From The Floorboards Up! A unique collection of fan’s photographs from around the world, also contains interviews with fans, narrative by Pat Gilbert (MOJO), setlists, tickets and tour posters from the first 30 solo years, 1990-2019.
All the photos in the new book are from live events in the UK and overseas, taken from 1990 to 2019. The book will contain many unseen photos taken by the fans. Making the book a unique collectors piece from the fans perspective. We asked author Jon Abnett to tell us more about the book and the story behind the concept. He didn’t disappoint with a sneak peak of some of the fan photos included in the book.
Back in 2009, after acting as a consultant on The Jam Unseen (Twink, 2007), I was invited to write a book on The Jam. However, for various reasons, I never managed to make a start on it. I’ve been a fan of Weller since 1977 and, through this, have made long-lasting friendships, old and new.
In the early 1990s, seeing Paul play to 150 people at the Subterania (and come on at 11.30pm) was a shock. It was clear to all who attended that he needed to build up his live audience again. By the second tour, crowds were noticeably larger; these days, tickets go on sale at 10am and can sell out in five minutes.
It was two years ago that I had the idea to create a book using fans’ photographs. I had been asked to pay £4,000 for two images, making professional photographs unviable. Plus, the professionals have published their own books, which have all been decent books but at a premium price.
I’m a dedicated fan but there are more dedicated than myself, doing many shows on one tour, coming over from the US or Oz. I’ve been a designer for 38 years so just nice not to have to worry about copyright. Without blowing my own trumpet, fellow fans know my work and attention to detail so I wanted to create something special for them!
Finally, in 2019, I put together a sample concept and showed it to a few trusted friends, including Chris Newson, who immediately ‘got’ it. Chris and I have worked together for around 16 years and produced three books on The Jam (Chris currently co-owns a literary agency). The draft pages were touted around, a few publishers showed some interest but there were no real bites. Perhaps the Covid lockdown had something to do with that, because some of publishers got in touch again more recently.
After that initial disappointment, I contacted someone I had worked with for over 30 years and is a well-known music book editor/author and Who fanatic: Chris Charlesworth. He kindly looked at the concept PDFs and passed me two contacts. Both came back to me instantly but I decided to go with This Day In Music as they had just successfully published Andy Crofts’ book Paul. A week later, and after a call with Neil and Bob, a contract was agreed and signed. I had already started to receive images and it was clear just what a great project this book was going to be.
Over the past 40 years, I have helped thousands of authors to realise their dreams of publishing a book . . . now it was my time.
The book title is taken from the song that Paul wrote about The Barrowlands, in Glasgow; the feeling of the floorboards moving with the audience, the energy literally rising . . . from the floorboards up.
The early years (1990 to 1999) have proven more difficult to fill given that there were no mobile phones capable of taking photos and cameras were often banned from venues. Hopefully anyone reading this will understand and just enjoy the early images.
I hope that you all browse through the forthcoming pages with the same passion that I had laying them out.
Jon Abnett, August 2021
A few Exclusive fan photos included in the book below:
Order the unique book signed and dated by the author Jon Abnett with a personal dedication of your choice. Just specify who the book should be signed for, or include a dedication message, when ordering.
All the photos in this new book are from live events in the UK and overseas, taken from 1990 to 2019. Containing many unseen shots all taken by the fans! It’s a very unique book, with narrative by Pat Gilbert (MOJO), interviews with fans and reflections from some bands lucky enough to have supported Paul on tour during those 30 years.
Compiled and designed by life-long fan Jon Abnett, From the Floorboards Up! will be published in two editions: a standard hardback version, priced at £39.99; and a special edition box – limited to just 500 copies, each featuring an individually hand-numbered certificate – priced at £75.00. This edition is likely to sell out quickly, so be quick!
The special edition is limited to 500 copies only and are individually numbered and comes complete with bonus items:
- 2 replica concert tickets
- VIP lanyard pass
- 2 Paul Weller setlists
- Paul Weller poster
- 4 exclusive postcard photos
- PWM Ltd edition enamel key fob
- A numbered certificate of authenticity
- Everyone ordering a copy of the special edition will also be credited in the book.
Copyright © Mods Of Your Generation 2021, All Rights Reserved. Words © Jon Abnett & Mods Of Your Generation. Image © Jon Abnett & From The Floorboards Up!. Fan Photos as credited on images. No part of this interview may be reproduced without the permission of the authors and Mods Of Your Generation .