The newest entry in the Cultographies series is Quadrophenia by Stephen Glynn. The 1979 film is, of course, based on the Who’s concept album Quadrophenia (1973) and tells the story of young mod Jimmy Cooper and the 1964 clash between Mods and Rockers in Brighton.
In Quadrophenia, Glynn argues that the “Modyssey” depicted in the book opens the hermetic subculture of the Mods to its social-realist context and dares to explore cult dangers. To help in understanding the particularities of Mod culture, Glynn’s book offers a very helpful glossary of essential Mod terms. Here are some selections and we’ve also included the trailer for the film:
Aggro: aggression: a common manifestation of the Mod mood.
Blues: small blue amphetamine pills aka French Blues.
Bovril: a hot and salty meat extract drink.
parka: the Mod coat of choice—notably the M51 fish-tail parka (named after its initial US army distribution), longer at the back with an integral hood.
Pie and Mash: a traditional London working-class meal, normally a minced beef pie served with mashed potato and an eel liquor sauce, aka “liquor”
Toff: a derogatory slang term for a member of the upper classes.
Vespa: Italian-made two stroke engine motor scooter. The Ace Face’s scooter of choice.
Here’s the trailer: