Saturday, September 29, 2012

TV Bites: Quadrophenia

Beef Pie & Mash w/Liquor

A version of this post appears on the Criterion Collection site

On June 10, 1974, I was standing on a platform with some friends waiting for the Long Island Railroad train to arrive to take us to see The Who live at Madison Square Garden. I was a high school drop out, my father had just died, my mother's second husband had just run out on her, and nothing much made sense. In the outside world, there was Watergate, Patty Hearst, the Oil Crisis, and terrorists had recently bombed a building in New York. When the train, which may well have been the 5:15 (or close to it), pulled into the station, the trainman stepped out and announced: “Who train! Get on The Who train!” And we eagerly jumped aboard.

Just four years earlier, I had been unwillingly replanted from Manhattan to a small suburb on the southwestern tip of Long Island. We lived a block from the ocean, and since I was a stranger in that strange land, it was there on the beach where I spent much of my time.

I'm sure we could find a more perfect poster boy for teenage angst and alienation, but if we could all go back in time and observe me in my shoddy parka, standing on the edge of a jetty, alone, on a cold and misty twilight, asking big questions to the sea and sand, wondering why nothing ever went as planned, I would definitely be a likely candidate.

In October 1973, The Who released Quadrophenia. And while I had no scooter (then, today I do), no white jacket with side vents five inches long, I nevertheless saw myself in that story, that album. In my spotty memory of those years, seeing The Who twice during those few days in June remain two of my dearest memories of that dreary era.

As co-producer Bill Curbishley noted on the DVD extra interview, “The adolescent dilemma is timeless.... It's never ending. It's a universal theme or problem and that's why [the movie] struck a chord worldwide.”

Or perhaps as Pete Townshend once put it, “It allows anyone who wishes to be Jimmy, or indeed to be any of those lost souls from that amazing time when youth culture as we know it became a currency that Hollywood probably could never parody again. Quadrophenia may be the first film that treated the snotty little git hero with the respect he really did not deserve.” Elsewhere, he added, “'Mod' is a shorter word for 'young, beautiful and stupid' - we've all been there.”

The album meant so much to me then that, at first, I didn't want to see the film when it opened, fearing it would disappoint and ruin the music for me forever. But then I did, and was glad I did. And I return to both the album and movie time and again and let it wash over me, reconnecting me with the “young, beautiful and stupid” kid I once was. And no matter what age I've been, that nagging question also returns time and again.... “Can you see the real me? Can you?

Quadrophenia is available for FREE streaming (with commercial irritation) @ Hulu and on DVD/Blu-Ray @ Amazon.


"I don't wanna be the same as everybody else. That's why I'm a Mod, see? I mean, you gotta be somebody, ain't ya, or you might as well jump in the sea and drown."

Let's start here. Around late 1972, Pete Townshend was feeling The Who had, as a lot of rock music at the time, become bloated. Like those who would soon create Punk rock, he wanted to bring the band back to what rock 'n' roll was really about and not all the theatrics.

"I felt the band needed to look back at its roots and I thought the best way to do that was to look back at a young man who would be, if you like, a model of, a combination of all our boy fans from that period," Townshend recalled.

Then, "On a dark, wet, winter weekend at the cottage at Cleve with the river running faster than usual, I had a flashback to when I was 19 years old," Townshend continued elsewhere. "The Who just played this amazing gig at the Aquarium Ballroom in Brighton and I was with my high school friend. After the gig, we missed the train home. So we hung out and went down under the pier. There were all these boys in parkas with the fucking tide coming up around their feet – they didn't seem to understand they were going drown. So under the pier, I was coming down from taking purple hearts, the fashionable uppers of the period, and sitting there at Cleve that day, nine years later, the same feeling came flooding back – of feeling, depressed, and hopeless – and I grabbed a notebook. And quickly while I was still in this sad and lonely mood, I scribbled out the story that is on the inside sleeve of Quadrophenia.

