Following the release of the highly acclaimed Quadrophenia box set, BBC 4 will be airing Quadrophenia… Can You See The Real Me? This is an in depth documentary about the making of the iconic album which will broadcast on 29th June at 9pm.
In 1969, Pete Townshend wrote Tommy, a rock opera that made The Who the biggest live band in the world. In 1971 he had a nervous breakdown trying to follow it up. By 1973 the band were broke, Keith Moon was struggling with alcohol and drug problems and Pete and Roger Daltrey were barely speaking. In a last throw of the dice Pete came up with a new concept for a rock opera and named it Quadrophenia. The story depicted a schizophrenic mod called Jimmy who was hell bent on a journey to insanity and back from London to Brighton throughout the Mod heyday of 1964.
Now, in his home studio and revisiting old haunts in Shepherds Bush and the Who’s old Ramport studio in Battersea, Pete Townshend opens his heart and his personal archive in this new film to revisit, in his words, ‘the last great album The Who ever made’. But in 1973 it was an album that almost never was. Beset by money problems, a studio in construction, heroin-taking managers, a lunatic drummer and a culture of extremely heavy drinking, Pete took on an album that nearly broke him. It was also an album that the band had turned their backs on within twelve months of producing.
This fascinating, new BBC documentary directed by Matt O’Casey will feature unheard studio recordings, unseen correspondence and photos, plus archive footage of their 1973 concert at Belle Vue, Manchester that has never previously been seen. There are also in depth interviews with Pete, Roger, photographer Ethan Russell, engineer Ron Nevison, Ramport Studio secretary Georgiana Waller, The Who’s manager Bill Curbishley and tour manager John Wolff.
‘Can You See The Real Me’ will be followed later that evening by ‘Quadrophenia The Movie’ and ‘The Who Live at the Electric Proms’.
Visit www.thewho.com and www.quadropheniaofficial.com for all info.
The Who to tour Quadrophenia. Roger Daltrey says that The Who will tour in 2011, and incorporate Quadrophenia. Speaking to Billboard, Daltrey spoke of wanting to tour in the second half of 2011. Contrary to their former ‘dying before they get old’ edict, Daltrey now says, ‘We definitely don’t want to stop. We feel it’s the role of the artist to go all the way through life ’til you can’t do it anymore.’ He suggested that they’d incorporate parts of their 1973 rock opera Quadrophenia into next year’s tour. They haven’t performed the songs since 1994 and Daltrey suggested that the plot may need a clarification and an update. He said, “For the newcomers, it was narratively a bit of a puzzle, what Pete and I were to this guy on the screen. It needs a revamp.” The tour would be the first run of shows for the band since 2007.
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