musicology #170

alternativesoundtrack2..Quadrophenia #2

(Buster Brown – Fannie Mae)

day two of the selection and after setting the scene, (no pun intended), with one of the great Mod classics Jimmy finds himself having a clean up at the Public Baths…now there’s a blast from the past…young bloods these days can’t even begin to imagine how common it was right up until the 1970’s to have your weekly bath down at the local swimming pool, (nowdays known as ‘Leisure Centre’)

part of what I really enjoy about Quadrophenia is the way it depicts how life was for the working class. which really began to change, (for the worse), during Thatcher’s reign as we were sold into rising debt and subsequently wage slavery with the ‘carrot’ of becoming ‘better off’.

my belief is that today’s society is a backward step. Health, Education and Security are all in a spiraling decline as the businessmen and politicians wait like stinking vultures to carve up the ‘institutions’ that were meant for the people’s welfare. It won’t be long before business is in charge of all the areas mentioned above as whoever is in charge tries to remind us that it’s ‘for our own good’ .. believe me it won’t be. as always the Poor and Needy will be raped and pillaged by the Rich and Greedy.

so..back to the film.

‘Jimmy’ is having a relaxing soak in the bath when the opening lines to Gene Vincent’s ‘Be Bop A Lula’ come floating over the cubicle wall… being a ‘Mod’ he takes this as a personal affront and makes his feelings known. leading to a vocal altercation that is about to step up to a confrontation until the two parties make visual contact and realise they are, what sounds like, friends. as we now know the ‘mods vs rockers’ fighting pitched battles and being sworn enemies is a myth overcooked by the media to sell newspapers.

if the truth be known it was more likely to be mods fighting mods over age old territorial rights or who ‘owned’ a particular corner of a dancehall.

the tune that follows is an example of the music that was appreciated by both mods and rockers, (music is a great leveller), another stomping piece of Rhythm & Blues, (released in 1959), that was played in early mod venues in London by the likes of original DJ’s such as Sammy Samwell and Guy Stevens.

Tony Blue this one’s yours. hope it brings back fond memories of being young, free and disengaged.


8 thoughts on “musicology #170

  1. yet another gem…the sound of the harmonica
    and an upbeat blues vocal really captures the
    heady sound and smell of summer nights in the Soho of the 60’s….I’m enjoying the dialogue cuts, I’ve never seen the film so they give me
    a taste of it.


  2. “fond memories”…. sure does. Thanks.

    By the way, coming late to the Quadrophenia party…. pucker!!!!!!!!!! And your choice of music warms the cockles of my heart.

    For me, one of the funniest lines/asides in this selection is the swimming baths attendant’s about the Eurovision song contest ‘cos its so true to life and the times (I often had the pleasure of such caustic cockney wits at Manor Place baths, Grange Rd., or Southwark Park Rd. to name but three in a five mile radius of south London…. needless to say, all blown away by the winds of progress and “regeneration”….. or with the benefit of hindsight, better said… “gentrification”)


  3. one of my favourite scenes in the whole film. absolutely nailed it, a real window into the times, (even though I wasn’t around back then), which is made even more apparent by your first hand experience of 1964.


  4. I wonder how many “British” public baths are left. If any, I have a feeling they could be needed in the not to distant future


  5. apropos ‘words’. While ploughing through Robert Burchfield’s The English Language (a dry tome if ever I’ve read one) I came upon this…… “Which words
    Will come through air unbent,
    Saying, so to say,
    only what they mean”

    it was the word “unbent” which got me!!!

    O.K. here’s another…..
    “A man that seeketh precise truth, has need to remember what every he uses stands for; and to place it accordingly; or else he will find himselfe entangled in words, as a bird in lime-twiggs; the more he struggles, the more belimed.

    Here it was the word “belimed” that done it… chuckle, chuckle!!!


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