"This was the story of a Mod called Jimmy. Jimmy was a normal boy, with normal needs, passing through the normal things of childhood, but what made everything so much more complicated for him was that he had a bi-polar problem – he was schizophrenic."

But then Townshend drifted away from this idea and thought of doing something else, though also about how rock had drifted from its roots, which was to be called "Rock is Dead, Long Live Rock." (The idea survived as the song "Long Live Rock.")

"So, I went to see my friend Nik Cohn to ask for his help," Townshend said. "I discovered this treatment that he'd done, which to be honest I don't think I ever read it, and it was called Rock is Dead 'Rock Lives.' And I looked at it and what it was, was a proposal for a four-piece movie. Each one of us in the band had a story, their own film, and he'd done proposals for each film. And then he said, 'The way that these four films would meld together is that there will be a boy and he's looking at all of these rock stars and the lives that they lead and what they're doing and how they behave and he's responding.' Anyways, what obviously happened is that I must have got it, but I must have already moved back to Quadrophenia. So I didn't look at it. So I got it out of the folder and thought, 'Bloody hell. This is kind of it.' This is what obviously gave me the idea to create a four faceted/four musical theme-based rock opera. So it was nice to be able to give Nik that credit."

"There's some confusion about the idea that this is also about the four members of The Who," Townshend has noted. "In some sense it is, but it's not really about Roger, Pete, Keith and John. It's about the fact that this boy looked at the band and saw himself in each of them."

The album, as mentioned above, was released in 1973. Fast forward to 1978 and The Who's manager Bill Curbishley and producer Roy Baird had done well with the movie based on Tommy and were now making Lisztomania, also starring Roger Daltry.

"Quadrophenia was always screaming out to be a movie, really," recalled Curbhishley. "All the ingredients were there for a really good story. You'd have two factions – rockers and mods. You have, to a degree, a love story. You have the thread that runs through this is the thread that runs through a lot of what Pete Townshend writes, which is the adolescent dilemma, the search for identity, looking for 'the real me.' So all of that dictated that here is a great story."

They also had the excellent photographs shot by American photographer Ethan Russell for the Quadrophenia album booklet, which served as a kind of visual blueprint for the film.

"I think it was Roy that brought to me a TV film called Dummy, about a deaf-and-dumb girl, and I really felt it was great," Curbishley continued. "But I really liked what the director had done, and it was Franc Roddam. So we met with Roddam and I really liked him.... [He had] a lot of good ideas, enthusiastic - and [was] cheap. Anyways, I just really felt he was right, and so did Roy."

"When I was asked to make the film," said Roddam, "there was this kind of script already in existence, and it had been written by a fan. It was about 230 pages, which is completely unwieldy.... and I realized it had to be thrown out. And I started writing [a new] script, first of all with a man called Dave Humphries. He had some association with the music industry, and we started first. Then I brought in a man called Martin Stellman, who had done a lot of theater. We both came from the improvisation school, so we got on very, very well."

"Pete and I met early in the project," Roddam noted in another interview. "He had originally arranged the movie soundtrack with strings and a big orchestra like his stage musical Tommy, which was phenomenally successful. I said I didn’t see it that way at all. I told him I saw it as a street movie. [I said,] 'It’s got to be rock and roll. I want to use guitar and drums. This is a completely different animal.' He’d spent a lot of money rearranging it but he agreed immediately. He said, 'OK, it’s your movie, you’re making it.' That was incredibly gracious from the man who is the creator of the piece."

However, he had to pass a test of sorts with drummer Keith Moon. "When I first met him," Roddam said, "he came in in jodhpurs, a monocle and with his big bodyguard. He terrified me in a way — and I've been around — but he had a tremendous talent for disorientating people. 'They said, This is Franc, he's going to direct the film', and Moon said, 'I've got a great idea — why don't we direct it together?' I said, 'Okay, if you let me play drums on your next album.' So we were alright after that."

One thing that was very important for Roddam's vision of the film was, he explained, "[M]ost American films at the time, were about winners, 99 percent of people won in their movies. Whereas in life, 99 percent of the people are losing. I wanted to make a film about what it's like not to be the best fighter, not to be the best f#ck, not to be the best looking - and what it means to be inexperienced and yet still to be free, still have desire, and how to channel it."

"I was 18 in 1964, so therefore I grew up with the Mod movement even though I wasn't a Mod," Roddam said. "I come from a violent town, Cleveland on Teesside, so I did get involved in a lot of street fights. I also think I know the ambitions of that group of people. I know the economic problems. So I didn't have to do much research except to remind myself, to make sure my memory wasn't being distorted by affection or disaffection."

"All my friends were Mods. I was the best man at two Mod weddings," he added elsewhere. "I went to a 1000 Mod parties. I went out with dozens of Mod girls. So I knew the Mod world very well and I basically transposed a lot of that into this picture."

Roddam began casting the film even before the script was completed. He convinced the producers to give him the actors, some up to 10 weeks, before they would begin shooting so he could not only rehearse with them, but get them to contribute to the film too.

"I made sure they could ride their scooters really well," he explained. "We gave them scooters a month beforehand. They wore their costumes weeks and weeks beforehand. And I gave them tasks... I would ask them to create their own histories and then we would modify them together. If I liked their history, I would say let's go with that or go further. If I thought the history was a cliché or somebody else was doing it, then I'd get together with them as a group and we'd all discuss each other's histories so they knew and I knew – he doesn't like him, he likes him, he thinks he can beat him, he wants to shag her – everybody knew, like you would in a small group or small society or a small town. And I think that helps create the atmosphere in this film.... Even some of the crowd I had for a week beforehand. I rehearsed everybody. Because I was using wide angle lenses, I needed everything to be interesting. I couldn't just have professional extras wandering around the background, everybody had to have a role. Everybody had positions, so it has a lot of depth to it. And you'll see that even the extras are acting in the background."

For example, that Leslie Ash's character, Steph, winds up dating Jimmy's best friend, Dave, came up during the character explorations. Roddam also contributed many of his own experiences from the time, including bits from when he worked at an advertising agency to those scenes.

Early on, Roddam auditioned Phil Daniels for the role of Jimmy, however Daniels had just returned from filming Zulu Dawn in South Africa, where, he explained, "I caught something out there and my tongue split in half and went yellow and I couldn't eat for a week, only drink fluids."

Roddam recalled he was "almost disgusted" by Daniels' sickly look. "I'm like, 'Oh god! This kid, get him out of here!' About two months later, I think, seeing 2000 people, Patsy [Pollock, the casting director] convinced me to bring him back in and, you know, he'd scraped his tongue and got healthy and he was terrific. In between that, I'd met with Johnny Rotten [lead singer of The Sex Pistols], who wanted to do the film, and he was quite good actually. And I could have gone with him and that would have been a marriage between the Mods and the Punks – and I wanted a nod to where we were now."

"[Johnny] was famous for calling Pete a bof - 'boring old fart,'” Roddam noted. Townshend recalled one night he, Rotten, and Roddam all went out drinking. “I found him surprisingly smart.... He was dry, ironic and funny, and probably too intelligent to fall for the rather obvious casting ploy.”

In the end, they couldn't get the insurance company to believe Rotten wouldn't bail on the film, and Phil Daniels won the role. Though Rotten, indirectly, saved the film at one point.

"[Mark Wingett] who plays the best friend and steals [JImmy's] girl in the end, was only 16 years old and was a major punk," explained Roddam. "And about two weeks into shooting, he suddenly said I want to go home. The production staff had been abusive to him. And I said, 'You have to stay in this movie.' And he said, 'No. I'm going home.' And thought how can I convince him? What can I do? And I luckily had a shirt that Johnny Rotten had given to me which used to belong to Sid Vicious. And what was great about this shirt was that Sid had gone to visit Johnny, and Johnny attacked him with an axe and Sid had puked up on the shirt. Anyways, I was the proud owner of this shirt. So I gave the shirt to [him]... and that's what convinced him to stay on the film."

