June 7, 2015

Mon., May 25— Last day in London, or Brighton!

Category: European Tour 2015 — admin @ 6:07 pm

Jimmy by the Brighton Pier in the film "Quadrophenia"

The Mod Revival of the late 70′s/early 80′s hit my little gang of friends pretty hard. The film “The Kids are Alright” came out, then “Quadrophenia”, and seeing these films multiple times at Midnight showings or drive-in double bills (with the Ramones’ “Rock n’ Roll High School”) earned you bragging rights, and was a great way to check if you wanted to bother going out with that girl a second time. Bragging rights were, of course, multiplied by a factor of two or three if you attended in a home-made target shirt or army parka with Who buttons. This is all building up to another rock n’ roll pilgrimage: the pier at Brighton. (and I am, of course, listening to the Quadrophenia LP as I type this) Ron was completely done in by That Hideous Road Cold and was tucked safely in his bed in Nevern Square.

Lauri and Barbara had decided to take the day to see the major sights via a hop-on-hop-off bus tour— Big Ben, Parliament: London’s Smash Hits.

Part of their day together included lifting a tea cup to one of our dearest friends’ [Marcel Nunis] mother at the swank Savoy Hotel’s high tea. This one’s for you Gertie. Apparently, Marcel’s mom had introduced her son to this wondrous place/tradition when he was a budding¬† young man.

Barbara and Lauri at the Savoy's 'high tea' in London.

Me, I was off for Brighton with John. Neptune, after his *further* adventures in the North (see picture),

Neptune at Blackpool's "Pleasure Beach"--I've forgot the crackers!

promised to meet us.

So, John and I took off on the train to Brighton. This rocky beach town reminded me of a down-scale Santa Monica, or an up-scale Pismo/Venice mix.

Neptune had told me that there were some artsy bits to explore…but we were just there for a couple of hours. John and I headed out to the pier.

A nice holiday weekend (Memorial Day for our U.S. pals; here,¬† this was a ‘bank holiday’…and I’m still not sure what that is.) At the end of the pier, John invited me in for a pint. There was a club and a rock n’ roll band….but this wasn’t a “Brown-Eyed Girl” moment. They were playing a rotation of Mod hits: Small Faces, The Kinks, The Who, something from Tamla/Motown/ Stax, then rinse and repeat. Ah, we’d found our tribe.

There was the same couple who’d been dancing at home to Let’s Go Bowling or The Khyber Rifles (seemingly). Many of the guys in the band were much older than us, and must’ve been there for this music’s first go-round. In fact, we heard that the drummer had played for Sandie Shaw and had been Ringo’s (!!!!) replacement in Rory and the Hurricane’s when that guy left to join the Beatles. Seemed like a pivotal moment…esp. after seeing no reference/throw the rock tourist a bone kind of things in town (unlike Liverpool who finally figured out they could run at least 1/2 of their economy on the Beatles.). We enjoyed for a while, then had a good visit with the band afterwards. We walked back up the pier and…there was our partner Neptune.

Next , it was time for lunch, we walked back up into the town and found lunch at a local pub.

After spending a while trying to work out the puzzle, “How can this town support a Fish n’ Chips Shop every 27.5 feet”, we headed back to the train station and our beds in London.

Brighton Rail Station

inside Brighton rail station

A great day. –and now to end this post with an observation: There seemed to be some sort of trend towards using these cheap, plastic, fake plants….these round blobs of almost-foilage….north, south, Liverpool, Manchester, London…we saw them everywhere.

funny plastic plant reproductions near our hotel in London.

Sting as "BellBoy" and "Ace Face" in the film Quadrophenia

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