Mod to Suedehead

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

  1. Little Queenie

    Little Queenie Senior member

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    I know this is not exactly Skinhead,but I would like to give an idea why I became a Skinhead.
    In `64 I went on a School trip to Carnaby Street(I think they would call it "Work Study" today).The Street was still the centre of Fashion-commercialism had not moved in then.I was fasc inated by the Boutiques,the colourful Clothes,the pretty Girls and the loud Music.The atmosphere was unbelievable.People darting from one shop to another with clothes over their arms-it was another world. I bought my first pair of Mod trousers then.They cost 84/-s,the money I had saved up from 3 Paper Rounds and the Saturday(and School Holidays`)job I had in my Father`s Butcher Shop.In `65,I went to work as a Junior in a "Gentlemans Outfitters".I was taught The Cloths and the Materials that went into making Suits,Shirts and Ties etc.Two of my Work Colleagues were Mods.Ian was a year older than me,but well up on the Styles,and Tony was a "West End"Mod-E-type Jag.,well cut Suits,manicured Nails etc.He had the "Works".One day one of the Owners came up to myself and Ian and said he wanted a" Young Set" Department-I think Tony put him up to it.We put our heads together and began making suggestions about what Clothing to put in-that would appeal to Teenagers.Shop Displays then were more decorative than they are now.We made it look like a Cave(Lighting,Paper mache etc.),to tie in with the Company`s Name Calder and Cave.It bought in the Customers,I can proudly say.It was through all this that I got really interested in Fashion.I later went into Shoes.[​IMG]


    I like that - very interesting! It's good to have some background, too. I think we should have more stories of how people happened upon Mod / Skinhead for the book: it expands the understanding of how it evolved and it would be fascinating to see if there is a common experience or thread to the tales.
     
  2. Little Queenie

    Little Queenie Senior member

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    Roy(Warren Street)was never a Skinhead.If he was on this Forum now,he would say he was Mod.He never had his hair cropped but cut short with a parting blown in(Italian Hairdressers were past masters at this).I always called it the "London Cut"-though Lee Marvin has a similar one-along with the Royals-in "Point Blank".

    Talking of older men and short trousers..... Lee Marvin was 43 then and he looks cool!
     
  3. raging_rapid

    raging_rapid Active Member

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    is it a skinhead shirt that the skinternet fashion police would approve of? no, but if you like it wear it.

    following all the "approved" fashion rules is fine when you are a teenager getting into it, but as grown men (who hopefully have been into skinhead since we were teens) I like to think we're capable of wearing whatever we want without caring if some self appointed skinhead fashion guru approves of it or not.

    I know it was different for the originals, who werent as into music as us "new breed" types, and it was more about clothes...but in my day (from 80s onward) we always placed more importance on the music than clothes. of course having the identifiable look was important, but if you couldnt hold a good conversation about the latest bands, music etc, you were thought of as being a bit phony


    I'm just thinking to myself, that we were into the clothes, and it was regimented, but without the classic correct look of the 69 era. It certainly was much more casual in the 1980s, but by the early 1990s though, after my old mate George Marshall wrote the Ska Party article, the whole movement, pushed towards trying to get back to the 1960s era. I can see now, on many occasions, we got the whole look completely wrong. However, it was the "spirit of 69 look", based upon what we'd read about in Zoot magazine, Nick Knights book, George Marshall's book, interviews with Richard Allen and Buster Bloodvessel about what was worn in the 1960s and so forth that we took our inspiration. In effect, the look of the early 1990s, was a cross between the 1980s two-tone revival punk influence Look and the 1960s styles of the first generation Skins.

    But yeah, we were waaaay more into the music. I'd scour the record stores in Sydney, specialist back alley one's that catered for mod/skinhead tastes. Little singles, with "King tubby" on the labels, imported in, from London or Jamaica... We'd have our scene 'geeks' for want of a better word, who would research all this stuff and who we'd turn to for trivia to do with our movement. They were the lorekeepers so to speak. Every city had one or two, who were either DJs for the movement or had waaay too much time on their hands to do all the research. They usually were the sharper ones in terms of dress and couldn't fight their way out of a wet paper bag, but we protected them and loved them for their knowledge.

    It was also hard to get hold of stuff, everything was by mail order. You had to wait weeks for a piece of kit to arrive but when you got it on, and went on the town with yer mates, well, you'd see, they'd all talk about it. So yeah, clothes -were- important, just that the music was much more important. The Scene Zine, was the way of mass communication. If we got things 'wrong', it was because Zoot got it wrong for instance.

