October 22, 2020

1997-02-17 – The Guardian

1997 02 17 The_Guardian_Mon__Feb_17__1997_

11!. m Monday February 17 1997


At best bombast, at worst bullshit.
That’s what you get when the
movie-makers try to rock’n’roll

like teen

- "responsible" social oom-
F ramespottmg ment. was the true begetter
of the pipe-and-slippers Q-
Qna‘u'a Rom reading generation.

J n “C, By 1979 and its transla tion to m, Quadmphenh
meant something else. Mod
RE were you in '62? was being presented as the
[know where i was in direct precursor of punk;
'73 — watching Amer- in 1977. Paul Weller’s Jain
ican Grafliti. which claimed The Who as its
used that tag-line to ancestor; to be followed two
induce instant nostalgia even in years later by a spate (1
viewers who were still eating Far- short-iived post-punk neo-
ley’s rusks instead of cheeseburger: mod bands. Qudmphenia
in the year in which the film is set. now resembles less a vérité
Likewise, i rememberieuabout 1964 fiction about the sixties
-— the setting for the recently re than a documentary about
released Quadrophenia — than I do punk's oonmsed.backward-
about 1973. when The Who cut the looking afiermath. That's
concept album on which Franc Rod- partly because of the eye-
dam based his 1979 film. son presence of new-wave
In fact. 1964 becomes only a periph- fellow-tmvellers Sting and
eral part d the equation when you myah Wilcox: the film is
watehthefllmm'. MWMB irnparably dated by Sting
original mcyde was about looking in spiky peroxide and camp
back with lamina. met and not a SS officer's raincoat. even
little emhrmnt It His Genera- more than by the chirpy
tion and it w His subject in street chat(“Awright. boys?

mod seen in the rear-view mirror of Nice one!").
what followed: psychedelia. latesix- More than anything else.
ties progressive rock and their atten- Quadmphenia documents
dant traumas. The now barely the way pop compulsively
listenahle guitar bombast of the positions itself by refer-
film's soundtrack has nothing to do ence to the past, as if punk
with the light‘footed guitar-and- could not find its historical
Motown cocktailof the first mod era. pigeonhole until it had
and everything to do with a weary paid homage to its early-
eariy-seventies rock star in a hurry to sixties British forebears.
grow up. 1bwnshend. one of the first But such references are
wild-boy rockers to become fixated on infinitely flexible. always