British artist Tina Freeman has published a couple of wonderful children’s books inspired by Franc Roddam's 1979 film Quadrophenia that fans of Pete Townshend and The Who should be delighted to add to their collection!
“Stinger” and “Quadwoof” were written and illustrated by Tina and designed by Anthony Mulryan. The books are based on characters from Quadrophenia, and are filled with references to people and places that were popular in London and Brighton back in the Swinging 60’s. The stories are told using clever rhyming couplets that go along with Tina’s colorful paintings, which are fun to study to find all the hidden gems. Her artwork is so beautiful, each page could be framed to hang on your wall. The books are a joy to read, for children and adults alike. Anyone who is interested in the 60's will love all the mod and pop culture. The Who and Small Faces are featured in the story, as the Mod dog bands The Whoof and The Cool Faces.
The first book “Stinger” was released in 2019. It features a Mod Bell Bee named Stinger, who was based on Quadrophenia’s dynamic Bell Boy character, played by Sting in the film. Stinger works at a posh hotel in Brighton and drives a scooter named Jess. The story follows the adventures of Stinger and his scooter as they travel around his home in Brighton and take a trip to London to see the big city. Stinger meets a Mod dog named Jimmy, who shows him the sites and sounds of Swinging London. They go see The Cool Faces perform at the Barquee and check out The Whoof concert at the Hammersmith Hall.
Tina’s latest book “Quadwoof” was released in 2022. The story follows Jimmy the Mod dog and his Rocker dog friend Kev (based on Phil Daniels’ Jimmy and Ray Winstone’s Kev in the movie). They take a train trip from Marley Bone Station on the 5:15 to Brighton to visit the Seaside, where they get caught up in the big fight between the Mods and the Rockers. Jimmy and Kev unwittingly switch sides when they accidentaly swap their leather jacket and parka during the beach scuffle. Kev ends up with the Mods working as a roadie for The Whoof, and Jimmy ends up with the Rockers working at the Wellard Gym. It’s a clever story that contains portrayals of many 60’s icons, including The Who’s manager Chris Stamp, his brother actor Terence Stamp, hair dresser Vidal Sasson, actor Michael Caine (Terence, Vidal and Michael were flatmates in the 60’s), and rocker Ozzy Osbourne.
In addition to her books, Tina also has artwork for sale on her website. There are collections of Dogs on Scoots paintings, including “The Whoof” set with Pete Houndsend, Roger Dogtreats, Keith Howl at the Moon, and John Dogwhistle, and the “Quadwoofenia” set which features characters from the Quadrophenia movie.
“Stinger” and “Quadwoof” are self published books, and five percent of profits from the sales go to help fund Teenage Cancer Trust.
To help raise more money for TCT, stars who performed at Sir Peter Blake's 90th birthday party in December 2022 signed a copy of "Quadwoof" to be raffled off for the charity.
Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey signed a copy of Quadwoof to be raffled for Teenage Cancer Trust. Photo credit: Nicky Weller
Here is a bit more info from Tina about how these books came about:
Many many Keith Moons ago ( I think it was 2008) I did a painting of a Lambretta at Brighton and sent it to Pete Townshend. He sent me a hand written note to thank me. I wrote back to ask if I could do an endorsed range of artwork. He suggested I meet with The Who's management at their offices in Camden. Several meetings later I had produced my TinaWho Collection and started working on an idea for a children's book.
I met Franc Roddam, the director of Quadrophenia, at an event in Brighton, where I showed him the initial paintings. If he hadn't liked the idea, it would have gone no further than that. Luckily for me he had a young son, and loved the idea. We agreed that if he were to endorse my book 'Stinger the Bell Bee' I would dedicate it to his son. I went back to meet with Who management again, to explain and make sure I had permission to go ahead with my books.
Once I had finished illustrating and writing “Stinger”, Nicky Weller (sister of Paul Weller) helped me to do a kickstarter campaign to raise the funds needed. I had at this point met many of the stars from Quadrophenia, including Phil Daniels, who narrated Stinger at Universal Music's Engine Room.
Nicky and I were invited to an exclusive event for The Teenage Cancer Trust held in London. Here I met Pete Townshend for the first time, and had a proper chat. I showed him my portfolio with the original paintings, and explained I wanted to offer a percentage to the TCT. That night was like a dream come true. I met Franc Roddam who not only remembered me, but who personally introduced me to Sting, who then gave me his blessings. He loved his character in my book.
The ultimate goal is to have an animated feature film or TV series made, using the original actors to voice their characters. Nicky and I are in talks with animators and had a very exciting meeting at Universal. The project would have to be very music driven, as I want to introduce The Who, Small Faces, The Jam and 60s music to children, hopefully watching with their parents and grandparents.
Last year I published my second book 'Quadwoof' to coincide with Nickys 'The Modern World' exhibition in Brighton.
Tina Freeman with the original cast of Quadrophenia at the 2022 Modern World Exhibition in Brighton. Photo credit: Tracie Chant.
Artwork by Tina Freeman is available to purchase on her website at tinawho.com!