Based on the band’s 1973 album, the film – which was directed by Franc Roddam – saw Phil Daniels take the part of the troubled mod, but Townshend has explained that Rotten was his original first pick. Townshend said:
I knew him as he’d been using my studio in Soho, what a fucking diamond, and so smart but unfortunately we went out with the director… Johnny Rotten liked to drink and so did I, and we went out and got pissed and I drove my car the wrong way around a roundabout. We went to Camden Palais together and I got stopped by the police and they hauled us out.
He continued: “Anyway I think he decided not to do it – I don’t think it was us. I really wanted him. I don’t know how good he would have been, but he’s very, very intense. He could have been good.”
Townshend made the comments to Music-News.com at the Prince’s Trust Rock Gala. The guitarist also talked about the current state of the British economy, saying: “When ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’ was written there were three million unemployed in Britain, there are 2.4 million now but 40% of those are young people. So one million young people unemployed now – it’s not a good place to be.”
The Director’s Cut deluxe edition of ‘Quadrophenia’ was released via Universal Music Catalogue earlier this month.