My involvement in the film Quadrophenia happened just by chance. Some old bloke down the pub was reading his newspaper and he told me about an article about The Who needing Mods for the filming of Quadrophenia.
After much mickey taking I decided to reply to the advert. Then one day coming home from work my Mum told me that the film company had phoned and wanted me to contact them. There was me thinking it was the blokes down the pub messing around but I did phone them back and yes it really was the film company. I went to the auditioning in London and The Who loved the scooter and I was on cloud nine when they told me I was going to be in the film.
It was an absolute chance of a lifetime. The Film Company wanted a group of Mods to be used as mates of the main cast so I managed to get all the other lads down the pub to audition as well, and we auditioned again as a group. Franc Roddam commented you guys are just what we need, but you have got to have a name, so we called ourselves the 5:15 Scooter Club.
The Film Company asked me if it would be possible to recruit a load of scooters for the Brighton bits. I thought I knew just the place. I met an Art Director from the Film Company and took him to the Southend Rally Campsite in July 1978, where I introduced him to various scooter clubs I knew. Namely, Tom Petch from York Scooter Club, Ginger from Preston Wildcats, Martin Scully from Barnsley Vikings and John Lovin from Modropheniacs to name a few to get them all involved. It all depended on whether these guys could get the time off work though.
I was a main extra, I did three and a half months filming. One month at Brighton doing day scenes and two and a half months in London filming night and day scenes. My scooter was moved from location to location for me. The film company hired my scooter separately for the duration of the filming and a figure of £350.00 was agreed. I couldn’t believe it – they could have bought it for that, but I didn’t tell them. It was an absolutely fantastic experience to be part of and to be paid as well was unbelievable. I was so chuffed that I did the filming and also to ride my own scooter was the icing on the cake. But unfortunately a couple of my mates were not so lucky as their scooters were used for Dave and Spider to ride.
I have lots of fond memories and stories to tell of my time spent filming. When the filming finally came to end in London, when the Assistant Director bellowed out Roll the Sound, Camera’s and Action and it a wrap for the very last time it was a really sad night for all the cast and crew involved as we had been like one big happy family for three and a half months. After the filming The Who then wanted to buy my scooter and they began to offer me silly money for it but somehow I managed to keep my head on my shoulders and we came to the agreement that they could hire the scooter again in the future if required.