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Im The Face, Pete Wilkey, John Hellier

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Few music genres are as inspiring, encapsulating or enduring as the ultra-stylish British Mod scene and few pioneers are as revered as much as ‘the original Mod-god’ and archetypal ‘Face’ Mr Peter Meaden, who was and still is hugely respected by those who know their popular music history.


This official cradle-to-grave story tells of Meaden’s super-fast lifestyle at the very heart-beat of British music and fashion during the early 1960’s in London’s fashionable and swanky Soho.


Pete Meaden is probably most famously remembered as the first ‘manager’ of The Who following Pete Townshend’s almost messianic adulation of Meaden, who himself was one of Townshend’s early mentors in the world of all things Mod. A ‘New Religion’ was emerging and at the pulpit of popularity was the pill-popping pastor with his finger firmly on the pulse of all that was cool in the capital.


Another very high-profile protege of Meaden’s in the early 60’s was none other than The Rolling Stones first manager Andrew Loog Oldham with whom had established their own publicity company publicising the likes of Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan who had come from the States to make their marks on the UK music charts.


Both Pete Townshend and Andrew Loog Oldham have kindly provided exclusive forewords for this book and both men speak very highly of Meaden, so too does Quadrophenia producer and Who manager Bill Curbishley, who provides another exclusive. We have further exclusive contributions from Irish Jack (original Mod and best friend of The Who), Richard Barnes (close friend of The Who), Peter ‘Dougal’ Butler (Keith Moon’s driver/minder), Jimmy James (frontman of Jimmy James & The Vagabonds who Meaden went on to manage) as well as a host of other people close to Meaden during his short life. Meaden tragically died in 1978 at his parents’ home due to a prescribed drug overdose.


Meaden had partied hard for 20 years and was fuelled most weekends on self-administered super-sized doses of amphetamine pills which would keep him dancing for three days non-stop … he was a prominent ‘Face’ at The Scene Club in Ham Yard, the birthplace of the British Mod scene and at other notorious venues in or around the capital.


Meaden went on to manage Jimmy James & The Vagabonds, Arrows, The Steve Gibbons Band and was instrumental in Captain Beefheart’s UK emergence … he moved in high-profile circles and was admired by most who met him. Unfortunate for him his business acumen wasn’t quite as sharp as his sense of style and a string of business calamities plagued his career as a wannabe ‘pop impresario’ … he sadly never did acquire the rightful recognition that he truly deserved by the time he died at the age of 37 in 1978.

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