On Episode 79 of The Paul Weller Fan Podcast, I am joined by another music industry legend Eddie Piller. Not only is he the Founder & MD of the magnificent Acid Jazz Records, but he’s also a Radio Presenter, Writer, DJ, Podcaster, Producer, Manager and Festival Curator.
A legendary figure in the Mod scene and beyond, Eddie was also the man that Paul Weller turned to play records at his fiftieth birthday party!.
In this episode, we kick off the conversation with his discovery of punk and The Jam via chicken pox.
Eddie would go on to see the band over 50 times live, following them all over the country and even overseas whilst still a teenager. We’ll hear about the mod explosion of the late 70s and 80s, interviews with Paul, a shared love of music, clothes and Mod and other connections over the years.
We even dig in to the controversial King Truman Project, hear about a missed opportunity to bring him to his record label and even how he secured the big one – that two part 2019 Modcast Interview with PW.
Click your preferred podcast platform to listen or hit the player below…
EP79 – Eddie Piller – MD of Acid Jazz Records – The Modcast – ”Like a gun, gonna shoot my best shot baby” – Paul Weller Fan Podcast : Desperately Seeking Paul
In 1979 Eddie started (what would go on to become a legendary fanzine) Extraordinary Sensations and he got to interview Paul at Solid Bond a year later.
In 1983, Eddie was part of the music video shoot for The Style Council’s ‘A Solid Bond in Your Heart’ with Gary Crowley – his recollections of this shoot with his then girlfriend are hilarious.
After early experiences at Stiff Records, he became a central figure in the London jazz scene – before teaming up with Gilles Peterson to launch the Acid Jazz record label to push the scene into a fresh (and marketable) direction – the Acid House explosion ensured that the fledgling outfit soon swept the world and the acid jazz scene became one of the most influential youth movements of the 90s.
Success was immediate but Gilles left in 1989 to establish Talking Loud and Eddie concentrated on a new generation of signings. Jamiroquai, the Brand New Heavies, Snowboy, Corduroy, Mother Earth, A Man Called Adam, Terry Callier, Gregory Isaacs all had substantial hits through the decade.
By the late 1990s, Eddie had also moved into broadcasting. Originally presenting the ground-breaking Newbeats show for Jazz FM but also hosting shows for BBC Radio London, BBC 6Music and Q Radio (where he won a British Radio Award) – he has written an 8 part series on youth culture for ITV, documentaries for Radio 4 and appeared on Pop On Trial and Soul Britannia for the BBC…
He currently hosts the successful podcast / chat show The Modcast and presents The Eclectic Soul Show – Weekly, Thursdays 4-6pm via his own Totally Wired Radio station.
The Modcast with Paul Weller
Founded in 2010 by Eddie and Sarah Bolshi, the Modcast began life as an hour long monthly podcast with a wide variety of guests, all talking about their passion and interest in all things mod.
It has since grown into a hugely popular brand with boat parties, weekenders and an annual beach beano on the Brighton seafront every August Bank Holiday weekend…
The interview with Paul Weller was first broadcast in December 2019 – You can check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here… The regular weekly Modcast Podcast has featured guests as diverse as Martin Freeman, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Geno Washington, Ronnie O’Sullivan and Paul’s Style Council partner Mick Talbot all talking about their passion for the modernist ideal.
You can listen back to the archive on the website here.
Acid Jazz Records & Paul Weller…
During my podcast chat, we hear the story behind one of the rarest songs in the Weller cannon and how Like a Gun was lined up for release on the Acid Jazz label in 1988.
The song featured King Truman (aka Paul Weller) and Elliot Arnold (aka Mick Talbot) with Dee C Lee and Carleen Anderson and just three days before the release date Polydor made Eddie pull the release. He estimates that about 100 copies had already made it into the shops, 50 were given to their DJ list, 20 to press and maybe 30 white labels were made. It is the rarest release on the label by far. The rest were destroyed.
