Archive for the who

Amazing Pete Townshend quotation

Posted in mod, music, reviews/opinions with tags , , , , on November 10, 2009 by reccaphoenix

“I wasn’t tough enough to be a member of a gang, not good-lookin’ enough to be in with the birds, not clever enough to make it at school, not good enough with the feet to be a good football player. I was a loser.
*cheer from the crowd*
And, uh, I think everybody feels that way at some point. And somehow, bein’ a mod, even though I was too old to be a mod, really, kinda got me right there.  And I wrote this song with that in mind.  Jimmy, the uh, hero of the story, is kinda thinkin’ he hasn’t got much goin’ for himself, but at least he’s, uh, ‘one.'”
– Pete Townshend of The Who introducing the song “I’m One” in Largo, Maryland in 1973 (Quadrophenia Tour).

This little gem came off a Who live bootleg, Taking the Capitol, recorded at the Capitol Centre in Largo, Maryland back in ’73.  It’s not the best recording or the best performance, but it does have a very prominent bass and some wonderful snippets of Townshend explaining Quadrophenia.

I can really relate to that quote, though.  Quadrophenia changed my life.  I finally had something to relate to for my various identity crises and struggle to be a mod.  And mod has been the only subculture I’ve been involved in that I really clicked with and didn’t make me feel like a poser trying to assert myself.

What can I say, they’re my favourite band.  And they always will be.

My “mandala” for The Who

Posted in artwork, mod, music with tags , , , , on October 1, 2009 by reccaphoenix

I made this several years ago, and recently re-discovered it on my computer while cleaning out my art folder…

(c) 2008 Recca Phoenix

(c) 2008 Recca Phoenix

(click for fullsize)

It’s a “mandala” of sorts for my favorite band of all time, The Who.  The way much of their music and albums are organized sort of lends itself to the mathematical and geometric organization here, I guess.  4 (band members) is such a nice number, and it plays into many of their works.

Now for the explanation.

Obviously, the overall background motif is a British flag….because the Who were British and it has at least something to do with them.  Which leads me to the next feature, “MOD” at the center in a mod symbol, the R.A.F rondel.  The Who came out of the mod subculture and were originally sort of a “modsploitation band” called the High Numbers who wrote songs about mod stuff.  Moving outwards from the center, we have the blue ring of the rondel, the 4 band members as expressed by 4 songs showing the 4 personalities of Jimmy, the main character of the album Quadrophenia.  These songs are the “themes” of each of the band members: “Bell Boy” (Keith Moon), “Is It Me For A Moment” (John Entwhistle), “Helpless Dancer” (Roger Daltrey), and “Love Reign O’er Me” (Pete Townshend).  The red bars radiating from the center contain the names of the band members.  The “records” represent 4 of the Who’s most well-known/representative songs, “Baba O’Riley,” “I Can See For Miles,” “My Generation,” and “Who Are You.”  The lyrics of these 4 songs are written on the diagonal white bars that cut through them.  Finally, the 8 triangular blue sections in the background are the 8 best albums by the Who (which is obviously a matter of opinion, but most would agree with me): A Quick One, My Generation, Quadrophenia, Who Are You, Tommy, Live At Leeds, The Who Sell Out, and Who’s Next.

So that’s my little “fan art” for my favorite band.  Hope you enjoyed it.

OWN THE QUADROPHENIA SCOOTER! / ’79 Quadrophenia movie rant.

Posted in cinema, merchandise, mod, music, rants, reviews/opinions with tags , , , , , , on November 7, 2008 by reccaphoenix

I ride a GS Scooter with my haircut neat...

"I ride a GS Scooter with my haircut neat..."

Up for auction for an estimated 32,000-40,000 U.S. dollars…. Jimmy’s Lambretta scooter from the 1979 Quadrophenia movie!  A must-buy for any hardcore mod!

For those of you who are unenlightened, Quadrophenia is a 1973 rock opera album by my #1 favourite band, The Who.  It’s about the tail end of the mod movement in the UK.

I’m not too big a fan of the Quadrophenia film, actually.  I prefer the album much better, and I think the “Quadrophenia Live” DVD actually does a better job of telling the original album’s story better than the film does.  While the Quadrophenia film wasn’t nearly as much of a bastardization as the Tommy movie was, it still just doesn’t do it for me.

*SPOILER ALERT*

Somehow, having Jimmy drive his scooter off a cliff to “I’ve Had Enough” (which comes in the MIDDLE of the album) at the end of the film doesn’t work as well as ending with “Love Reign O’er Me” which is a much more poignant ending.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?  That Jimmy can in the end overcome the desperation of youth rather than submit to its pressure and commit suicide (or trash his scooter…we don’t actually *see* him “die”).

*END OF SPOILERS*

Another issue I had with the film was casting: I don’t really think Sting makes a good Ace Face/Bellboy.  This character is supposed to be the KING of all mods, the moddest of all of them.  Sting just isn’t mod enough.  Okay, I know that they had to put at least one well-known person in the film so that it could sell more tickets.  Fair enough.  But they threw this popular ’80s…er…late ’70s guy in there who just isn’t that mod.  I totally felt the whole late ’70s thing more than I should have, especially with regards to some of the girls’ hairstyles in the film.

I realize I’m being exceedingly picky here.  These little things don’t affect my total appreciation of the film.  That has more to do with plot/music choices and pacing.  Seriously, Sting and curly-hair girl wouldn’t have taken away from it if it was a better film in the first place.

I appreciate the fact that the Who learned from their mistake in the Tommy film and switched to using the album versions of the songs in Quadrophenia.  However, using the songs as background and not having the characters sing them like they would in a musical really takes away from the film.  Ideally, the casters should have picked actors who can sing and act, and not put too too much of their own weird spin on the songs (I love Eric Clapton, but his rendition of ‘Eyesight to the Blind’ in the Tommy movie just pales in comparison to the Who’s…bluesy doesn’t work for it).  You know, like they did in Across the Universe….make it different, but the same…..if that makes any sense 😛

And what’s more, the film doesn’t even use all of the songs on the album, but uses other Who songs and mod favorites (like “Da Doo Ron Ron”)….and takes far too long to actually start using the songs from Quadrophenia everyone wanted to hear!  And it goes for a linear plot, unlike the album, which totally ruins the order of songs/events, and makes everything way less poignant.  How are we to experience the awesomeness of “The story begins ON A ROCK….*dramatic pause*,” as Pete Townshend said in Largo, Maryland back in seventy-whatever, if the story doesn’t start from “the end”?  And while it is educational to see Jimmy and his buddies participating in all their mod antics (such as breaking into the Chemist…er….Pharmacy to steal uppers), we want to see the STORY.  Anyone could make just “a film about mods,” what I wanted was a film OF QUADROPHENIA.

So….. to cut this long-winded and heavily disorganized rant short and come back to the point…..

It’s still a pretty sweet scooter.  Snatch it up.  Even if the movie pretty much sucked, the scooter is quite appropriate for mods and part-time-mods of all sizes, shapes, and persuasions, so snatch it up if you’ve got a couple thousand dollars lying around.

This important newsflash came to my attention via ModCulture.co.uk, as always your #1 source for mod happenings in Europe and mod information of all types.