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The Who & Mod Culture. Identity, Language, Fashion. Mod Subculture. “Mod” is from “modernist” – fashion (suits), R&B music, customized motor scooters . Also the Decadents – (Pseudo)intellectual – existentialism, claims to sophisticated taste, rejection of oversimplified masculinity

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the who mod culture

The Who & Mod Culture

Identity, Language, Fashion

mod subculture
Mod Subculture
  • “Mod” is from “modernist” – fashion (suits), R&B music, customized motor scooters.
  • Also the Decadents – (Pseudo)intellectual – existentialism, claims to sophisticated taste, rejection of oversimplified masculinity
  • Coffee shops (late night), jazz, and American beatnik culture (direct descendants of modernism).
  • Amphetamines and dancing.
quadrophenia 1973
Quadrophenia (1973)
  • Rock opera about Jimmy, a teenager, and his doings in London & Brighton in 1964-65.
  • Mass violence – Gang warfare – echoes of C20 Wars
  • “Quadrophenia” =
    • Technical term for advanced, volatile schizophrenia
    • Reference to four personalities of Jimmy
    • Reference to the four members of The Who
    • Reference to quadrophonic sound (4-channel or surround sound; i.e. stereo doubled), which was new at the time. In sense of themes emerging “from corners,” according to Pete Townsend.
quadrophenia the story
Quadrophenia: The Story
  • Jimmy is a Mod dealing with mental instability
  • His illness derives from inability to identify with major institutions:
    • Parents/family
    • Psychiatrist (medicine)
    • Vicar (religion)
    • Eventually his own youth subculture
    • And subsequently himself.
slide9
“5.15”
  • The song “5.15” sums up the major tenets of Jimmy’s identity crisis:
    • Sexuality and gender (masculinity)
    • Modern culture
    • Consumerism
    • Alienation
the who sell out 1967
The Who Sell Out (1967)
  • Mock radio broadcast with fake commercials
  • Ironic take on rock, commercial culture, and modern media
  • “Odorono” – irony: pop song turns out to be a commercial – because that’s what pop songs are