    I think though, in hindsight, people into the skinhead subculture could of done more to drag the likes of MoM and Lasteye, out of their hidey holes and closets and back into the stardom befitting them. There were few interviews of original skinheads. They were like some kind of mythical beast, folklore heroes, of yesteryear, that we all aspired to be like and I think, in essence, we all wished, we were borne a decade earlier haha!

    But on the other hand, there have been some truly awesome times, in the revival generations and I think it no less legitimate than the fun you Originals had in the 1960s. The styles of the 1990s, were, to be truthful, no less legitimate, than the styles of 1968 or 1972. I think, the main problem has been, the lack of smartness, especially of the evening wear, that revivalists, failed to grasp.

    But all in all, the subculture, lives on! May it never die!
     
  4. Get Smart

    Get Smart Don't Crink

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    ^^^ yea a lot of things we got "wrong", like you said zines and images from records etc were what we used to base the look off. I started wearing a scally cap in 1987 because I saw a pic of Stinky Turner wearing one in a popular Rejects photo, stuff like that is what influenced us.

    I remember the mail order days well too....that's how we all got our issues of "skinhead times", stuff like Zoot and Beat of the Streat we were able to get at a local record shop that imported that stuff. One of my good friends was the first to take the plunge and get his DMs mail ordered from Shelly's in London, which he got in due time, but looking back there was a lot of "stuff your money in an envelope and pray you get something in a month"

    to be honest, if there were guys like the Originals on here telling us (as teenagers in 80s) what we were wearing was wrong we probably would have told the "old guys" to fuck off. the insolence of youth and all that.

    It's ironic that now, as older guys, many of us now are so heavily influence by how a bunch of 15 year olds looked in the 60s.
     
  5. Man-of-Mystery

    Man-of-Mystery Senior member

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    I think we should have more stories of how people happened upon Mod / Skinhead for the book: it expands the understanding of how it evolved and it would be fascinating to see if there is a common experience or thread to the tales.

    I'm ahead of you, Suzie. [​IMG]
     
  6. Lasttye

    Lasttye Senior member

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    Got it. I think it was a bit of both ways. Robert Elms copied his big brother, I copied the jungle greens from other blokes when I got to London in '68 and I don't know where they got it from. At college there were a couple of blokes in 'greens & boots' who ran the karate club; they were total hard nuts! They were about my age, one was 18 one was 19. I knew one of the 'Smithies' from Deptford who wore greens and boots - they were younger. Blokes of all ages between about 14-20 seemed to be wearing greens or Levis with boots of one sort or another, even some of the greasers.

    Its worth just going over this again just a little, around 67/68, Wearing Boots, Greens, Dickies jeans, Donkey jackets, Braces etc, None of those cloths had anything to do with Mods, Most of us had older Brothers so we was well aware of Mod style.
    Also at the time their was no interest from the Media, its only in 69 it was all over the National Papers Skinheads!, By then we was looking a little like Mods somewhat, So the media could see a clear connection with Skinheads and Mods,
    Like most cults the Media are always a year or Two behind of whats going on in the Street, If they saw us in say late 67/early 68, i do not think they would have thought we had any connection with the Mods.

    Fcuk Knows how or why it all started, it did not come from Music like all other cults have, It just happened.. as i said with out thinking or a plan.
     
  7. Man-of-Mystery

    Man-of-Mystery Senior member

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    It's ironic that now, as older guys, many of us now are so heavily influence by how a bunch of 15 year olds looked in the 60s.

    But you're American, Jason - you're not supposed to do irony! [​IMG]
     
  8. Man-of-Mystery

    Man-of-Mystery Senior member

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    Its worth just going over this again just a little, around 67/68, Wearing Boots, Greens, Dickies jeans, Donkey jackets, Braces etc, None of those cloths had anything to do with Mods, Most of us had older Brothers so we was well aware of Mod style.
    Also at the time their was no interest from the Media, its only in 69 it was all over the National Papers Skinheads!, By then we was looking a little like Mods somewhat, So the media could see a clear connection with Skinheads and Mods,
    Like most cults the Media are always a year or Two behind of whats going on in the Street, If they saw us in say late 67/early 68, i do not think they would have thought we had any connection with the Mods.

    Fcuk Knows how or why it all started, it did not come from Music like all other cults have, It just happened.. as i said with out thinking or a plan.


    I hear what you're saying, Roy, but basically what I found when I arrived in London was people wearing clothes I could broadly identify as 'mod' with one or two extras, notably jungle greens and boots. Braces we already had. I didn't see anyone in Dickies and only one bloke in a donkey jacket. Although the movement didn't come from the music I found that the same people liked broadly the music that I already liked too. To cut a long story short I found too many similarities for it to have been a coincidence.
     
