Simon Wells

Fast approaching the 38th anniversary of filming of Quadrophenia, this is an extract from Simon Wells’ book “Quadrophenia: A Way Of Life” recalling the preparation before the first day’s shooting in Brighton on 28th September 1978.
The seemingly ravenous Pilcher would score again with a raid on jazz musician Tubby Hayes in the summer of 1968.
Wednesday, 16 September 2015 19:11

The Leather Boys

Mention The Leather Boys and it’s likely only a few would associate the phrase with a milestone in British gay cinema.
When 5 teenagers in 1978 saw an advert in the NME that read“Do you want Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll?” you can imagine what they said!The advert was referring to the movie Quadrophenia, based on The Who’s 1973 studio album of the same name.

It’s called Saltdean, and I presume the derivation originates from the sulphurous air that permeates the atmosphere from the sea. It’s about five or six miles outside of Brighton, and unlike its celebrated neighbour, it’s bereft of any of the trappings that you’d expect to find at the seaside; no pier, no cafe, no illuminations or smell of fish and chips. In fact, aside from an imposing hotel that wouldn’t be out of place in The Shining, there’s very little here in Saltdean that one could call memorable.

/Nick Drake 1.j
© Words - Simon Wells - 2014

Turn the clock back forty years, and one would probably find 26-year-old singer-songwriter Nick Drake alone in his bedroom in the leafy, chocolate-box environs of Tanworth-in-Arden, Warwickshire. Deflated, defeated, dented and depressed – Nick’s energy for life had evaporated in a fog of sadness and unfulfilled ambition – the prevailing morbidity dulled only by strong tranquillisers.
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This is an extract from Simon Wells’ new book on the historic arrest and imprisonment of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger in 1967. “Butterfly On A Wheel” charts the extraordinary timeline of events that ultimately led to two of the Rolling Stones finding themselves behind bars. This act would spark a chain of events that would lead to public outrage, questions in the House of Commons, and the editor of The Times newspaper likening Mick Jagger to a ‘butterfly on a wheel’.
Sunday, 15 January 2012 18:28

John Lennon - The Missing Tapes

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While it’s somewhat incongruous to imagine a Beatle aged 70, 2010 indeed marks the seven decades since John Winston Ono Lennon first saw daylight. Things have already got off to a quick start; Sam Taylor-Wood’s critically applauded “Nowhere Boy” has done brisk business in these first few days of the year, while a host of documentaries will no doubt emerge on and around October 9th to celebrate Lennon’s auspicious birthday. To all intents and purposes, “Nowhere Boy” was a smart move, with Lennon’s childhood undeniably the only element of his life not entirely dissected over the years.
Thursday, 29 December 2011 14:43

Nick Drake - And Now We Rise

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One morning late in 1974, twenty-six year old singer-songwriter Nick Drake failed to stir. His mother was the first to find him, upstairs in the bedroom of their home in the chocolate-box environs of rural Warwickshire. On his bed Nick lay motionless; his troubled features finally at peace. The depression that had wracked his brain with demons for the last few years had finally claimed him, aided by an overdose of tranquillisers. There was no suicide note.
 
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Forty years ago this month, the world awoke to news of one of the most bizarre series of murders ever committed. In Los Angeles on August 9th 1969, actress Sharon Tate and four of her house guests were found butchered with such ferocity their bodies were barely recognisable. Written in Tate's blood on the door of her Hollywood residence was the inscription, "Pig".
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