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“Again the imagination – the wings it gave my mind. You have to remember how drab the UK was post-World War II. We had rationing; the money had gone to rebuild Germany. But, of course, we would get the music. West Side Story was unreal, a pre-Tommy Tommy, if you will, because at that time our gangs, our Teddy Boys, had not yet found the voice that Quadrophenia would later give our unsettled youth.
“John Osborne's play Look Back In Anger may have been about the people, but it was not for the people – they could not afford the ticket prices. Look Back In Anger was for rich bums who wanted to gloat in the comfort of the stalls for a couple of hours, rather like August Wilson's stuff later on Broadway.
“West Side Story was a revelation – the music, the foundation, the musical ideas that would engage rock in the ‘70s when it got bored with the core and started to branch out. And Rita Moreno! And George Chakiris! God bless Lenny, Stephen, Billy Shakespeare, and the Sharks and Jets.”