and denounced the new Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, as a "gibbering idiot".

No room yet for Jacobi in the Rovers Return

I do hope that Sir Derek Jacobi has not missed his chance of landing a role in Coronation Street.

Although Sir Derek has long expressed a wish to follow in Sir Ian McKellen's footsteps by appearing in the soap, he has knocked the producers back twice now.

"I have been offered two parts actually but they just weren't right for me," he tells me. "I was offered the part of Liam's dad and do you know Cilla, the one who went off with the old man in the wheelchair? I just had to turn them down though – can you imagine? No, they just weren't right for me."

Not all the grandees from London's theatreland are falling over themselves to grace the long-running ITV show. Simon Callow, who joined Sir Derek at the launch of Pauline Hyde's book, Midas Man, fancies a more glamorous assignment. "I don't know about Corrie, I'd much rather go on Desperate Housewives," he said.

A tailor with designs on Bond

The author Sebastian Faulks is currently winning plaudits for his depiction of James Bond with his latest novel Devil May Care, but he does not have his subject's keen eye for a freebie. To tie in with the launch of the latest Bond story, Faulks was offered a spanking new suit by the Savile Row tailor Gieves and Hawkes.

Instead of seizing the offer with all the zeal of Cherie Blair, he insisted on paying for the whistle out of his own pocket. "Gieves made suits for [Bond author] Ian Fleming and wanted to make one for me. I said thanks but I should pay for it," he tells me. "The price was pretty friendly, though."

In the latest film outing, Bond's suits have been crafted by the US designer Tom Ford. Might this be the beginning of a charm offensive by Gieves to make Bond buy British once again?

Brown is belle of Labour ball

Times really must be hard. In a couple of weeks, the Labour Party's 1,000 Club is holding its summer party at an "undisclosed London location".

The club is a network of wealthy Labour donors who contribute at least £1,000 a year to the party's very publicly cash-strapped coffers.

The star attraction of the evening will be the leader of the Labour Party, the Right Honourable Gordon Brown MP. Says one member: "Gordon never used to come to our shindigs much while he was Chancellor and, when he did, it would tend to be a fleeting visit.

"Funnily enough, we never got the feeling that he enjoyed rubbing shoulders with us lot much."

Anti-war activists target 'barmy' Bush

Following the journalist George Monbiot's failed attempt to make a citizen's arrest on John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, at the Hay literary festival last week, plans are afoot to have George Bush apprehended when he visits Britain next month.

An anti-war organisation called the No Confidence Campaign is calling for the US President to be sectioned when he arrives here in two weeks' time. "Under the Mental Health Act 1983, a person can be sectioned if they are likely to cause harm to themselves or to others," says a spokesman. "It is beyond dispute that George Bush has caused grievous harm to thousands of people in Iraq and, unless he is locked away in a secure institution, he looks set to do the same in Iran."