Crafty Cigarette is a distillation of the metamorphosis of youth, embodied with a rebirth of the key character upon hearing the opening chord of The Jam’s song ‘All Mod Cons’ and then growing up at a frantic pace, in keeping with Weller’s shouted '1,2,3 4' intro . Written in the first person, the story rocks along at a fast clip, on a par with a supercharged Jam single... a compelling narrative with the key character struggling to find his identity against the backdrop of late 70s chaos. Without being nostalgic or sentimental,
A Crafty Cigarette is a candid snapshot of English suburban life in the late 70s and early 80s, the book is raw, honest, dark and witty, with the values and culture of Mod being paramount throughout, though not always presented as the ‘be all and end all’. A Crafty Cigarette is a powerful story and arguably, not since The Who’s ‘Quadrophenia’, has there been such an in-depth study into the confused and multi-faceted lifestyle of striving to be a Mod… but thls time, set in the very thick of the ’79 Mod revival.
John Cooper Clarke Foreword for Crafty Cigarette
Anybody who is anybody has worn the three button uniform and that’s official. Mod is a train of thought and its destination is the personal refinement and ultimate sophistication of the individual citizen by way of his own aesthetic judgement. The production values of Mod persist even into old age (unless some kind of severe mental breakdown intervenes) because their agility is non restrictive.
The Neapolitan or Continental suit for example, was popularised in America and given to the World in movies, why, because it is class, classless and looks good on all shapes. Matteo Sedazzari got the Modinest bug from the sharp silhouettes of his heroes, Rick Buckler, Bruce Foxton and Paul Weller AKA The Jam and who could deny their monochrome allure. It’s almost impossible to write the way you speak (name one) but Signor Sedazzari has that gift, and in his chuckle heavy account of his teenage escapades, obsessions, senseless capers of one kind or another, and his good humoured keeping of the faith in the face of disappointment, has film treatment written all over it. I even get a name check but rest assured no gratuitous ego massage took place in this transaction. From time to time he is apologetic and accuses himself of boring you with the details, but this is our world today where the details are in the field and dressed by such a discerning eye, magical. I couldn’t put it down because I couldn’t put it down. John Cooper Clarke August 2015