In this episode of The Paul Weller Fan Podcast, I am joined by photographer Derek D Souza.
Derek started taking photos of Paul Weller over 40 years ago – snapping The Jam at various gigs and soundchecks before the famous shoot at Chiswick House in London.
Attending concerts across London, he would smuggle his kit in and take photos at every opportunity, sending the best ones in to their fan club. His photographs, taken with a low-budget, manual camera from the midst of crowds in low-lit venues, caught the attention of Paul Weller. Two years later, Paul’s mum, Ann contacted Derek and he was commissioned to take photos for the band’s 1981 single “Absolute Beginners”.
One of Derek’s images from that day has even been added to the National Portrait Gallery’s collection.
Take a listen to hear about his love of The Jam and how he captured photographs of the band from the viewpoint of the crowd…
You can also buy the photography online at derekdsouzaphotography.bigcartel.com
EP72 – Derek D‘Souza – Photographer – The Jam, Paul Weller Solo – ”True it‘s a dream mixed with nostalgia but it‘s a dream that I‘ll always hang on to…” – Desperately Seeking Paul : Paul Weller Fan Podcast
In The Crowd – 40th Anniversary Edition – On Sale Now
In The Crowd-The Jam Snapped! has landed. A new book packed full of images & commentary on The Jam, including over 50 unseen images. It’s a beautiful piece of work. There are 3 different packages for sale – Standard, Premium and VIP from ourfavourite.shop.
As you’ve heard on the podcast True is The Dream is the name of the exhibition at The Barbican Music Library which will feature photographs that Derek took of The Jam on location, performing and relaxing, with added images from Paul’s time in The Style Council and solo career, and many items of Music Memorabilia. The exhibition runs from 14 January – 16 May 2022.
Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, Wendy Hyde, said: “This exhibition will celebrate one of the UK’s most revered bands. It’s a truly memorable slice of rock and pop history. These photographs are extraordinary glimpses of an astonishing band who, almost 40 years after their break-up, still have a huge influence and loyal following. The Jam’s energetic concerts and sound showcased their social awareness, and made Paul Weller a spokesman for his generation. We are proud to display Derek D’Souza’s remarkable work as we welcome more and more people back into the City.”
The Jam – The Rainbow Theatre Soundcheck Print No. 1 15.11.1980
This was the very first time that Derek photographed The Jam… it was winter, it was cold… John Weller let a few fans into the venue for the soundcheck, it was dark but he got a few shots and was hooked!
The Jam – Guildford Civic Hall 07.07.1981
First night of two scorchers 7th July 1981… It was often hard to capture all 3 band members in a tight shot, Bruce would be on his side of the stage, and Rick was often hidden from view behind his Great White Kit!
The Jam – The Inigo Jones Gateway – Chiswick House 31.08.1981
The Jam Hammersmith Palais – 15.12.1981
This was the last night of four in London Winter 1981, the previous night when the band played ‘Boy About Town’ both Paul and Bruce had jumped in the air at the same time, but unfortunately Derek had missed the shot. When they played the song again this time, he was ready. He had the whole stage in view and enough frames left on the film, and as the song built up to a crescendo about a minute in, they did it again!
It’s also great to see John Weller to the left of the stage watching over his boys.
Paul Weller Solo at Reading Rivermead 13.04.17
Taken on the final night of the 10 date “A Kind Revolution” UK Tour in April 2017. Derek had gone ‘Old Skool’ as he didn’t have a photo pass…. He took his compact SONY Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V, it’s a small pocket sized camera with a small sensor, so he had to be at the front. From other gigs on the tour he had seen Paul at the piano and knew this was the shot he wanted. Even with an official photo pass, Paul doesn’t play piano until later in the set, after the standard ‘first 3 songs only, no flash rule’. Anyway later in the set, Paul Played You Do Something to Me so Derek managed to get the shot he wanted.