However, another young singer found his way into the movie, "For the suave Mod in the film – called Ace Face – we needed someone very striking," Roddam recalled. "I had actually already given the part to another actor when someone said we had to see this guy who had been a teacher but now was a musician making a name for himself in London. And he had a great look. When I saw him he looked so different I immediately gave him an audition to see if he could be the toughest, coolest guy. Sting was very cool."

But the audition wasn't just reading some lines. "I had these two big actors, big tough guys from North London from the Anna Sher school," Roddam continued elsewhere. Most of the teen actors, Roddam had recruited through Anna Sher, who has an improvisational school for working class actors. "And I said, 'He's going to come in and I want you to intimidate him, really put him down, make him scared.' And I said to him, outside, 'They're going to try to intimidate you. I want you to stand up to them and show you're the coolest guy in town.' And he did that and he stood up to them very, very well, so I thought, 'You're the boy for me.'... [But] everybody could do the Mod dances apart from Sting. No matter what we did, he still did something different. But it kind of works."

"Although he wasn't yet famous," Daniels recalled, "everyone still felt the urge to make fun of him. One day someone saw the name Gordon Sumner written on his call-sheet instead of Sting. Before this, some of the extras hadn't known what his real name was, so they started singing Gordon Is A Moron from the Jilted John song that had just been a hit that summer."

Daniels also recalled when The Who lead singer Roger Daltrey came to visit when they were filming in Brighton. "He's sayin' there's a Jimmy in all of us, we're all Jimmy in a way.... So that's how I try to play it, like a typical kid. In the film he's an anti-hero. You've got to have that focal point but I try and make him a bit of a wanker as well."

Some of the young actors who appear in Quadrophenia and would become more recognized as they grew older include Ray Winstone, who plays Jimmy's Rocker friend, and Timothy Spall, who appears in the projection room in the advertising agency.

In the boxing club sequence, the main gangster was played by a guy named Johnny Bindon. In addition to his side gig as an actor in movies like Performance, Get Carter, and Barry Lyndon, he was at one time tour manager for Led Zepplin and David Bowie, and once killed a guy by chopping his arm off with a machete. "He was also a friend of Princess Margaret's ," noted Roddam. There is currently a film being made about their affair. "[Bindon] had a famous act where he could balance a pint of beer on his penis, because he was very proud of it. He used to do this in pubs in Chelsea and when men complained, he'd beat the sh!t out of them. He was not an easy guy to get along with."

Almost the entire film, except one party scene, was shot on actual locations, with the climax of the movie taking place on the streets of Brighton. But there was a group of businesspeople who didn't want them filming there – bringing back memories, mucking up their town. So Roddam went to speak to the council and the commissioner of police said, according to cinematographer Brian Tufano, “that it would be a very beneficial for him and his police to get the experience of working with crowd control.” And in fact, Roddam choreographed the riot like a military exercise, working it out on maps, figuring out how to trap the kids by using buses to trap them. “Strangely enough,” noted Roddam, “I did this out of instinct, but it's now a big policing issue. It's called 'kettling' – separating groups one from the other.... it's considered pretty fascistic.”

And, of course, as these things happen, because of the film Brighton gets a lot of tourist business from people wanting to visit locations from the movie.

Daniels remembered how much fun they had filming the scenes in Brighton: "We just got all of us there and they said 'Listen, in '64 these cats came down to Brighton and there was a riot here', and the boys were going 'Yeah, yeah, riot. Yeah, 'course there is, 'course there's a riot,' and we just started walking down the promenade, started singing and stuff, and then we just wreck the place really. But it wasn't terrifying 'cos I was a Mod. It was like a newsfilm doin' it but it didn't get too hairy.

"There's one scene in particular people ask me about," he continued in another interview, "where Leslie Ash and I get intimate in a Brighton alley. If I had a pound for every time someone asked me exactly how intimate, I'd be a very rich man.... I would like to take this opportunity to say once and for all: It didn't happen."

