Happy Birthday this weekend to the UK's most enigmatic Mod, rocker, guitar statesman, and dedicated follower of fashions good and bad, Paul Weller. For nearly all of his career, Weller has been a fan of Epiphones old and new, big and small--from the mighty Casino to the Texan to the rare Epiphone "Dwight." 

Once upon a time, for those who remember him from way back in the days of The Jam, Mr. Weller reached as close to God-like status as a rockstar could and then pulled the plug on the trio at the height of their fame.  Weller promised he'd never reunite The Jam and so far, he's stayed true to his word (though he did appear with bassist Bruce Foxton in 2010 at a charity gig--the first time the two had performed on stage since 1982).  

Mr. Weller kept rocking over the next three decades, first with the Style Council and then on his own and along the way inspired the Stone Roses, Oasis, and a dozen other BritPop notables.  He's the one Englishman who makes any up-and-coming barking-mad snot-faced rebel rocker quake in their boots. He's cool. He's the Modfather.  And many years from now, when history looks back on Thatcher's England, they'll also talk about Paul Weller, England's musical canary in the coalmine. And that's why NME presented him with the coveted Godlike Genius Award in 2010.  But Mr. Weller also has a lot of heart and when he talks about The Jam, he still carries a torch for the hard rocking lads. Don't we all.  Happy Birthday, Paul. Long may you rock.