Fans of The Who are set for an almighty scramble this Friday when tickets for their ‘Quadrophenia and More’ European Tour go on sale to the general public. As revealed exclusively by National Brit Rock on Sunday, The Who will be embarking on a journey across the UK before heading to Paris and Amsterdam.
‘Quadrophenia’ is the sixth studio album released by The Who, and their second rock opera after ‘Tommy’. The double LP first went on sale in the United Kingdom on 19th October 1973, and it tells the story of ‘Jimmy’ who supposedly represented an aspect of each of the four members of the band: Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon.
The album’s name is a blend of two terms: ‘quadrophonic’ sound (now more commonly known as surround sound) which was recently invented at the time, and the mental disorder ‘schizophrenia’.
The rock opera itself represents the journey of a British teenager, set in London and Brighton during the mid-Sixties. ‘Jimmy’ was a mod. A big fan of rhythm and blues music and rock and roll, fashion, scooters, nightclubs, pills, girls, and (er hem) rioting with rockers on the Brighton beaches, he was also a schizophrenic who eventually drove his scooter off the white cliffs of Dover, presumably resulting in his suicide.
In 1979 a film version of ‘Quadrophenia’ was released, featuring Phil Daniels, who later went on to star in Eastenders, as the main protagonist. It also featured Sting as the ‘Ace Face’ (the term ‘Face’ being the most admirable mod whom everybody else would look up to, usually the best-dressed and best dancer), and Ray Winstone as a rocker.
One of the most famous lines in the film is when Daniels reveals to Winstone: “I don’t wanna be the same as everybody else. That’s why I’m a Mod, see? I mean, you gotta be somebody, ain’t ya, or you might as well jump in the sea and drown.”
The album itself represents one of The Who’s most highly esteemed pieces of work, and features four tracks which are referred to as the ‘theme’ for each of the group’s four different members, dramatically concluding with ‘Pete’s theme’ as Jimmy throws himself over the cliffs to the backing of ‘Love Reign o’er Me’.
Keith Moon’s theme on the album is ‘Bell Boy’, the track on which he provides some of the vocals. When The Who recently performed the track at the 12.12.12 Sandy Relief Benefit Concert at Madison Square Gardens, Moon appeared on the big screens behind the band, for whom Zak Starkey (son of Ringo Starr) now drums.
Starkey will be touring with the band this summer as they perform at 10 venues across the UK, starting at Dublin on 8th June, and visiting Belfast, Glasgow, London, Sheffield, Newcastle, Manchester, Cardiff and Birmingham before concluding at Liverpool on 30th June.
The show, directed by Daltrey, will showcase ‘Quadrophenia’ in its entirety, and will feature “powerful imagery projected on an array of massive screens, designed to support, complement and propel the musical content of the work by setting it in the context of the history of the band,” according to the press release.
Tickets go on sale this Friday (1st February), with general seating priced between £60-80. One lucky fan has already assured his place after being invited personally by the band, although given his sporting achievements during 2012, Bradley Wiggins probably deserves it. For the rest of us, it will be a case of crossing fingers.
Tickets and more information available from: http://thewho.com
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