King Mod: The story of Peter Meaden, The Who and the birth of a British sub-culture


Publication date March 28, 2024. Illustrated Hardback

King Mod provides a unique insight into a British subculture (mod) and the way in which it was hitched to rock ‘n’ roll (The Who) to spread the word. The conscious lashing of music to teenage lifestyle had already happened with the Rolling Stones and would later happen with the Sex Pistols but the successful experiment with The Who established the perfect template. What makes the interview with Peter Meaden so great is not just what he said, but the way he said it. He was almost like a saxophone player blowing words into the ether. High on medication of some kind he followed word associations to the bitter end and in doing so unlocked fresh parts of his imagination.

The book is fully illustrated throughout

Contents of the book: 

Foreword by Andrew Loog Oldham

Section One: Biography: The biography fills out Peter Meaden's life and sets the interview in context. With contributions from family, friends, collegues and band members the biography, whilst compact, is packed with detail and insight.

Section Two: The Interview The interview with Peter Meaden focuses on his life after discovering The Who up until around 1967-1968 when he was managing Jimmy James and The Vagabonds and then bringing Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band to the UK. He speaks of his times visiting the Ready Steady Go! programme, the legendary Scene Club in Ham Yard, the mod v rocker fights in Brighton and Hastings and clothes stores such as Austin’s. He mentions his friendships with people such as Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones and Chuck Berry (who he brought home to meet his parents in Edmonton).

Peter is at his best in the interview when extolling the virtues of modism which he viewed practically as his religion. At one point he describes modism as “an aphorism for free living” going on to say; “You’re free. You’re free of time and space inasmuch as the only space involved is the space in your head and that’s really spaced when you’re on speed.” He says he was “the fellow who saw the potential in modism, which is the greatest form of lifestyle you can imagine.”

Section Three: Postscript: More information about Peter and the context of the interview. Steve explains his friendship with Meaden and details the last years of Peter's life.

The author, Steve Turner, has written extensively about music for national press and music papers including: Melody Maker, NME and Rolling Stone. He has written many best-selling books including: A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song; Van Morrison: Too Late to Stop Now; Jack Kerouac: Angelheaded Hipster; and Amazing Grace: John Newton, Slavery and the World's Most Enduring Song

Leave a comment

Name .
Message .

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published