I think that this comment (and those of Browniecj) are very accurate. As a 14 year old I aspired to be a skinhead, I knew the term and looked up to those older lads with that style. Later, I just evolved into what others recognised as a suedehead and don't think I ever said, "I am a suedehead", though I have no doubt that others, aspiring to that look would. (It was never necessary to say, "I am a skinhead", it was self evident). The term suedehead was never that widely used, in any case. It was quite common for a gang to be known as 'Crossley Skins' , or wherever they were from, but I never heard of a gang called "Anytown Suedeheads". The term was in use for a period of less than twelve months, the Suedehead 'style' (at least as I recognise it) was seen for about half that.
In terms of labels, this forum has demonstrated in the last week or so that they can have slightly different meanings, even to us. I think a lot of us have a pretty fixed Idea of what we mean by 'Mod', but if we consider 'Mod' to have existed from 1963 until 1967 and recognise that it was a constantly and rapidly changing look then our view would be a very narrow one and one not necessarily shared by those who actually were mods in, say 1964. I see some photos and video clips (the early Who performance in a pub, for instance,) in which quite a number feature don't fit my idea of Mod at all - some have quiffs!) My sister is 7 years older than me and therefore was 16 in 1964. I asked her recently if she had been a mod and she enthusiastically said "Oh yes, how I wanted..." she then started to list several items of clothing, including knee boots and other stuff that she'd had to save up and buy. Not the sort of clothes I was expecting at all. I recall her in ski pants and a suede jacket and that's how I remember her as a mod. When I told her this, she said, "Fancy you remembering that, I had forgotten I wore those." I have read on a couple of occasions that the original mods never referred to themselves as mods and most distanced themselves or 'moved on' when the term became widely used following the sea side disturbances in early 1964.
Good stuff roytonboy! Since this thread was renamed I have often wondered why we haven't spent more time discussing the mod part of the equation.
You may recall my mentioning Gill and Del Evans, original Birmingham Mods and, for ease of reference I am again putting up a link to their great piece on Jack That Cat Was Claen:
You will see that even in Birmingham (no disrespect to those of you north of Potters Bar!) the journey started in about 1960.
Just above that piece is a familiar one about Marc Bolan (Feld) and chums even earlier in time...
I think that many of us regard Mod - Skinhead - Suedehead as a continuous journey with many common features. (although it is stretching the imagination to find many similarities between the photos of Gill and Del and how I looked at certain points along that journey!). More than anything it is an attitude, or state of mind, if you prefer. I think most of us on this site still have that to a greater or lesser degree. This is why I regard the summer of 1972 as the cut off point. Once the influences of Slade, Gary Glitter et al started to be seen, that smart, neat look disappeared and 'style' took a back seat. During my student days (1973-1976) I still dressed fashionably and was associated with the 'in crowd', such as it was, however I don't look back with any affection to that look or those clothes - they were appropriate at the time, but not really 'style-ish', whereas I still regularly wear BD shirts, brogues, v-neck pullovers etc nowadays.
On Friday night we went to the Twisted Wheel in Manchester and stayed over. On Saturday morning we were chatting with the waitress over breakfast and she was saying that the 'Wheel' has changed over the past 12 months. I commented on how I was one of very few who had worn a suit. She agreed and told us about a club in Stoke - "That would suit you" she said,nodding at me, "Lots of Mods go there." When she went I turned to my girlfriend and asked in mock incredulity, "Did she just accuse me of being a mod?!?"
Edited by roytonboy - 9/1/14 at 9:03am