Mark Richardson, who owns Loafers in the Piece Hall in Halifax, was delighted to be given the piano, an Adolf Rosbach 1920, made in Sunderland, owned by his musical hero after befriending many of Weller’s musician friends through his shop.Mark said: “I’ve got to know Paul Weller’s crew, band and friends over the last few years since I’ve had Loafers. The Stone Foundation lads (who regularly collaborate with Weller), his bass player, his drummer, and Roger Nowell, who is Weller’s roadie and guitar tech, he comes in here for a coffee too.
“He popped in a couple of weeks ago and said ‘we need to get rid of one of Paul’s pianos, would you like it for the shop?’.
“I said ‘absolutely, how much?’, and he said ‘nothing, we just need it moving before Paul starts rehearsing for his UK tour’.
“So we agreed a date, hired a van and drove down to Surrey last week, to Black Barn Studios. Charles Rees (engineer) was there doing some production, he does a lot of stuff with Paul.
“The piano was there waiting to be loaded onto a dolly and put in this huge van we’d hired.
“He wasn’t there, he was in Spain, but it was a great experience because we had a look round his studio, which is quite famous and which is used by a lot of bands.”
Mark added: “There’s been a few songs he’s written on it and for the On Sunset record (one of Weller’s albums), he did a lot of jamming on the piano.
“But just to sit and hang around where he’s spent the last years recording was amazing. I bought Stanley Road (a Weller album) on cassette in 1995, and I’ve been obsessed since then.
“I’m a massive fan, I’ve probably seen him 30 times live, and I just love the culture he’s created, the music, the fashion, the bands he’s worked with, all the artwork.”
Mark is now hoping Weller might come and play on the piano one day soon.
“I’ve sent him a hamper with a mug and some coffee and some Loafers socks and a few bits and bobs in, just to say thanks, and next time you’re in Halifax or Bradford, come in with Roger and have a tinkle,” Mark said.
“It’d be amazing if he could even come to The Piece Hall, which I keep mentioning. I’m sure he’ll pop in.”