Paolo Hewitt's contribution to British music journalism and indeed, British music, has yet to be measured. When it is, I suggest it will be on the same scale as 'Spinal Tap's' amp.
From his first published work, a biography of The Jam 'The Jam: A Beat Concerto' ,which was published in 1983 after the band split up; to his latest book on the ever so charismatic Ronnie Lane, Paolo has been a prolific writer.
The stand out book 'David Bowie - Album by Album' (with a foreword by Robert Elms) was reviewed by Phacemag. (see link below) This book alone, we argued has cultural importance.
Maybe that's the secret. Caring about your subject. Paolo clearly cares, and is respected immensely by his peers and the music industry alike. You just don't produce the quantity with quality that he has, without a high level of respect in your field.
It is well documented that Paolo had a very hard start in life. He covers this very disturbing time in his book's 'But We All Shine On' and 'The Looked After Kid'
And shine on he has.
The review/article on 'Can You Show Me A Dream' Is a work in progress.
But I got the chance to ask Paolo a few questions recently....
pp - Do you have a rigid routine when writing? Or can you go with the flow?
I have a routine. It's important you work rather than waiting for something to happen. It doesn't work that way. The more you work, the better you become.
pp - Favourite Gig of all time? (to date)
Brian Wilson performing 'Pet Sounds' at the Royal Albert Hall
pp - I have a feature in Phacemag called Books That Changed My Life. Do you have one? It doesn't have to be that drastic..something that got you, affected you..?
Dean Martin's biography by Nick Tosches. Took a story to another level . Made me want to follow.
pp - An obvious question, but your answer might inspire:
How did you get into writing? and in particular writing about music?
I had a 'difficult' childhood (see my books 'The Looked After Kid' and 'But We All Shine On') so music, books and football were my escape from reality. When I was 14, I walked into school and found Enzo Esposito reading a copy of the NME. I asked him what it was. He told me it was a music paper. I had never heard of such a thing. When he handed it over to me I took one look and the light went on. This is what I want to do in life I thought to myself. And I have been very fortunate to achieve that goal.
pp - Finally, is there one thing, word or sentence in any of your books.... something you'd change... that drives you mad and haunts you?
Good question, In'The Looked After Kid' I wrote "I hate the Royal family." I don't. I hate the institution - not the people.
pp - Thanks so much Paolo. Look forward to reading 'CAN YOU SHOW ME A DREAM' and CLICK BELOW FOR SPECIAL EVENTS!