Sunday 19 November 2017

Jack's still happy as 'Quadrophenia' is re-issued

Retired Cork postman Jack Lyons found himself with Pete Townshend of The Who in a West London pie-and-mash shop recently, being interviewed by BBC TV.

The 68-year-old has been thrust back in the spotlight by the re-issuing of The Who's 1973 album Quadrophenia.

Later made into major movie, 'Irish Jack', as he's known, was the inspiration for lead character Jimmy the mod.

"People expect me to be living in a house with 12 bedrooms and a Saab, but I drive a Peugeot 49cc ladies' moped and live in a council house,"Jack told me.

The author first met Townshend in the early 1960s when The Who were playing such venues as the Goldhawke Social Club in West London.

But their friendship continued after Jack returned home to Cork: "I remember sending Pete my membership card for the Goldhawke Social Club and him writing back to say it had inspired him to write a concept album. I was so excited, I didn't even finish my dinner."

Since the resulting record came out in 1973, Jack has received letters from Who fans from all over the world.

"I always tell people that I didn't go off the cliff like the mod in the film Quadrophenia. I'm living a very happy life in Cork with my wife Maura. So 'Happy Jack' like The Who song," said Jack.

The Who's Quadrophenia: The Director's Cut is out now.

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