Beef Pie & Mash w/Liquor
A version of this post appears on the Criterion Collection site
On June 10, 1974, I was standing on a platform with some friends waiting for the Long Island Railroad train to arrive to take us to see The Who live at Madison Square Garden. I was a high school drop out, my father had just died, my mother's second husband had just run out on her, and nothing much made sense. In the outside world, there was Watergate, Patty Hearst, the Oil Crisis, and terrorists had recently bombed a building in New York. When the train, which may well have been the 5:15 (or close to it), pulled into the station, the trainman stepped out and announced: “Who train! Get on The Who train!” And we eagerly jumped aboard.
Just four years earlier, I had been unwillingly replanted from Manhattan to a small suburb on the southwestern tip of Long Island. We lived a block from the ocean, and since I was a stranger in that strange land, it was there on the beach where I spent much of my time.
I'm sure we could find a more perfect poster boy for teenage angst and alienation, but if we could all go back in time and observe me in my shoddy parka, standing on the edge of a jetty, alone, on a cold and misty twilight, asking big questions to the sea and sand, wondering why nothing ever went as planned, I would definitely be a likely candidate.