Eddie also produced 1993’s Mother Earth Album – The People Tree – which featured Paul on backing vocals for track – Mister Freedom (check out my chat with Matt Deighton on Episode 38 for more about Mother Earth). Weller alumni Andy Lewis is another label signing, with multiple releases on Acid Jazz, including the single Are You Trying To Be Lonely? created with Paul.
Eddie Piller Presents – British Mod Sounds Of the 1960s
A deep dive into the Mod scene in 1960’s Britain – curated by Acid Jazz Records and Modcast founder Eddie Piller. A selection of 100 classic and rare tracks, tracing the scene from its R&B roots to its soulful finale.
It was a music scene that began with imitation, before skill and imagination lead curious minds to innovation, a scene that evolved from average (at best) copies of releases on the Chess, Motown and Stax labels, to become something more sophisticated, something quite unique, something very British.
This amazing collection will be released on 4th February – You can Buy it here
Eddie Piller Presents – The Mod Revival
Eddie has never stopped being a mod and has a unique perspective having now lived through four decades of being intimately involved in the music that has emerged from the mod scene. In these two amazing boxset releases, he guides us through some of his favourite music from the scene via a plethora of bands whose influences include The Who, The Kinks and the Jam, to sixties soul and R&B, those with an eye on psychedelia. The records have a vitality and a certain stylish swagger to them, that marks them out as mod. In the deluxe booklet, Eddie has written a 5000 word note describing what it meant to him and has granted access to his own scrapbooks from his many years of gig-going from which pages and memorabilia are reproduced. Buy The Mod Revival Part 1 here and Part 2 here
The Modcast Events 2022
Find out more about the events that we talked about (and buy tickets) at themodcast.co.uk
MODZINES: Fanzine Culture From The Mod Revival
Modzines is the ultimate celebration of fanzines from the Mod revival era, featuring original artwork, photography and interviews with the key creators. You can buy the book here.
Leading figures from the scene including fanzine editors, bands, DJ s, promoters, journalists and main faces are interviewed providing exclusive behind the scenes stories, anecdotes and memories. Fully illustrated with original, rare artwork from key issues as well as front covers and spreads from celebrated fanzines Direction Reaction Creation; Extraordinary Sensations; Roadrunner; Maximum Speed; Sense of Style; Sth Circular; Patriotic; Go Go; In The Crowd; Right Track; Beat That and many more.
PUNKZINES: British Fanzine Culture From The Punk Scene 1971-1983
Along with its long-lasting influence on music, art, fashion and culture, the punk explosion in the late 1970s also fuelled a thriving underground press. A physical representation of punk’s DIY attitude, fanzines rebelled against established forms of expression, surviving outside of the mainstream media and providing a voice for a generation. You can buy the book here.
Punkzines features interviews with leading figures from the scene, including fanzine editors, bands, DJs, promoters and journalists, to provide exclusive anecdotes from this momentous period. Fully illustrated throughout, the book showcases original and rare artwork from celebrated fanzines such as Sniffin’ Glue, Bondage, 48 Thrills, Punk, Jamming!, London’s Burning, Ried & Torn and many more. Punkzines is the definitive visual guide to a crucial part of British and global subculture.
Totally Wired Radio (TWR)
An independent, specialist internet station founded in April 2019 by the seminal east London record label Acid Jazz. The radio takes its name from the Totally Wired series of compilations, which Eddie compiled with his original label partner, Gilles Peterson.
The station showcases a broad sweep of musical styles and has presenters who specialise in Jazz, Soul, Hip Hop, Ska & 2Tone, Country, Soundtracks and Library Music, Reggae, Film, Folk, Funk, EDM, World Music, Afrobeat, Latin, Gospel, Rare R&B, Poetry, Punk, Psyche and Garage, Disco and Podcast Interviews. You can listen here…
“Radio is a unique experience and a good radio show can change your day for the better. That’s our stated aim at Totally Wired; to improve lives, one show at a time…” Eddie Piller.