A Grieving Paul Weller Turns Down Award.

Paul Weller was unable to accept a lifetime achievement award at the Ivor Novello Awards on May 21 because he was still mourning the loss of his father John.

John Weller, who managed Paul's career for 30 years, died Apr. 22 from pneumonia related to Alzheimer's disease.

Paul told ceremony organizers that he couldn't bring himself to accept the award because he is still grieving for his dad.

Paul has praised his father in the past for seeing The Jam, who broke up in 1982, through some of their darker periods. John Weller was with Paul through the soulful Style Council years (1983-1989) and Paul's solo career.

John bought Paul his first guitar when Paul was 12, and financed The Jam's initial demo recordings. John also began booking the band into local working men's clubs when the band was still a four piece (Weller, Foxton, Brookes, Buckler).

"When The Jam signed to Polydor in February 1977, for a £6,000 advance and a six per cent royalty rate, John admitted he didn't have a bank account and asked for cash instead of a cheque."

The Jam had eighteen Top 40 singles in the UK, including four #1's. Their 1982 album The Gift went to #1, Setting Sons went to #4, and Sound Affects went to #2.

John's wife Ann, in a tribute to him, said, "I am definitely going to do things for the Alzheimer's Society and collect for them. Before John's diagnosis, Alzheimer’s was just a name to me. It affects the whole family."

The Jam's "Going Underground" was played during John Weller's funeral.

As someone whose life has been deeply affected by Alzheimer's disease, Waist High would like to tell you that Alzheimer's disease is a progressive and fatal brain disease that has no cure. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States, and as many as 5.3 million Americans are living with it. Alzheimer's is the most common form of dementia, and one in eight persons 65 or older have the disease. Every 70 seconds someone develops Alzheimer's.

"The mechanisms by which dementia leads to death may create ambiguity about the underlying cause of death. Severe dementia frequently causes such complications as immobility, swallowing disorders or malnutrition. These complications can significantly increase the risk of developing pneumonia, which has been found in several studies to be the most commonly identified cause of death among elderly people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias."

Times Online
getsurrey.co.uk & Ireland On-Line
Alzheimer's facts & figures courtesy: Alzheimer's Association of North America & UK Alzheimer's Society

(This post is dedicated to my grandmother Dorothy Gooodrum (1920-2009), for whom I will walk in honor of on Sept. 27 in Portland Memory Walk '09.)