On this episode of the Paul Weller Fan Podcast, we dive in to the memories of Pete Mason.
Pete spent 17 years working for both major and independent record labels in the UK including Polydor, Phonogram, Chrysalis, Go! Discs and Independiente, which saw him involved with album & single releases from many of the UK’s finest artists including The La’s, Billy Bragg, Portishead, The Beautiful South, Travis, and two of his all-time music heroes John Martyn and Paul Weller.
While at Independiente Paul Weller invited Pete to work as Executive Producer on his live solo acoustic album Days Of Speed. The acoustic, double live album featured songs from across Paul’s career including The Jam classics; That’s Entertainment and Town Called Malice, The Style Council’s Headstart For Happiness and Down In The Seine and solo hits such as You Do Something To Me and Wild Wood.
The album was released in 2001 and reached no.3 in the UK album charts which earned him a platinum disc for his efforts.
Pete also brought the legendary singer-songwriter and guitarist, John Martyn, to the Go! Discs label and then later to the Independiente label where he worked with John on four albums in an artist liaison role.
In 2004 Pete left the UK and moved to Wisconsin, USA, and set up Solid Air Music which includes a project recording studio where he has spent time composing his musical ideas and working with local artists, helping them to record and produce their music.
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EP141 – Pete Mason – Record Exec Producer of Days of Speed + Go! Discs and Independiente – Paul Weller Fan Podcast : Desperately Seeking Paul
Paul Weller – Days of Speed – Album Exec Produced by Pete Mason
Days of Speed was recorded live and acoustic at various shows during Paul Weller’s 2001 global tour.
At the time, Paul had mainly avoiding revisiting his considerable back-catalogue of The Jam and Style Council classics during his live shows, instead sticking to output from whatever his current incarnation was.
That all changed with Days of Speed tour with two simultaneous firsts – live solo acoustic shows and a newfound willingness to draw from his entire cannon for the first time since he kicked off his solo career with The Paul Weller Movement in 1990/91.
What we get then on Days of Speed is the Jam, the Style Council and Weller’s later solo material delivered stripped down, raw and acoustic, often offering up new insights, as he presents his work in the classic singer/songwriter medium.
In the images below, you can see Pete and his wife Kris with Paul backstage at the Vic Theatre Chicago 2015 and another with Kenny Wheeler at the same gig.
Another photo comes from around the time of Days of Speed (Pete thinks it was at an Independiente Christmas Dinner) with him and Paul (plus John Weller in the background).
Sadly, in January 2009 ,Pete’s musical hero and friend, John Martyn, passed away, and shortly after, Pete was contacted by John’s Chicago-based record Producer Jim Tullio who asked if Pete would help put together a tribute album in John’s honor with the proceeds from sales going to help John’s family.
Jim and Pete worked together as Executive Producers for the project and drew up a list of artists who were friends and fans of John and his music and approached them with an invitation to record their favorite John Martyn track for the album.
On August 16th, 2011 “Johnny Boy Would Love This… A Tribute To John Martyn” was released on a double CD with a total of 30 incredible interpretations of John’s classic songs performed by artists including; Beck, Robert Smith (from The Cure), Phil Collins, David Gray, Judie Tzuke, Beth Orton, Joe Bonamassa, Lisa Hannigan, The Swell Season, Vashti Bunyan, Morcheeba, Snow Patrol, and Paolo Nutini just to name a few, all of which dedicated their time and recordings at no cost to the project which in itself was a true tribute to John Martyn and his music.
In 2019 Pete decided to move away from recording other artists’ music. He decided it was time to focus on his passion for composing production music for use in Film, TV, and Commercials. Pete currently focuses on composing music cues, that prove his truly impressive ability to capture moods that include Dramatic, Suspense, Sad, Epic, Action, Quirky, Happy, and Uplifting.
Splinters Present: Paul Weller – Slow Time Mondays
Here is a link to the project that I mentioned from Splinters!