A question about a group of 'traditionalist' skins supposedly seen in London in 1977.
In his much maligned book, Nick Knight claims that during the punk vs ted battles in Kings Road, there were skinhead supporters on both sides. Those on the punk side are described as "a new breed" that "wished to be seen as more anarchical and more shocking than the punks" - the Sham Army types.
On the ted side, there were supposedly traditionalists who were into the old reggae/soul sounds and not involved in any organised politics, but pissed off at the punks for their monarchy bashing.
I wonder who these traditionalists were and where they came from? Were they leftovers, i.e. a tiny few who had remained skins throughout the seventies? Or a new group that had begun its own skinhead revival separate from the punk-fueled one? What parts of town did they hail from?
Or is this just an urban myth spread by the likes of Nick Knight?
Theres a few there with what might be considered a skinhead haircut, in the context of long hair being the norm. I'm on there, the bloke sticking his tongue out covered most of my face but thats the jumper my mum knitted (!), to my right is the bloke that went around gigs organising everyone to go down there to take on the teds and 2 along from him is my mate John O'Connor, from Hoxton. To be honest, went there quite a lot over that summer and became a skinhead as well but Nick Knight is talking bollocks, there wasnt anyone looking like the skinheads of a few hears earlier at the start of these fights, some had crops,and some looked similar in terms of jungle greens and boots but didnt class themselves as skinheads, it was punk vs ted. And on the other side, in the encounters I had, never saw anyone looking like a skinhead. But that was all to change a short while later with Sham. I remember the first proper group of skinheads in 77 was when I walking down to Liverpool Street on a sunday morning and bumping into around 20 or so of the Becontree, all my age. Ended up having a drink with them, still,mates now with them