"The alleyway in the scene where Steph and Jimmy hide and have a shag, has become a bit of a monument," noted Roddam. "It's become a bit of a shrine. Mods from Romania or Bratislava and places, write their names on the wall, and try to break into the back of the Chinese restaurant there."

"That scene looks good on the screen but I remember it being quite awkward," added Daniels. "Leslie really didn't want to do it. The problem with Leslie and me - well, it wasn't a problem, because it worked really well in the film - was that I was very raw and young at that time, whereas she already had a boyfriend who was a lot older than her and drove a Porsche. I couldn't compete even though obviously I wanted to because she was pretty.... I'd seen her jealous boyfriend hanging around the set a few times - not exactly giving me the evil eye, but almost."

On the DVD commentary track, Roddam discusses some of the themes of the film, but he points out that "one of them is not a celebration of violence, but a celebration of energy. Young people have got great energy and they want things and want to do stuff. So it is a celebration of energy.

"For me, this was a very political era when I made this film. But the Mods were not political. They didn't want revolution, they just wanted rebellion. There's a big difference there. They didn't want to escape from prison – the tyranny of work – they just wanted the top bunk. So, they work hard, they play hard, they dress well, and they had their own style. And the film is partly about that. There was many themes in the film, but that's one the themes – about the difference between rebellion and revolution. It's also about looking for your individuality. And it's strange that Jimmy looks for his individuality within a group. He tries to form individuality by rejecting everything else, but falling into another, rather stricter, system. And that influences all behavior about drugs, sex, and fighting. The film, on another level, is also about the danger of following the mob."

To wrap this up, over the years, there has been some debate as to whether Jimmy commits suicide or not in the end. According to Roddam, he had originally envisoned he would die, but when he saw this one shot of Jimmy walking away from the water, he changed his mind. "Early on in the film, I felt he should die. No compromise, he dies, and it's a tragedy. And then I thought - it's a symbolic death. He's turning his back on the things that are supposed to free him but actually imprisoned him – whether it's peer pressure, relationships. He's turned his back on his family, his friends, he's gotten in trouble through drugs and violence, he's followed somebody whom he thought was a great hero who turns out to be a bellboy with sort of fascist tendencies. And the scooter itself, a symbol of that world, he destroys it. He doesn't need to destroy himself.... I sort of thought, 'Ah, I'll keep it ambiguous.' But I didn't plan that until I was in the cutting room.... We saw how beautiful [that shot] looked and it was at this point that I decided to have [Jimmy] walking away from the cliffs in Brighton," which is the opening shot of the film.


"What happened was, in the early 60's in England, there was shift where young people had spending power for the first time," Roddam said on the DVD commmentary. "So just before '64, I remember, if you wanted to buy a suit, you went to the same tailor as your father. And if you wanted to listen to music, you had to listen to the family radio... And then suddenly technology changed, working habits changed, and young people, for the first time, had spending power. So smart people said, 'Let's make tailor shops for young people'.... So young people started to create their own life separate from their parents. They started dressing differently, behaving differently, and for the first time working class boys, mostly, had their own transportation. People couldn't afford cars, most families didn't even have a car in those days. But you could get a scooter or motorbike - and it made you mobile, and that created a big difference.

"1964 coincides with the Pill, birth control - so for the first time instead of hanging gangs of boys hanging out and gangs of girls hanging out, the boys and girls integrated at a time when you could actually have sex. You had money, transportation, birth control, fashion, and the Mods combined all of that.

"The Rockers were a bit sort of like dinosaurs to the Mods. They liked big bikes. It was a lot of speed and grease and tattooing your girlfriend's ass, basically. So there was a big difference between the two. So what they did was take each other on. They would go down to seaside towns, like Brighton – an hour and half south of London, a very genteel town.... And then they would start into each other, have huge fights.... This happened for a couple of summers in various seaside resorts and the Mods were dominant because of their numbers."