  9. Lasttye

    Lasttye Senior member

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    The reason i mention Dickies Jeans as most could not afford Levis, Again the little difference in our Ages Paul was massive back then, You being older would have been a lot more aware of whats going on in the bigger scene than I, as a 14 year old in 68. I just remember the Lads around me, I can see them now in my mind, and i still do not see Mods, Around Kilburn near everyone had a Donkey jacket, it was just a warm cheap coat.
    Thats the point i am making we just bought cheap kit out of Surplus/Working cloths shops. Its only when i left school in 69 got a job and started to buy the smart stuff that i was aware that we was getting to look like Mods,
     
  10. Man-of-Mystery

    Man-of-Mystery Senior member

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    The reason i mention Dickies Jeans as most could not afford Levis, Again the little difference in our Ages Paul was massive back then, You being older would have been a lot more aware of whats going on in the bigger scene than I, as a 14 year old in 68. I just remember the Lads around me, I can see them now in my mind, and i still do not see Mods, Around Kilburn near everyone had a Donkey jacket, it was just a warm cheap coat.
    Thats the point i am making we just bought cheap kit out of Surplus/Working cloths shops. Its only when i left school in 69 got a job and started to buy the smart stuff that i was aware that we was getting to look like Mods,


    Yes I entirely get that, Roy. I suppose that's what Spencer Campbell meant when he accused skins of 'kidnapping' the look. I guess that there were some of us who just slid from mod/totter/whatever into skinhead (I saw quite a lot of them in SE London and N Kent) and blokes like you who had a particular look of your own and then imported mod looks when you had the money. So the process was kind of two way and what we ended up with was some kind of hybrid?
     
  11. Lasttye

    Lasttye Senior member

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    I totally agree with you regarding music, We was into Motown, All the 60s bands, then all of a sudden we was into Reggae? Where did that all come from? the only Reggae type record i heard before was My Boy Lollipop by Millie Lol
     
  12. Man-of-Mystery

    Man-of-Mystery Senior member

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    I totally agree with you regarding music, We was into Motown, All the 60s bands, then all of a sudden we was into Reggae? Where did that all come from? the only Reggae type record i heard before was My Boy Lollipop by Millie Lol

    Well I think that was a mod influence. Reggae developed from Rocksteady which was a slower Ska - check out Train To Skaville by the Ethiopians or It's Raining by the Three Tops. It was what was already playing in the clubs I went to in London along with the Motown, it was what I bought at Music City(?) in Deptford. So maybe it was what was already playing by the time you started clubbing, Roy - that's my guess.

    I recall I even had a Jamaican 45 by Millie Small which was rough, not like My Boy Lollipop which was recorded in the UK in a posh recording studio.
     
  13. Alex Roest

    Alex Roest Senior member

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    There are many facets to looking sharp or smart IMHO, those are terms that are not necessarily easy to define anyway. I think it's safe to say, though, there had been a definite shift from looking preferably formal (early modernists) towards a more practical (or indeed 'street fashion') approach in, say, ten years time...
     
  14. browniecj

    browniecj Senior member

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    Well I think that was a mod influence. Reggae developed from Rocksteady which was a slower Ska - check out Train To Skaville by the Ethiopians or It's Raining by the Three Tops. It was what was already playing in the clubs I went to in London along with the Motown, it was what I bought at Music City(?) in Deptford. So maybe it was what was already playing by the time you started clubbing, Roy - that's my guess.

    I recall I even had a Jamaican 45 by Millie Small which was rough, not like My Boy Lollipop which was recorded in the UK in a posh recording studio.

    I can only go by my experience.I was a Mod who went into a sharper dresser.With that "Look" I gravitated towards Jamaican Clubs(because in `67/`68 I was buying all Ska/Rocksteady/Reggae Records).I wish I had my old Collection from then,Roy,but you would not find too many Soul Records.Motown had got samey,a Formula had been achieved and it got boring(about `68-in my mind).Stax and Atlantic were making good Records but you did not hear them in The Limbo or The Roaring Twenties(in the early days yes,but later...).In Desmonds`Hip Record Centre there was no Soul on prominant Display.I bought what came in...Jamaican Rythmns.

    As for us copying the younger ones,I think it was the other way around.I never mixed with 15/16 year olds.What I was buying was not(excuse me if this sounds rude Roy)being worn by Schoolboys or younger Teenagers.I only became aware of them`69/`70.
     
  15. Get Smart

    Get Smart Don't Crink

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    But you're American, Jason - you're not supposed to do irony! [​IMG]

    must be the Anglophile in me [​IMG]
     

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