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Mod to Suedehead

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by Spirit of 69, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. skinny legs

    skinny legs Senior member

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    Whilst I accept the basic lineage from Mod to Soulboy- the common factor being an appreciation of black music- I don't get the musical hiatus between. 71 and 75 in Lonfon. If you love black music, why waste 4 years listening to Steve Harley, Hawkwind, and Christ knows what else. Up North the soul tradition survived and thrived, but I get the impression there weren't much of a scene iny native smoke till 75... It's not as if there wasn't decent uptempo stuff during that period - James Brown , Philly, Donald Byrd.
    Ps talented man Donald Byrd . To be able to play the trumpet like that and make all that custard.
     
    3 people like this.
  2. Gsvs5

    Gsvs5 Senior member

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    It seem to me that 10 year blocks of time are being lumped together here as a somewhat insignificant and short amount of time.When looking back at history of any period that you never lived through (1939-45 ! ) ,then I can understand that,but when you start thinking about what actually happened between 1959-69 and 1970-80 etc it throws a different perspective on things.I'm sure that early sixties Mods were fewer in numbers and less identifiable than they would be towards the end of the decade.I have mentioned before that I feel no connection to the Pucci/Brian Jones "Mod" of the early days,as I'm sure they would have felt little or none to the Eric Clapton/Manchester interpretation.However, everything being relevant and enjoying what was at any given time available to set you apart from all of your peers,they felt as radical in '68 as they did in '63 ?
    Being a kid in the sixties,I have only memories of my elder sisters,photos etc to form my opinion about that time,but I think a hell of a lot went on (probably too subtle to have been recognized and recorded).I'm questioning if i agree with you Roytonboy about it being just fashion,just as being a Ted today would be un-fashionable or a fashion? Were Greasers/Hippies/Teds not considered followers of A fashion?

    (The term ' Mod' had by this stage come to be used for fashionable young people generally, not some style elite)

    No ,I'm sure I disagree.At least where I'm from,a Mod had a particular look and stood outside.just as the Wheel photo shows

    1970-1980 in my opinion was a more creative and diverse period for youth culture.Not necessarily appealing,but certainly offered more options as "Fashion" was available on every High St and Market stall.Maybe that's the reason for a more creative period?
    Who wants to look exactly the same as everyone shopping at Next? Time to look back and plunder the back catalogue of the previous generation also if the Glam rockers didn't offer you what you felt comfortable with?I suppose it was toward the second half of the seventies that I heard the term "Soul Boys" bandied around,but it never resonated with me.I thought I hand left the boundaries of belonging to any particular group by '72.?Although admired,Browns was beyond my reach,but it opened the door to many to reach out to Continental Europe for influence again.Reiss filled the affordability gap and IMO kickstarted what I know as Casual today.(Though not as obvious and crass) The blatant success of Camden as a youth culture catalyst,a million miles away from Kensington speaks volumes and had the appeal for millions that Chapel St and Shoreditch had for me ten years prior .
    I've probably over simplified by thought and memories,but a lot of shit happens in 10 years……..
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
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  3. flyfronted

    flyfronted Senior member

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    Yes im generalising Tom and im sure within your east end click you dressed well . You would agree though that in the traditional home of Skinhead ( the east end - suburban east london ) that in 75 - 79 the Soul lot were in the vast majority - Lacy lady ( ilford ) and Jaws in leytonstone was 2 spots we drove the long way east for .
     
  4. flyfronted

    flyfronted Senior member

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    The fact that almost every kid who was a soul boy in 75 had been a skin / suedehead / bootboy 3 or 4 years earlier confirms link . All looks have branches the London Mod / All nighter scene influenced the Twisted wheel then that branched out to create the hideous Wigan and its pop music and laughable fashion .. if looks dont keep evolving and branching out we would all be wearing Brutus shirts and sta prest in 2016
    this feller saw the link as well http://filmnoirbuff.com/article/suedeheads
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
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  5. roytonboy

    roytonboy Senior member

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    Gsvs5 - As I have commented in a number of posts, at the time, I regarded being a skinhead as more than just a fashion, more of a lifestyle.

    With regard to my comment regarding the term 'Mod' being widely used - I recall film clips and T.V. clips in the mid to late 60's about Carnaby Street, 'Swinging England' etc. where all young people shown were described as 'Mods'. Similarly, I remember kids at school who wore a parka or maybe even a cord wrangler jacket or sporting a particular haircut considering themselves to be mods, even though they were only 13 years old at the time. Two years ago I asked my sister "Didn't you used to be a Mod?", "Oh, yes" she replied enthusiastically and then proceeded to tell me some of the clothes she'd coveted and had to save up for (some of which I didn't associate with Mod style). She never had a boyfriend with a scooter, she never went to the Twisted Wheel (though was certainly old enough to have done so and was into Soul and Motown) and on closer questioning some time later it emerged that what she meant was that she was interested in fashion and wearing fashionable clothes. What I was inferring by my comment was, by the mid to late 60's 'mod' had become a bit mainstream with high street shops selling high street fashion - in fact, most towns by this stage had 'boutiques' where fashion was more accessible. A far cry from the early 60's where choice was limited and many young men shopped at Burton's, C & A, or Marks & Spencer, just like their Dads and dressing with modern style took some effort. I posted that photo of outside the Twisted Wheel as I recognise those lads as sharply dressed Mods, but I think that many, many others, less well turned out would have regarded themselves as mods also.