For more on the history of Mods and Rockers, check out the Links section below...


Early on in the film, Jimmy and his rocker friend Kevin (Ray Winstone) go for a bite at a typical East End of London eatery – the pie & mash shop. But not just any pie & mash shop or a made-up one on a studio set, they go to A. Cooke's Pie & Mash Shop on Goldhawk Road in Shepherd's Bush.

Cooke's is a part of the history of Goldhawk Road,” Townshend said. “For my part, this was where The Who took flight in 1963, where we performed one of our first shows as The Detours.”

If you look at Quadrophenia's back cover, Townshend wrote thereon: “This music is dedicated to the kids of Goldhawk Road, Carpenter’s Park, Forest Hill, Stevenage New Town, and all the people who played at the Marquee and Brighton Aquarium in the summer of ‘65.”

Phil Daniels, who played Jimmy in the movie, recalled the day he first met Townshend when he was shooting the scene at Cooke's. “Townshend came down one morning to the Pie and Mash Shop while we were filmin', just for publicity I think, press and stuff, but I go mad. I see Townshend there, I think to myself, What! What! Pete Townshend he’s brilliant, brilliant.” They ordered pie & mash during a break and the two were famously photographed together eating (see below).

As noted above, Johnny “Rotten” Lydon was almost cast as Jimmy, as it was thought he would be an interesting vehicle to connect the then current Punk scene to the Mod scene of the 60's. I happened to find one such connection - a DVD extra on Julien Temple's There'll Always Be an England documentary, shows former Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook giving a video walking tour of their old stomping grounds and pay a visit to Cooke's. In it, they admit they used to run over regularly from school to eat there for lunch. “We used to come here as kids and really stuff ourselves,” said Cook. “It cures all ailments,” added Jones who claimed to have once eaten eight pies at one sitting. “Actually I think I'm allergic to it, but I don't care. As long as I get that taste.”

Pie & mash shops were born in the 18th century on the East End of London where they served to feed the working classes at low prices. Of course, meat pies were for those with a little extra money to spend; many would order the cheaper eel pies, as the River Thames was then overflowing with the creatures. (Eel Pie is also the name of Pete Townshend's recording studio and publishing company.) Sadly, Thames eels are now an endangered species. The shops also began to become endangered, falling out of popularity in the late 20th century as the English turned their back on their traditional cuisine. However, in recent years, they're starting to become popular again as purveyors of nostalgic comfort food.

But Cooke’s has become a flashpoint in the current struggle over the revitalization of Shepherd’s Bush, just one skirmish in an ongoing battle between developers and preservationists. The shop, along with others on Goldhawk Road, have been earmarked to be torn down and replaced by 270 condos, or as Townshend has dubbed it, a “yuppie flat” development. Townshend said in February, “I realize change is inevitable, but to think of Shepherd's Bush without Cooke's is inconceivable.” Last November, before a short acoustic show at nearby Bush Hall, Townshend invited a select group of the concertgoers to join him at Cooke's for a pre-show meal.

The address has had a pie & mash shop located there since 1891. Cooke's, who began their business in 1899, took over the location in 1934. Alfred Cooke, the A. Cooke on the sign, was the great-grandfather of the current owners. A local council planning committee first approved the redevelopment plan in February. Dozens of scooter riders, both young and old, held a rally to save Cooke's that month (with another ride held on September 15). In May, England's High Court ruled that the development plans were flawed and thus illegal, but the council is pressing on in spite of the ruling and protests.

"We've already beaten them once in the court and we are sure we can do it again,” said the shop's owners in June. “We don't want to move and believe we'll still be here in 10 years time. We have had so much support, not just from our celebrity customers... but also from the wider community.”

In July, the Portobello Pop-Up Cinema in London held a benefit to save Cooke's with a screening of Quadrophenia. Roddam showed up to introduce the film and offer his support for the shop.

