Townshend, Weller and...?

I was thinking about the relation between mod scene and music.
I know people say "The Who and Kinks weren't mod bands" and in a conscious way they truly weren't, In many interviews we see a young Townshend talking about a bigger movement, sometimes even saying bad things about the mods.
But the three great bands...Kinks, Who and Small Faces gained this status because they confronted the main elements of 64 generation...which were:
-Sing about the daily life and the english society by the young working class perspective (in Ray Davies lyrics)
- The rebelion and the hate against an alienated society, captured in Who's songs
- And the power of r&b developed in the work of Small Faces.
So we could say we love their music coz' they captured the spirit of an era (and why not to say...they captured too the essence of the mod lifestyle, if they didn't we would not be listening their songs 50 years later).
More than this...Townshend had a key role talking about the frustrations and expectations of a whole generation.

The 70's was not different.
The Jam had a great importance, first singing songs about street lifestyle...and after "All Mod Cons" evolving their sound...talking in a critical way about english society which culminated in great phrases like:
-"We're just the next generation of emotinally cripped"

Even in the radicalization of Paul Weller's discourse. In their final days The Jam were singing about class struggle (Just a 5 o' clock hero, Hey Mister) and capitalist explotation (Smithers-Jones, We've only started)...a path which Paul Weller would go further and further in Style Council (an interesting thing...the movement of taking a radical speech happened at the same time Weller approached more and more the black music)
Not only the Jam, Purple Hearts and Secret Affair talked about the frustrations and the hopes of the young working class of the late 70's sometimes almost in a existencialist way (I remember a interview I read on the NME special of Mods and the fact Ian Page was from a middle class family apparently was very important coz' of that I'm constantly talking of working class).
And again like Townshend had a key role, Weller had one too at his time.

There's no doubt those two moments (62 - 66 and 77 - 82....I can be wrong in the dates) were the biggest of the Mod history.
Lately we're seeing a new movement trying to emerge, the thing is: Looks like is trying for over a decade, and nothing really relevant happened.
Maybe today we have more bands in every scene, all over the world (many cities in UK, some in the US, in Colombia, Brasil, Barcelona, Italy) compared to the number of bands of the mid 60's and the late 70's, but none scene could bring, even slightly, the same force of those two great eras.

Here's my question...perhaps what is missing is a spokesman of this generation? Like Townshend and Paul Weller were...and don't get me wrong I don't think we need a man to be looked as a god we wait to say something smart. But a person, or some people which have the capacity to be a creative force, or even confront the status quo like early Who and Jam did.

What you people think?

(sorry about the bad english...I tried hard to put those thoughts together)

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  • Joel it all comes down to opinion as to what will happen to the economy and we wouldn't be where we are today if there were answers. There is much in what Frames says. Businesses will keep their costs (wages) down to enable them to make profit, so  logically it it would appear that until British workers can do the work at the same rate as workers in third world countries, the old  type of manufacturing will not return to these shores. So I don't think it will be like it was anytime soon.

    I am loathe to give anyone advice because we are all very different. Having said that the worst feeling is to wake up in the morning and dread going to work. So try and do something that is bearable if not enjoyable. If you want that sort of choice, you will probably need to have a skill or talent that someone will buy, be it a service, trade,voice,sport etc. but what ever you do, Good Luck J. 

    • I think is great when pop stars get involved with the old political crap , look how Donovan changed the world :-)

    • What's that you say ? D'ya mean to suggest that St Bono , bless his holy name , ain't gonna lead us to salvation ? Bugger !
  • Agreed Emily. 

  • In all seriousness I know what you mean Caue.

    There is nobody around now willing to be as brutal and honest as some of the above mentioned.I think its more a problem with the  apathetic nature of the youth nowadays.Its not just about being a mod or a skin any style come to that,young people just seem quite uninterested in real life,they'd far sooner have a moan on facebook rather than write some music or get involved in something that really mattered.

    Its true that the mod scene is alive and well just as the rockerbilly is etc but the problems that need to addressed  a far more than that.I wouldn't care if it wasn't a "mod" icon,just someone who had the passion and guts to speak the truth regardless what the public thought. 

    • I think the exchanges between you and RD are interesting. I despair in what appears to me to be an absence of youth rebellion today that is channeled into any definitive style apart from music, and even there, bands like The Stones etc. are still able to give sell-out performances.

      However it is a fact that kids do not have the vote, and the society in which they live is the one that we, the adults, have provided. So surely we have a responsibility in all this. I feel sorry for kids today and would not exchange my childhood and teenage years for theirs. My grandchildren enjoy a lifestyle beyond my dreams as a kid, not that I would want them to experience air raids, rationing etc. My children  had a more affluent time than I did, but it still had some resemblance to my experience and they both became influenced by Mod revivalism. They are in their forties.

      We can't just point at the kids today and remove ourselves from the way things are. I think it revolves around consumerism and I am not convinced that it can be reversed. It is difficult to give an opinion as to why this is without being political. I am not sure that this forum is the place for political discussion. We seem to fall out easily enough without introducing politics into the equation.

    • I agree in a bigger picture this youth is really more conformist than others (maybe only the 90`s younth were more conformist, with practically nothing to say).

      But since 2010 I`m seeing a difference, the wall street movement, the campings in spain, the revolutions in some arab countries, here (Brazil) we're having riots fighting for better education, health and so on...and even the riots of London (wich I think was more a consumerist than political riot)...since the 2008 crisis the things are changing.
      Musically I only heard "Ultraviolence" by Supernovas, and lately I've heard a band indicated in this forum, Pretty Cartel...both singing about the riots.

      Now about the politics...for me almost every discouse is a political example is Tatcher's words " there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families." this individualistic perception looks like to be a thing against what we perceive as politics but you in England saw how this vision was political.
      I don't think the forum have to be a place to political debate, but I don't know why we should police ourselves to not talk about politics, like you've said some things are difficult to talk without being political, not all things, but some.

    • Hi Caue

      Thanks for your reply. I am aware that there has been much unrest In Brazil. Not least I understand because of the vast sums of money being spent on new  stadiums for the 2014 World Cup, whilst there is little being invested in homes for the poor who live in ghettos. We staged the Olympic Games last year.

      I think it is not easy to compare the emerging giant that is Brazil with a modern European economy, which I am told is what we are, other than the distribution of wealth. We now 'enjoy' the largest disparity between rich and poor since Victorian times. This has occurred under the governance of the three major political parties, we now have a coalition government of  the Conservatives and Lib Dems. The present government would have us believe this is all the fault the past Labour government for not regulating the banking sector more rigorously before the crash 2008, albeit that at the time the Conservatives were calling for less regulation. 

      I cite this as an example of the circular nature of the politics of this country in which the blame game or negative politics has replaced policies. We used to get up to 80% turn out for General Elections, we now get between 50/60%. In any other enterprise or undertaking returned these sort of figures, it would be judged a failure. To listen to our politicians you would think that they had all been unqualified successes. The fact remains that only we can change it, but I think most people, even the ones who still vote, have given up on politics in  this country. 

    • I'm 16 year old, and like you say. It's hard to get a job. I've applied to 60-70+ jobs since I turned 16, and 1 interview came of it. Still, no point giving up, going into town tomorrow to hand out cv's. As far as politics go, there's not much point me giving an input, the youth of today don't have a voice anyways.

    • Excellent post Joel and I am sure I am not alone on this site in wishing you every success in your obvious determination to find work. Good Luck Mate.

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