Pete Townshend Reveals Johnny Rotten Was First Choice for ‘Quadrophenia’ Movie Lead
The Who's Pete Townshend has revealed that his initial choice for the lead in the 1979 film based on the band's 'Quadrophenia' album was none other than punk icon Johnny Rotten -- but the Sex Pistols singer turned down the role.
Townshend, who calls Rotten a "f---ing diamond" and "so smart," reveals that a sloppy night out drinking with 'Quadrophenia' director Franc Roddam may have been to blame for Rotten's decision not to appear in the flick. "I knew [Rotten] as he'd been using my studio in [London], but unfortunately we went out with the director," Townshend tells Music-News.com.
"Johnny Rotten liked to drink and so did I, and we went out and got [drunk] and I drove my car the wrong way around a roundabout," he continues. "We went to [a club in London] together and I got stopped by the police and they hauled us [in]."
"I really wanted him" for the role of Jimmy the troubled mod, which eventually went to actor Phil Daniels, concludes Townshend. "I don't know how good he would have been, but he's very, very intense. He could have been good."
The Director’s Cut deluxe edition of 'Quadrophenia' was released earlier this month.