Now Franc Roddam, in addition to directing films, also created the television cooking game show franchise Masterchef in 1990, which has become an international sensation with its many iterations. Roddam has said of his creation, "You'll think I'm mad, but it's about the democratization of food. At that point good food was only for rich people. It was like, 'No, hang on a second. Let's democratize this.'"

So the first thing I did when looking for a pie & mash recipe was to search the show's recipe database online. And as luck or fate would have it, I found one from an episode of Celebrity Masterchef, contributed by Nick Pickard, an actor on one of Britain's top soap operas, Hollyoaks.

Mind you, there are hundreds of variations on recipes for pie & mash, so please don't write angry emails saying it's nothing like the ones you grew up on, or that your Aunt Mathilda used to make. It is one, and made for a quite satisfying one to my American palate, and I think you'll like it too. And as always... cook, watch, eat and enjoy!

Beef Pie & Mash with Parsley Liquor
adapted from a recipe by Nick Pickard at Celebrity MasterChef
Click Here for Printer-Friendly Version

Serves 4

For the pastry:
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 pinch salt
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes, plus extra for greasing
3–4 tablespoons cold water
1 egg, lightly beaten, for brushing

For the filling:
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups diced onion
1 pound ground beef
1 garlic clove, minced
6 mushrooms, finely chopped
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cube beef bouillon
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2/3 cup red wine
1 1/4 cup beef stock

For the mashed potatoes:
3 large russet potatoes, peeled and quartered (keep in ice bath until ready to use)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup half and half
Freshly ground black pepper

For the liquor:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Chile vinegar, for accompaniment

Pulse flour, salt, and cubed butter in a food processor until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing, until mixture starts to form a ball of dough. Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead gently until smooth, about 1 minute. Shape into a ball, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a large frying pan. Add onion and sauté until softened, 4–5 minutes. Increase heat, add ground beef, and cook until browned all over, breaking up the big chunks, another 4–5 minutes. Add garlic, mushrooms, thyme, bay leaf, pepper, bouillon (crumbling it as you do), flour (sprinkling it), wine, and beef stock. Mix well, bring to a boil, then lower heat, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust seasonings to taste, then set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 400° F. Generously butter either 4 individual pie dishes or one 9-inch pie dish. Remove pastry from fridge. Roll out to a thickness of 1/4-inch and press into pie dish or dishes, ensuring that base and sides are covered completely with a slight overhang. Cut out circle(s) for the pie lid(s). Remove bay leaf and thyme sprig from filling, then spoon into pie dish(es), topping with pastry lid(s). Press down on edges to seal. Brush pastry generously with beaten egg. Bake 30 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.

Mashed potatoes:
Boil potatoes in heavily salted water for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain thoroughly, then mash with butter and cream until smooth. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

Melt butter in a pan until foaming, then add flour and stir to combine. Slowly add chicken stock, whisking continuously to prevent lumps from forming. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until thickened, 4–5 minutes. Remove from heat and add parsley and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you want, you can also puree sauce in a blender.

To serve, place each individual pie or slice on a plate, spoon some mash alongside it, and drizzle everything with liquor.

Watch Quadrophenia: The Movie @ Hulu (FREE w/ commercials)
Watch The Who, The Mods & Quadrophenia Connection documentary @ Crackle (FREE w/commercials) (official site)
Official Quadrophenia site
Quadrophenia.Net Fan Site
Quadrophenia Super Deluxe Edition Digital Booklet
Franc Roddam: from parkas to the perfect souffle, by Henry Barnes @ Guardian UK
Interview with Pete Townshend @ Bush Hall 11/11 @ You Tube (4 parts)
Rockers, an American Perspective, by John Covington @ The 59 Club
Mods & Rockers, a History @ The Scotland Road Group
A. Cooke's Pie & Mash Shop

Quadrophenia (Criterion Collection) DVD/Blu-Ray
The Who, The Mods and The Quadrophenia Connection DVD
Quadrophenia CD/Vinyl/MP3

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