Mod Memoirs — Part 1 — Origin Story

Bill Crandall
2 min readJun 18, 2021

“We are the mods, we are the mods, we are, we are, we are the mods” [from Brighton riot scene in Quadrophenia]

Well, I wasn’t always, obviously. Following my middle school Rolling Stones fixation, I was more of a Neil Young disciple by 9th grade or so (left). I believe for that particular photo shoot by my dad in our side yard, I was practicing The Needle and the Damage Done. On the Martin 000–18 that I sure wish I never sold.

When I first met David Thornell (at right in the group photo), it was at a band practice with Trial and Error, a high school cover band I was in with Andy Goldberg (now Andy Chase, who went on to form the band Ivy with the late Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne). David showed up at Andy’s Chevy Chase garage studio in an all-black Beatles suit, including John Lennon cap. I was like, ‘who is this guy???’. So later I called him up and asked what that was all about. We had a long conversation about what mod was, the whole ‘clean living under difficult circumstances’ thing, the music, the scooters, of course the clothes, the parkas, Quadrophenia, the attitude. Suited teenage me just right, so suited I became. Practically overnight, from 70s open-neck terrycloth shirts to three-button jackets with side vents just so.

Bill Crandall

Photographer and educator. Exploring how art and stories can take us forward. Carrying the fire.