    As with all youth cultures, some are the trendsetters, others also form the elite who do it well, many others follow to varying degrees.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. roytonboy

    roytonboy Senior member

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    As an afterthought Gsvs5, your mentioning Hippies as a 'fashion' made me think........

    In Britain, wouldn't many hippies have been former Mods? Wasn't it the emergence of hippies and pyschadelia in 1967 that brought about scism in Mod, causing a move to the extremes - longer haired Mods in their flares and paisley shirts towards the Hippy look and the shorter haired (so called 'hard Mods') in their BD Ben Shermans etc. towards the skinhead style? Consider how the look of the Who and the Small Faces changed around this time. As some grew their hair longer and longer, others wanted theirs shorter and shorter, as some got scruffier, others wished for more of a clean, tidy look.
     
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  7. Thin White Duke

    Thin White Duke Senior member

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    @roytonboy, yeah by the late sixties and into early seventies 'Mod' had nothing to do with an elite underground youth culture and just meant 'modern' 'fashionable' or 'with it'.

    I dunno why my semi idytic memory works this way but I distinctly remember in the infants our teacher reminded us we were having our school photos done and Victor Conran piped up to inform the class that he had some "mod trousers" he was going to wear. The teacher said don't bother as its head and shoulder shots only! Anyway this would have been about 1970-71.

    Also I think your judgement of the evolution of Mods into hippies or skins is partially right but by the time the late sixties rolled around and that schism occurred the original Mods may have been into it for knocking on ten years and were likely at least mod twenties and into careers, marriages, mortgages and kids. Those who joined as Mods in the mid sixties would have been into it for less time and thus perhaps less vested and thus more flexible to changing styles (ref that pic of the lad on the scooter in 3 button suit but with long hair and sidies!) but I reckon the numbers of skins and hippies in the late sixties were supplanted more by new raw recruits to their looks than by aging Mods in evolution.
     
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  8. yankmod

    yankmod Senior member

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    2 things.The "Mainstreaming" of Mod to the wider world,"The Mod Squad". Also,does anyone remember this "Gem" from 1968 and If you do what was the perception of this "Chune" amongst the Rocksteady" Faithful". The Chequers " Rudy's In Love"
     
  9. roytonboy

    roytonboy Senior member

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    A few Quotes from 'Mods - The New Religion':

    Ken Browne (London) - "By around '66 a lot of the Rockers had disappeared ....... everyone seemed to be a Mod by then"

    Steve Plant, (Manchester) - "By the time it got to '67 for me it was all over anyway. Ben Sherman was everywhere. Mod became mainstream so I cut out"


    Ted Brooks (Portsmouth) - " My Dad loved the way we dressed, but he couldn't come to terms with it when we grew our hair and wore bell bottoms. He couldn't understand how you could go from one to the other, having been so smart and sharp. What he didn't realise was it was because of the drugs basically. You're always moving on through.


    Penny Reel (London) - By late '66 I'd gone to the Roundhouse.....Jeff Dexter was DJ'ing there. By then he had hair down to his shoulders....He was wearing round 'granny' glasses like John Lennon wore. I also saw Marc Bolan down there. It was weird because when I knew him at the age of 12 he was this really pugnacious hard nut. A roughneck hard Jewish boy who hung around Stamford Hill devoted to Mod, but here at Middle Earth he was this beautiful Hippie"

    Mickey Tenner (London) - "To me then the Mod thing had gone, I frizzed my hair up and had cow bells around my neck. Pete Meadon at that point seemed to wear a Mod American Ivy League look"

    As ever, only the opinions of individuals but individuals who were there at the time and lived through it. Basically, did it mean that 'Mod' had run it's course and people were ready for a change - but not everyone wanted to go in the same direction?
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2016
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  10. yankmod

    yankmod Senior member

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  11. Donkey Jacket

    Donkey Jacket Senior member

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    Exactly, not every skinhead back then was dressed ultra smart, some of the pictures prove this, some wore cheap cloths as well, especially considering how popular it became.

    There is a place for both smart and ''scruffy'' skinheads, i would be considered scruffy to some people here, but that is there problem, not mine.
     
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  12. roytonboy

    roytonboy Senior member

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    Thanks for that yankmod, an interesting read and pretty much as I remember it. I would add though that Ivy League was but one of the influences - I always thought that the short hairstyles with shaved - in partings, for instance, were copied from the West Indian style.

