A Man Of Great Promise

Album: Our Favourite Shop (1985)

Songfacts®:

  • Rhythm guitarist Dave Waller was a founding member of The Jam. However, in 1973 he came to the, decision that poetry, and not music, was his true calling, and walked away from group. Waller was to remain a close friend of Paul Weller and it was he suggested the "Town Called Malice" song title as a means of describing urban life.

    Sadly, Waller died of a heroin overdose and Weller wrote this elegy for his fallen friend. "He was very, very into drugs and he was a very literary sort of person," he told Mojo. "He'd read a lot. He put us onto Dylan and Donovan, saying, 'You've gotta listen to these words,' which we never really thought about before. He was a really good poet himself and he probably could've done something, I think."

    "But he fell victim to smack. It's like he was destined to do that, really," Weller continued. "Even when we were at school, he was reading William Burroughs' Junkie. He was just too heavily into it. But it was a waste and I think really that's what the song's about this life, this potential, has been snuffed out."

    He concluded: "But it says 'like a moth going to a flame'... He kind of knew what he was getting into."

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

David Bowie Leads the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men

David Bowie Leads the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired MenSong Writing

Bowie's "activist" days of 1964 led to Ziggy Stardust.

Daryl Hall

Daryl HallSongwriter Interviews

Daryl Hall's TV show is a hit, and he's been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - only one of these developments excites him.

Incongruent Opening Acts

Incongruent Opening ActsSong Writing

Here's what happens when an opening act is really out of place with the headliner, like when Beastie Boys opened for Madonna.

Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne

Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of WayneSongwriter Interviews

The guy who brought us "Stacy's Mom" also wrote the Jane Lynch Emmy song and Stephen Colbert's Christmas songs.

Carol Kaye

Carol KayeSongwriter Interviews

A top session musician, Carol played on hundreds of hits by The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Frank Sinatra and many others.

Best Band Logos

Best Band LogosSong Writing

Queen, Phish and The Stones are among our picks for the best band logos. Here are their histories and a design analysis from an expert.