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Old 16th November 2020, 05:31 PM
Susan Foreman's Avatar
Susan Foreman Susan Foreman is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Basil Fawlty country: The English Riviera
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'Bell Boy' is Keith's 'theme' on the album. It features a rare recorded vocal track from him alongside Roger, and some great drumming as well. Somehow he manages to pitch things just right here, blending his usual comic persona with a wistful, nostalgic glance back at the Mod experience, and how it died after the glories of Brighton beach. Of course, in his heart of hearts, Keith was nothing more than an old fashioned showman who would do anything to raise a cheer, and 'Bell Boy' was among his finest cheers

Keith loved playing the song live, and when the band dropped it from the set he would lead the audience in chants calling for the song!

In the story of 'Quadrophenia', this is the final straw for Jimmy. He discovers that the Ace-Face, who he had idolized, was nothing more than a lowly Bell Boy in a hotel that the Mods had smashed up, working *for* people rather than having people work *for* him. After being disappointed with rock, his parents, his girlfriend, and his job, even the Mods have let him down


"A beach is a place where a man can feel
He's the only soul in the world that's real
But I see a face coming through the haze
I remember him from those crazy days

Ain't you the guy who used to set the paces
Riding up in front of a hundred faces
I don't suppose you would remember me
But I used to follow you back in '63

I've got a good job
And I'm newly born
You should see me dressed up in my uniform
I work in hotel, all gilt and flash
Remember the place where the doors were smashed?

Bell Boy! I've gotta get runnin' now
Bell Boy! Keep my lip buttoned down
Bell Boy! Carry this baggage out
Bell Boy! Always running at someone's heel
You know how I feel, always running at someone's heel

Some nights I still sleep on the beach
Remember when stars were in reach
Then I wander in early to work
Spend the day licking boots for my perks

A beach is a place where a man can feel
He's the only soul in the world that's real
But I see a face coming through the haze
I remember him from those crazy days

Ain't you the guy who used to set the paces
Riding up in front of a hundred faces
I don't suppose you would remember me
But I used to follow you back in '63

People often change, But when I look in your eyes
You could learn a lot, From a life like mine
The secret to me, It ain't flown like a flag
I carry it behind This bleedin' little badge, What says

Bell Boy! I've gotta get runnin' now
Bell Boy! Keep my lip buttoned down
Bell Boy! Carry this baggage out
Bell Boy! Always running at someone's heel
You know how I feel, always running at someone's heel"


Clocking in at over 8 and a half minutes, 'Doctor Jimmy' is a steamroller of a song that is certainly the album's magnum opus, although it's relative complexity - it includes a second song entitled 'Is It Me' (which is John's 'theme') - meant that the band never really mastered a good stage version

It's a towering, massive song that threatens to bludgeon all in it's path with it's verse and stature. Performed in the huge, grandiose style that only The Who could pull off without sounding pretentious and unwieldy, with thrilling chord changes, dramatic verses and a sweeping synthesizer score. The chorus is instantly catchy but the song has longevity of appeal, and there is enough change and variety to justify it's length

This is one of the few songs that Pete wrote that contains profanity in the lyrics


"Laugh and say I'm green
I've seen things you'll never see
Talk behind my back
I'm off the beaten track
I'll take on anyone
Ain't scared of a bloody nose
Drink 'til I drop down
With one eye on my clothes

What is it?
I'll take it
Who is she?
I'll rape it
Got a bet there?
I'll meet it
Getting high?
You can't beat it

Doctor Jimmy and mister Jim
When I'm pilled you don't notice him
He only comes out when I drink my gin

You say she's a virgin
But I'm gonna be the first in
Her fellah's gonna kill me?
Oh f*cking will he
I'm seeing double
But don't miss me if you can
There's gonna be trouble
When she chooses her man

What is it?
I'll take it
Who is she?
I'll rape it
Got a bet there?
I'll meet it
Getting high?
You can't beat it

Doctor Jimmy and mister Jim
When I'm pilled you don't notice him
He only comes out when I drink my gin

Is it me?
For a moment
The stars are falling
The heat is rising
The past is calling

Is it me?
For a moment
The stars are falling
The heat is rising
The past is calling

I'm going back soon
Home to get the baboon
Who cut up my eye
Tore up my Levis
I'm feeling restless
Bring another score around
Maybe something stronger
Could really hold me down

What is it?
I'll take it
Who is she?
I'll rape it
Got a bet there?
I'll meet it
Getting high?
You can't beat it

What is it?
I'll take it
Who is she?
I'll rape it

Doctor Jimmy and mister Jim
When I'm pilled you don't notice him
He only comes out when I drink my gin

Is it me?
For a moment
The stars are falling
The heat is rising
The past is calling

Is it me?
For a moment
The stars are falling
The heat is rising
The past is calling"
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