    As I posted recently, the skinhead style also evolved - we started in all kinds of boots, but Cherry Red Doc Martens became almost universal worn by 1970, plain or candy striped BDs were initially worn, to be replaced by gingham and gingham style checks, then later still tartan or madras type checks. Top coats started out as Parkas, then sheepskins (if you could afford one) and fly fronted macs, then crombies. At first usually light or stone coloured sta-prest were worn, but other colours were seen later. At the outset, evolving from Mod, it was plain sleeveless v-neck pullovers, then fairisle were popular, then plain again (with check shirt) then pullovers with long sleeves. It was more of a 'uniform' in that at any given time, in a particular area, most of the skinheads would be wearing more or less the same things, but it did evolve, 12 months later they would more or less be wearing the same style as each other but they would be slightly different things to 12 months before. As ever, there were variations in time and place - there was never just one skinhead 'look'.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
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  13. Bela Kun

    Bela Kun Senior member

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    You got it all wrong. Every skinhead in the 1960s was an Ivy League style icon with an exquisite taste in soul and reggae, while every skinhead from 1977 till today is a bald, scruffy glue addict into third rate heavy metal and throwing Roman salutes.

    Only joking.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
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  14. Man-of-Mystery

    Man-of-Mystery Senior member

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    I was in London in that period. Whatever was the actual case, how it felt to me was that we were in a no-man's-land musically, clothes-wise, everything. After a couple of years or so - I've told this one before - I heard of 'Northern Soul', got in touch with some appreciation society or other up North. Back came some of their literature, which seemed to say "We don't like Motown, we don't like Stax, we don't like Atlantic..." So I just said "Therefore you don't like soul. Goodbye."

    I didn't stop liking black music. I liked some funk, some Rasta reggae, very little disco, some jazz-funk, some zydeco, etc. etc. but there never seemed to be a centre, a focus, if you see what I mean. Maybe it was just that I had stopped being a teenager.
     
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  15. flyfronted

    flyfronted Senior member

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    Its been said that the crop worn was copied from the Apollo astronauts who's crew cuts , sta prest trousers etc was on the news nightly back then , looking at pics of those guys they do look the absolute bollocks
     
  16. flyfronted

    flyfronted Senior member

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    The idea London youth all went ' hairy ' in the 70s is far from the truth - most of us kids brought the cheap Mowtown chartbuster LP's and the Trojan ones as well and every youth club played a mixture of James Brown , Reggae , Nutbush city limits and Prince Busters 'Al capone ' by 73 i could sneak into the Birds nest Chain ( all over london and the suburbs ) for the Soul nights where i learnt about Kool and the Gang's 'wild and peaceful ' LP and all the exciting music coming over on import . We used to buy Blues and Soul mag and visit every club who advertised - From Crackers to wigan to reading top rank all dayers ( which played both Funk and Northern soul ) .
     
  17. Donkey Jacket

    Donkey Jacket Senior member

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    Thats the beauty of it, whether you go smart or not its not really wrong, wearing jungle greens, shirt a pair of boots and braces and a donkey jacket( as lasteye has mentioned in this thread)
    is not exactly what i would call smart (or expensive for that matter), but it is a much a skinhead style as anything else.
     
  18. flyfronted

    flyfronted Senior member

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    Of course BUT the clobber that remains iconic , smart and still wearable in 2016 would be the Ivy inspired stuff not the stuff stole off the Dockers . You could look the part in a Baracuta , Levi vintage , brogues and a nice oxford bowling about in the spring weather today .
     
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  19. Gsvs5

    Gsvs5 Senior member

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    I do get your point Royton that the term "Mod" had become a catchall phrase for a stylish generation,but like a political speech,it should be interpreted and taken in context.I recall my Dad saying things like "That Dolly Bird in her Mod gear" and me wanting to cringe,thinking he just didn't have a clue?Anything since a de-mob suit became Mod.Equally Kids who were clueless could use the term.So it was the teens who were within the scene to determine what was Mod at any given time, uphold (and decide) the latent rules that set them apart from everyone else.Just as the term Skinhead to you and I,paints a completely different vision than say the Bonehead Neo Nazi that is accepted worldwide by most people as being the image identifying that look.
    Depending where and when you became conscious of the look would determine your own take on it I suppose? For me it was middle England 68/69,and the Manchester lads photo personifies what I personally accept and embraced as Mod.It's influence has stayed with me for life.Is that a lifestyle? I'm not sure? It is an understanding of Style.I suppose Hells Angels/Gypsies provide a true (alternative) lifestyle.Skinhead i'm not so sure?At 13 I was interested in the look and the music.Carving out something that would stay with me for life never entered my mind,but here we are almost 50 years later discussing it !
    Great thought provoking posts from you as usual Roytonboy……Cheers.
     
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  20. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Senior member

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    The essays of our 'Dutch correspondent' Alex (the other one is The French Cut also on FNB) are very helpful when it comes to understanding how things moved on after 1970. I was honoured to be able to help where I could, but his objective take on things, coming from a different background, helped me to better understand some of the links. Of course the essays stick closely to the theme of the 'unbroken circle' of style at the heart of 'Soul Stylists'.

    http://www.filmnoirbuff.com/article/the-french-cut

    It is interesting as @skinny legs pointed out that there was a kind of London desert when it came to music in the early 70s. I met a couple from the NW when on holiday in Plymouth in 1973 and couldn't believe how far apart we were - they and their friends had remained soul stylists when I had embraced T Rex, Roxy Music and so on...And that despite the fact that I was a regular visitor to The Lacy Lady and such establishments.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
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