You know we love music and you know we love movies, so it should come as no surprise that ‘Quadrophenia‘ is one of our all-time favorites. The 1979 film is based on The Who’s 1973 rock opera album of the same name. It’s the story of Jimmy, a young Londoner with a dead-end job who finds release in the sharp style, scooters, and speedy amphetamines of mod subculture. And of course, there’s the music — British beat, Jamaican ska and American soul and R&B.
Things get hairy when the mods head to the seaside town of Brighton for a bank holiday weekend on the same weekend as their rivals — the leather-clad, motorcycle riding rockers. The film is based on the real-life events of the ‘Second Battle of Hastings,’ a two-day riot between the groups that took place in 1964. Check out the trailer, featuring a young Sting, and find the film’s locations, after the jump…
Like most weekends in Brighton, the film starts in London, in the same Shepherd’s Bush neighborhood where the The Who got their start (music fans should note that The Clash, The Sex Pistols and Pete Doherty all have roots in Shepherd’s Bush, as well.). To get to this west London nabe, take to tube to Goldhawk Road. There you’ll find the film’s famous A. Cookes Pie and Mash Shop (48 Goldhawk Rd. ), where you should be sure to sample that British delicacy, meat pie.
While in London, you’ll want to visit one of the mod’s most stylish hangouts — S&M Cafe, an Islington institution at 4-6 Essex Rd. The retro-style cafe pays homage to Alfredo’s, the cafe seen in the film. Take the tube to Angel station to taste the sausage and mash that is the restaurant’s namesake (so get your mind out of the gutter). Unfortunately, another pub from the film wasn’t so lucky — the Bramley Arms in Notting Hill, has been converted into offices.
When you’re ready to skip town for a weekend retreat, Brighton is an easy train-ride away. The trip takes about an hour from Victoria station — not Paddington, where Jimmy catches the train to Sussex in the film — and cost around £3 (about $5). Or, you can travel in true mod style and take your scooter — Vespa or Lambretta, please.
When you get to town, park on Madeira Drive, just like in the movie. Then round up your crew, head down to Kings Road, the main seaside strip, for a rousing battle cry of “We are the Mods.” On the street you’ll find the imposing Victorian hotel The Grand (97-99 Kings Road). That’s where cool-kid Ace (Sting) works as a bellboy. Book a room between now and November 30 and stay in style — including dinner, bed and breakfast for two — for £129 (about $205).
If flighting off the rival rockers leaves you feeling randy, nip off to the alley No. 11 off of East Street. That’s where Jimmy and Steph had their little tête-à-tête in the film. But be careful — East Street is also where the cops arrest the mods in the film.
So, what’s it gonna be … are you a Mod or a Rocker?
photos: S&M Cafe by Katey H/Flickr; Little East Street by Jim Linwood; The Grand by Greg Neate/Flickr