Episode 162: Ian Stone – Comedian, Broadcaster & Author of To Be Someone – A Memoir about One Teenager’s Obsession with The Jam…

On this episode of The Paul Weller Fan Podcast, I am joined by the award-winning stand-up comedian, broadcaster and podcaster, Ian Stone.
A huge fan of The Jam and Paul Weller since discovering the band in 1977 via John Peel’s late night show on Radio One, Ian published his first book in 2020 – To Be Someone – a memoir about one teenager’s obsession with The Jam
Paul Weller commented “I really liked this book. I’d forgotten how shit it was in the seventies”…

We dive into his memory banks from hearing that first single to attending live concerts and soundchecks and that special connection with the music, the lyrics and the look of the band…

In May 1977, The Jam made their mark on the music scene with the release of their debut single, In The City. However, in the midst of this musical revolution, Britain was grappling with widespread discontent, and young Ian Stone’s household was no exception. A fourteen-year-old navigating the challenges of school, witnessing Arsenal’s dismal football performances, and enduring his parents’ crumbling marriage, Ian’s life seemed far from idyllic. Beyond his personal struggles, the nation was grappling with its own demons – racial tensions, violence, inner-city riots, police scandals, rising unemployment, and the looming threat of terrorism.

But in 1978, one fateful evening would change Ian’s life forever. The Jam took the stage at London’s Music Machine, igniting an electrifying atmosphere with their iconic sound. As they launched into ninety minutes of unforgettable pop tunes, Ian’s world was transformed. The sheer exhilaration of that moment eclipsed anything he had ever experienced.

To Be Someone is a vivid account of the five years Ian spent captivated by his obsession with The Jam. He took on weekend jobs to fund his gig attendance, embarked on daring escapades like sneaking onto the roof of the Hammersmith Odeon, and narrowly escaped eviction from a Brighton hotel, only to be saved by none other than Paul Weller himself, who invited Ian and his friends back into the bar.

Above all, the book serves as a heartfelt tribute to the band that guided Ian, and countless others, through the tumultuous landscape of Britain in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
When Paul Weller eventually announced The Jam’s breakup, Ian was left devastated.
Yet, for him and the legions who embarked on that transformative five-year journey, their enduring love for the band remains unwavering.

To Be Someone captures not only the spirit of a generation but also the indelible impact of The Jam’s music on the lives of its ardent fans during a pivotal era in British history.

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EP162 – Ian Stone – Comedian, Broadcaster & Author of To Be Someone – A Memoir about One Teenager's Obsession with The Jam… Paul Weller Fan Podcast : Desperately Seeking Paul

Buy The Book Here
As you’ll hear on the podcast, Ian Stone grew up in a Jewish, working-class house in north London in the mid-1970s. Everywhere around him, adults were behaving badly. His parents’ relationship was in freefall so he tried not to spend too much time at home. But outside, there was industrial unrest, football violence, racism and police brutality.
As for the music, it was all ‘Save All Your Grandma’s Kisses for My Love Sweet Jesus’. It made him feel physically sick. Then The Jam appeared.
This is Ian’s story of that time. Of weekend jobs so that he could go to gigs. Of bunking into the Hammersmith Odeon and ending up on the roof. Of going to see The Jam in Paris and somehow finding himself being interviewed for Melody Maker.
Of attempting to keep out of the way of skinheads and trying (and failing) to work out how to talk to girls.
And of devastation when in 1982 Paul Weller announced that the band were splitting up.
There will never be another band like The Jam. For those who went on that journey with them, the love ran deep. And still does. They helped Ian and thousands like him to grow up – to be someone.

To Be Someone is not just a memoir; it’s a witty, humorous, and deeply nostalgic exploration of one teenager’s profound obsession with The Jam, set against the backdrop of the tumultuous times.
Ian’s sharp comic mind shines through, providing readers with a unique blend of humour and heartfelt storytelling. His journey from a Jewish, working-class household to the vibrant music scene of the time is filled with wit, cheek, and energy. The book not only delves into his personal experiences as a dedicated fan but also captures the essence of London, youth, and the spirit of life itself.

Through Ian’s eyes, we witness the chaos and challenges of his youth, including family turmoil, industrial unrest, football violence, racism, and police brutality. Amidst this backdrop, The Jam emerges as a transformative force in his life.

The book takes us on a journey of teenage rebellion – a coming-of-age story filled with misadventures, the pursuit of music, and the struggle to understand life and relationships.

Ultimately, To Be Someone celebrates the enduring impact of music and The Jam on Ian’s generation.
It serves as a reminder of the power of music to shape our identities and create lasting memories.
For fans of The Jam and those who grew up in that era, this book will resonate deeply, offering a humorous and heartfelt trip down memory lane.

The book was first published in 2020, has gone into reprint four times and has had over three hundred and fifty five star reviews on Amazon


Ian Stone, is a celebrated stand-up comedian, renowned for his edgy and thought-provoking humor.
He possesses a remarkable ability to effortlessly engage and connect with his audience.
His self-deprecating style adds a unique charm to his performances, making every show a memorable experience.

In 2012, Ian Stone earned a prestigious nomination for Best Show at the Leicester Comedy Festival Awards, a testament to his exceptional comedic prowess. His recent show at the 2023 Edinburgh festival, aptly titled “Ian Stone Will Make It Better,” witnessed packed venues throughout its entire run.

Ian’s comedic journey has taken him across the globe, gracing stages at Comedy Festivals in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, South Africa, Holland, France, Ireland, and Germany. His dedication to bringing laughter knows no bounds, as he’s entertained troops stationed in Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo, Cyprus, and Afghanistan.

Notably, Ian Stone made history as the first British stand-up to perform in Moscow and as the inaugural performer for The Comedy Store in Mumbai, further solidifying his international acclaim.

Beyond the stage, Ian has showcased his talents on both television and radio. His presence has graced popular shows such as Mock the Week, Never Mind The Buzzcocks, Off the Ball, Fighting Talk, and Hot Gossip. Moreover, his writing prowess shines through in his contributions to various shows, including Fantasy Football, Russell Howard’s Good News, You Cannot Be Serious, The Omid Djalili Show, The Sketch Show and Alistair McGowan’s Big Impression.

Ian Stone’s comedic brilliance transcends borders, and his ability to connect with diverse audiences is a testament to his remarkable talent and enduring impact on the world of comedy.

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Published by PaulWellerFanPodcast

The World’s first Paul Weller Fan Podcast - For the fans by the fans. A musical journey from In The City to Fat Pop (Vol 1). A radio broadcaster who gave up his career with one big regret. Never getting to interview the legendary British musician Paul Weller. This podcast exists purely to solve that issue. Welcome to Desperately Seeking Paul...

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