What makes an old dude awesome? Well, pretty much the same things that makes a young dude awesome, except for the number of scratches and dents on his guitar and the amount of Rogaine in his hair. Paul Weller, a 53-year old due with a new album called Sonik Kicks, is one of those old dudes who’s maintained his magnificence by adhering to a few simple rules.
He hangs with the right people, not the trendy people. Yeah, our man Weller has hung with Johnny Depp and Noel Gallagher and a bunch of cool kids around the British music scene. But when it comes to making records, he sticks with the same guys he’s played with for the past five years. It’s like going back to your favorite burrito shop. Why go to Al’s Burritos when you know Alberto’s Burritos are always perfect?
He still has great hair. Just ask your loopy Uncle Frank, the one with the drape that starts at his second vertebrae and is combed up to his eyebrows. Maintaining good hair at 53 is like growing Bonsai trees: one errant clip of a branch and you’re doomed to Uncle Frank status for the remainder of your natural life. Weller brings in a Japanese gardener for a weekly tint and trim, just to prove old guys can look fabulous, too.
He cares what you think… but not too much. Back in the ancient times known as the late 70’s, Weller started a band called The Jam. Most of the punks at the time, like The Sex Pistols, were ripping up amps and trying to avoid anything that resembled a melody. Weller and The Jam went totally in the other direction: they made records you could sing and dance to.
The same thing happened in the 80s: while your parents were wearing pleated pants and fanny packs, Weller and his second band, Style Council, wore Armani suits and went all retro-soul.
Weller’s lack of interest in trends remains true today: while Bon Iver tries to deconstruct melody into a pool of whimpering and whining and Nicki Minaj tries to out-GaGa GaGa in the costume room, Weller’s new record is totally legit rock and roll. If you can imagine the attitude of Sonic Youth, the melodic noise of The War on Drugs combined with the restless soul of Florence + The Machine, you can imagine the sound of Sonik Kicks.
Any other old dudes who maintain their cool factor?