Scanning Mariott’s Wiki page, I see names such as Marianne Faithful, Brian Epstein, Pete Townshend, Rod Stewart, Peter Frampton, and of course, a scene where Mariott auditions for the Rolling Stones! That’s a lot of casting.
Let’s start by casting the band, then see which other roles we can fill. I’ll start by nominating Danny Strong for the role of Kenney Jones.
Mr. Royale and I just returned to the States after 9 days in Italy and an additional 4 in London. Whilst I cannot claim to have conducted extensive research on the pop music of Sorrento, Florence, Rome, or London, my brief listen to the radio, via taxi rides and cafe culture, yielded the following observations:
Both countries are stuck in a 1980s time warp.
American music is played frequently; Italians don’t listen to much Italian music.
Much of the music was re-mixes of American music from the ’80s. Especially Michael Jackson.
For variety, the DJ would occasionally play something from the 1970s.
The DJ Plan B was something that sounded like an outtake from a Eurovision contest or off of yet another Hotel Costes soundtrack.
A full, cooked English breakfast does taste better when accompanied by Small Faces.
From our city wanderings, we were also puzzled by the preponderance of Pink Floyd t-shirts. We didn’t hear any actual Pink Floyd music, but for whatever reason, new versions of vintage PF t-shirts and album covers were all over Italy.
I’m calling on Mod, who I know lived for a while on The Continent, and any of the lot of you to share your observations of the music-listening habits of our RTH brothers and sisters across the Atlantic.
I’ve always been on the fence concerning the Mod or Rocker schism. I do love my Eddie Cochran and Link Wray, but I also love my natty attire, Small Faces, The Creation, and The Action.
[audio:https://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/07-Brain-1.mp3|titles=The Action: Brain]
[audio:https://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/01-Come-Around-1.mp3|titles=The Action: Come Around]
So, I’m not going to give a Wikipedia-style account of The Action here. Let’s just let them be the soundtrack for an inquiry.
Certainly, the Mods vs. Rockers clashes of the ’60s were overemphasized, and it’s not like they even mattered over here. Is it even a valid argument anymore, or did Ringo do away with the question in his famous Hard Day’s Night quip?
[audio:https://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/02-Something-To-Say.mp3|titles=The Action: Something to Say]
[audio:https://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/02-In-My-Lonely-Room.mp3|titles=The Action: In My Lonely Room]
It comes down to a question of the importance of subculture and semiotics: the expressive forms and rituals of our groupings, be they mods, rockers, punks, skinheads, Portland-types, or Brooklyn-types.
This is superficial stuff, to be sure. We become intrigued by the mundane objects—an R.A.F. roundel, motorcycle boots, a safety pin, a flannel shirt—which nonetheless take on a symbolic dimension, and also grant us something of a self-imposed exile.
I don’t give a fuck so much, but there was a time when it was a serious rock-existential dilemma for me: “Wait, can I have a mod target, and love Gene Vincent? Can you do that?” Can I, to bring it up to the present day, dress like Jimmy in Quadrophenia and still be caught dead at Rock of Ages?
[audio:https://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/07-Just-Once-In-My-Life.mp3|titles=The Action: Just Once in My Life]
[audio:https://www.rocktownhall.com/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/10-Since-I-Lost-My-Baby.mp3|titles=The Action: Since I Lost My Baby]
In this context, the music we listen to serves as entertainment, diversion, and relevance, yes, but we also identify, adopting the sounds and their singers as signifiers to help us discover “where do I fit in?”