I saw the strangest thing in my village street yesterday: a little Paul Weller lookalike.
He had the whole feathery hair thing going on – the too-short fringe and the too-long bits in front of the ears, and he was wearing a nasty beige jacket and smoking something smelly which barely concealed the scent of an also rather nasty aftershave. As our paths crossed I could see quite a facial resemblance: the slenderness and pointed jaw, close together eyes, a longish nose – although it was kind of like viewing Paul Weller in a Hall Of Mirrors.
I assume he’s a fan and not getting paid for it, although I s'pose he could front a Jam tribute band . It got me thinking, though… as a lot of fans do like to look like their idols, which comes first? Do people remark that you remind them of someone and then you consciously assemble everything from there – not just the whole look, but wanting to buy their records and go to their gigs too? Do you have to convince yourself, maybe even force yourself, to like the output of the artist you so naturally resemble? Or is it pure coincidence that you’re already a fan and just happen to look like them too? Almost like there’s something in the genes – for example, statistics show that 93% of people with Elvis-type (‘Elvine’) features also have an innate penchant for The King’s music. But I may have just made that up.
When I was working in a record shop, one of our regulars was a Gary Numan fan, who really did look like his idol. Of course the dyed hair and the black and red outfit helped with the illusion, but he already had the basics covered in his facial features. Siouxsie lookalikes were also a common phenomenon in the ‘80s, but probably not too hard a look to achieve if you have the right make-up and some hair crimpers. I’ve seen Princes, Rod Stewarts and even now there’s an assistant at our local B&Q who’s a slightly shorter version of Elton John. I’ve often wondered if she’s an Elton fan.
I should’ve asked them those questions. Which came first, looking alike, or liking a look?
Anyway, I saw the Modfather lookalike again this morning, getting his fags at the paper shop. Well, there was something about him - I just knew from his demeanour that it would really make his day to hear a stranger say to him, “Excuse me, but has anyone ever told you – you’re the spitting image of Paul Weller?!” or, better still, “Erm, hello…. you’re Paul Weller, aren’t you? Wow!” Oh, he would be so chuffed! So, feeling uncharacteristically callous, I’m afraid I didn’t say a word.