musicology #172

alternativesoundtrack2..Quadrophenia #4

(Robert Parker – Watch Your Step)

today’s section is the scene about ‘scoring the ‘Jack & Jills’ for Brighton, featuring Jimmy, Dave, (his so called best mate), and Chalky. ‘Flash’ Pete puts them on to some proper Villians from South Of The River and the story unfolds..

one thing I would like to add is that there is no way that what follows, (“lets do the bastards motor”), would or could have happened back in the day…it’s pure fantasy to suggest it. what definately did happen back then, is Villains were on the speed long before the ‘mods’ and it many cases would have been how the teenagers were introduced to them.

speed was in use throughout the 1950’s, (especially in and around Soho), and was known to have been used by some in preparation for crimes that sometimes required a ‘liitle helper’. used in World War II, ( British troops used 72 million amphetamine tablets in the second world war), it was freely available to soldiers to ‘help’ keep them alert, awake, and fearless. I recall a sentence from a fantastic work of art, (Information Panel), detailing the late 50’s, early 60’s period of crime in London and it mentions ‘teams of pilled up 16 stone villains striking terror into the hearts of most’…especially on the ‘armed blag’ so to suggest that young kids would have been so foolish to have dealt out such retribution over such a small thing as a ‘Cockle’s’ worth of pills is misguided.

the piece of music that follows the dialogue is a well known Mod/ernist slice of the Rhythm & Blues pie by artist Robert Parker that was issued in the UK on London DJ and musicologist Guy Steven’s Sue label a couple of years after this one, (the American original released on V-Tone in 1961).

I know it’s been all Rhythm & Blues so far but it was this music that defined Mods up to the year in question, (1964) and certainly not bands like The Who. Live music was performed at places like the Scene by bands such as The Who, The Animals and others but they were mostly to be found, (tradition that still holds), performing in local Pubs and live music venues.


7 thoughts on “musicology #172

  1. still doesn’t sound slow to us down this end…
    great slice o R. B in fact it conjures up the fast
    talking gum chewing chat that went on outside the soho clubs…most were very small, hot crowded places (sometimes just old cellers) …
    where the music could still be heard, and so could you!


  2. “pilled up”… now that brings back memories”…. chuckle, wicked chuckle!! And yes, Pete Townsend – or whoever – must been out of his trolley believing a few pilled up west London (important point this) Mods would fancy their chances in a tear-up with south London’s villains…. “the heavy mob”.


  3. hahahahahahahahaha..can you imagine it..a couple of West London teenagers on scooters taking on a ‘team’
    especially after letting them know about the Uncle Charlie connection and so where to find them.


  4. “It was this music (Rhythm&Blues) that defined Mods up to the year in question (1964)”.

    Absolutely correct….. Soul, as a category, genre (or marketing tool… whichever cap fits), came later. Instinctively, I would say 1964/5.


  5. Soul and Rhythm and Blues….subject’s close to themusicologist’s heart.

    Rhythm & Blues, (a marketing term coined by Atlantic’s Jerry Wexler in 1947), had been around since at least the 40’s, (earlier under different names)

    Soul on the other hand grew out of combining Gospel phrasing with Secular lyrics, (mainly of love), bound in the Vocal Group tradition that had been around for donkeys years.

    Some say ‘Soul’ as a genre begun in 1958, (For Your Precious Love by the Impressions is often mentioned), and although there are tunes that obviously preceed it, what came after can be more esily defined as ‘Soul’

    For example ‘The Drifters’, (definate Soul group), had been around since 1953 and their style never really changed.

    If anything Soul, for me, is a fusion between African and European musical traditions that crossed all boundries while Rhythm & Blues has always struggled in that respect.


  6. “Soul is a fusion between African and European musical traditions that crossed all boundaries while Rhythm & Blues has always struggled in that respect”

    After much Soul searching (excuse the pun) and digging around the internal vaults, I’ve come to the conclusion it’s the other way ’round…. It’s Rhythm & Blues that’s the true bastard child of of the two continents musical traditions…. Soul, on the other hand, is pure. Pure black gold.

    I mean, and without being dismissive, how many “European” artists have Soul?


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