The Society of Cool!
that Mod father tag is just a media thing.
I agree with Kai ,Weller has stuck to his guns love him or loathe him.
But if there was to be a Modfather for me its Georgie Fame, or maybe he's the Mod grandfather :-)
Georgie Fame is the guv'nor for me check out this video from you tube from 65 with Prince Buster
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q0wade1K0o The Drum fills are amazing as well. My Dad played this to me when I was a Boy. As much as I like Weller his latest band line up isn't the best. Without Steve White on Sticks there is something missing in the dynamics of the band. Maybe it's because i am a bigger Style Council Fan that I am a Jam fan, but for me the Style Council are more MOD than the Jam, much more experimental. MOD was created by the Media and The Small Faces were managed by Don Arden, who ripped them off, and put them in the mass media lime light. Pete Townsend from The Who I feel gets overlooked, although Daltery is the frontman, Townsend is the creative force behind the band, he brought pop art to MOD being an artist with a degree in fine art. But I would state that being an Art School MOD!! As for me being a mod is all about creativity and individuality.
Agree with John= Georgie Fame was playing a residency in the first mod club. As for Weller, the "bury me a mod" quote is nice but I remember him quoted as saying " Mod is a load of bollocks" Maybe mis-quoted or taken out of context but I think he would agree it was a title thrust upon him and he would have his own "Mod" heroes that he would feel more worthy.
Interesting thread and I think there is something to be said for all the opinions.
Who was the modfather? Well for my twopenceworth I suppose I would have to go along with Georgie Fame.
Stevie Marriot definately was a mod but he did not surface until the mid/late sixties and had no influence on the Mods of the time being a follower of the trend rather than an innovator.
The likes of Mark Feld and Bowie were both in there from the start and the term 'faces' would definately apply to them in some degree but again that alone would not qualify them as being 'Modfathers'.
Lets not forget Rod Stewart who probably can lay claim to the title with more credibility than some of the above. As far as being a fashion trendsetter is concerned he was a true Mod right from the start.
Townshend in my opinion falls into the category of Marriot and although the Who were no doubt a huge influence on the teenage popuation taken as a whole in the mid sixties I feel this was more of a contrived publicity campaign which aimed to set them up as the figureheads of the Mod movement.
No my money would be on Georgie Fame. He was the epitome of cool. He dressed the part and his music reflected the tastes of the Mods at street level being a mixture of R&B,Soul and Jazz with a slice of Bluebeat thrown in for good measure. The fact that he was at the fronted a band of top musicians playing in what was the coolest club in town only added to his CV.
I am aware that Mr Fame has not been too kind to the mod movement in later years and like a lot of others was very quick to forsake his roots in the search for the 'big bucks' but that is a claim that can be laid at the feet of almost all of our musical heroes.
I remember talking to Graham Lenz whilst he was writing 'The Influential Factor' and he said that of all the people he approached whilst writing the book only Georgie Fame failed to answer his requests. - but who knows maybe he has his own agenda?
Whatever his shortcomings I feel that Georgie was the true Modfather (whether he likes it or not). He was the man.
I'm sure the names that's been quoted as in Georgie Fame Steve Marriott etc are worth a shout but the true front runner of the original mod movement IMO goes to Pete Meaden. None of the above for me tho' could be classed as modfathers.
The 60's front runners were gone just after a few years and just about all of them moved a way from the scene to progress in other directions.
Back to "the modfather" (Weller) given that he's been around the mod scene since circa '78 and has had a huge influence on bands like the Chords and the Purple Hearts and bands from the 90's ie OCS, Oasis etc and has also had a massive influnce with the "mod" scene (the punters) after 30 odd years and still does, I would suggest to all he is and still is entitled to be classed as the Modfather and rightly so.