White City

L. Bird pkeets at hotmail.com
Sun Aug 1 13:20:14 CDT 2004

>>Assuming I'm right that this is about Keith Moon (or Pete identifying with
>Keith Moon), did it help to write a new ending to the story?  Keith/Pete 
>puts his life back together and renews a relationship with his estranged 
>wife?  Goes back on the road with the band?

>When you say "new ending to the story," do you mean a different outcome
than what happened in real life?

Right.  That's what I mean.  As I said a while back, I think a good deal of 
Pete's work during this period expresses a yearning for things that he wants 
to be true, but which are (for one reason or another) impossible.   Maybe it 
was comforting to, in a way, rewrite history.  For a few minutes, you might 
get into the story and feel those ghosts of what might have been.

>I just don't see how you can see Jim as a Keith/Pete representation when
the album & movie make it explicitly clear that Pete & Jimmy are two 
people, one having gone off & escaped the "prison" of White City (Pete) 
the other having to remain behind & scratch out a living for himself (Jim).

Of course, the character of Jimmy doesn't appear at all on the album, so 
we're free to interpret this however we please.  I can see both Pete and 
Pete-looking-at-things-from-Keith's-viewpoint in the album.

However, the film and the script are different matters.  I can't see Keith 
at all in the film.  It looks to be about Pete visiting in White City, where 
he meets some old acquintenances and then departs.  There are some symbols 
buried in there: the water, for example; plus some scenes that I suspect 
might be out of Pete's childhood, but nothing I could put together into a 
relevant statement.

In the script I see Keith all over the Jimmy character.  I mentioned that 
introduction.  Later he's saved from drowning by one of the characters.  A 
symbolic rewriting of history?  Something Pete wishes had been true?  What 
would it have taken to save Keith from drowning in his own life?

>And one gets the impression the Pete feels Jim's story is just as important
& tragic as any overblown rock star's trials & tribulations may be.  This is
Pete expressing that humanistic spirituality.  Tragedy & glory in the 
& minutia of the common man.  This is where Pete excels, IMO.

Keith as someone who never grew up and took on adult responsibilities?  
Maybe this is the movie Roger should be making about Keith Moon.  Who was it 
that reworked QUADROPHENIA?  Get that same team back together to make WHITE 
CITY:  a contrast in what is and what might have been.


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