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Mod to Suedehead

Man-of-Mystery

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New podcast dropped, courtesy of Kate (with editing and uploading by myself). Yesterday, when I dropped by to have a cuppa with Kate, she hadn't even decided what tracks to play! Here's the shpeel:

To mark International Women’s Day (Fri 8th March) and Mothering Sunday / Mother’s Day (10th March), presenter Kate Mowbray has made an all-female track list today. The show starts off with a stunning piece of spiritual jazz by Alice Coltrane with Pharaoh Sanders, and continues with tracks by Irma Thomas, Etta James, Duffy, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, and others. Enjoy!

STAR RADIO - Soul Shack 2024-03-13 by STARSoulShack | Mixcloud
 

Thin White Duke

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Yeah I’d imagine the UK v the US scenes were markedly different in some ways. The media portrayals are always way off just like Paul says in the video. Skins in the US are almost always portrayed as violent Nazis jumping around to rage music and there’s little to no attempt to dig a little deeper and make the connection with the original roots, reggae music, all nighters etc. that you’re into. My sister is six years older than me. Along with posters of David Cassidy and David Essex that she cut out of the ‘Jackie’ magazine she occasionally stuck up some cooler pics - I remember a poster of WAR (Low Rider) and The Pioneers who had a hit with ‘Let Your Yeah Be Yeah’ in 1971 which I imagine was popular with the skins as a rare reggae entry into the top 40. Let’s not talk about ‘Jonny Reggae’ by The Piglets, the inevitable parody song from the same year. I think we have smug nonce Jonathan King to thank for that!
 

Reggae Mike

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Yeah I’d imagine the UK v the US scenes were markedly different in some ways. The media portrayals are always way off just like Paul says in the video. Skins in the US are almost always portrayed as violent Nazis jumping around to rage music and there’s little to no attempt to dig a little deeper and make the connection with the original roots, reggae music, all nighters etc. that you’re into. My sister is six years older than me. Along with posters of David Cassidy and David Essex that she cut out of the ‘Jackie’ magazine she occasionally stuck up some cooler pics - I remember a poster of WAR (Low Rider) and The Pioneers who had a hit with ‘Let Your Yeah Be Yeah’ in 1971 which I imagine was popular with the skins as a rare reggae entry into the top 40. Let’s not talk about ‘Jonny Reggae’ by The Piglets, the inevitable parody song from the same year. I think we have smug nonce Jonathan King to thank for that!
Had to google Jonny Reggae. The song has put me in a wierd mental place.
 

covskin

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I think there’s been a bit of an attempt to whitewash that scene by some people as the skins round ours were definitely racist and went “**** bashing”’around ours - not usually with much success as back then my town had very little diversity.
We were the same sort of people from the same sort of places with the same sort of attitudes.

Also I don’t buy the Ivy League connection - ask any skin from back then from my town and they wouldn’t know what that meant then or now.
I never heard of it in a clothing context though I remember an American tourist who was amazed we were wearing 'American shirts' as well as our obviously American MA-1s.

We started discussing if we were going to rob him just to try him out. He passed and hung around with us for an hour. He was a young fella not much older than us, maybe he told people back home about it.

Got chased all over but it was never one on one it was always a pack of them chasing me solo or just a few of us.
But that happened to everyone. A lot of it would have been in the same vein as above, trying you out. If you passed you got left alone.
 
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Thin White Duke

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Yeah the Ivy League thing (with apologies to @Ivyskin89 😁) - I’ve mentioned before on here and on the blog that as a revival Mod who got my first awareness of style in maybe 77 or 78 my only exposure to the phrase was in songs like ‘I’m The Face’ (“I wear Ivy Leage jackets - and white buck skin shoes”). I think there was some mention of it in Richard Barnes’ ‘Mods!’ book and having seen a rerun of ‘The Graduate’ on the telly back then I just had some vague notion that it referred to clothes worn by American students in the sixties like what Hoffman wore in the film, but had no idea of the nuances or origin. I suppose it turns out I was correct in a general sense but didn’t know which universities were in the Ivy League and what items are considered classically mainstream Ivy until fairly recently - and I was a pretty intense student of the origins of Mod style even back then so I can’t believe that the skins I observed where I grew up - both originals and revival era - would have known ANYTHING about Ivy.

Similarly I think it was on here where I read someone trying to draw a link between skins being influenced by the Apollo era astronauts. Looking at posted images from those days the astronauts looked cool and had short (military) haircuts, flight jackets and in civilian clothes wore the styles of the sixties - narrow ties and lapels, polos and button down shirts, loafers etc but it has to be pure coincidence. To think some kid growing up on a council estate in Sunderland in the late sixties saw the American astronauts on a grainy black and white telly and ran out to the shops to search out similar looking gear has to be pure fantasy IMO. Maybe another lad in a different environment with more money and resources COULD have claimed SOME tenuous influence but the chances are slim to none! (I think @Mr Knightley mentioned trips in to London to visit the Ivy Shop / John Simons which was absolutely NOT accessible to us scruffs from north east England!😆).

I find the connection to Ivy at least these days is stronger with Mods than skins - or at least EX Mods. Lads who were into the Mod thing in their teens and now look back at it as a bit cheesy. Parkas and Jam shoes and polyester two tone suits. Now in their late fifties they can lean into the Ivy look which is flattering, largely timeless, versatile, looks fine on older gents and allows them to maintain a stylistic connection to their Mod youth that’s more age-appropriate than the above gear. It’s a look that can be dressed up or dressed down and while it doesn’t scream “LOOK AT ME - I AM A(N EX) MOD” it still allows a subtle kinda ‘in the know’ entree to an exclusive style community. Back when the modculture forum was active loads of lads would distance themselves from admitting to being Mods but would happily embrace being dedicated to Ivy style.

Something I’m curious about @Man-of-Mystery is what was the attitude of you and your peers who were original late sixties skins when the Mod revival came around. Were you excited that the look got a shot in the arm and things like Ben Shermans became a lot more available etc or did you look down on us young Jonny come latelys as a poor version of the original scene?
 
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covskin

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Similarly I think it was on here where I read someone trying to draw a link between skins being influenced by the Apollo era astronauts. Looking at posted images from those days the astronauts looked cool and had short (military) haircuts, flight jackets and in civilian clothes wore the styles of the sixties - narrow ties and lapels, polos and button down shirts, loafers etc but it has to be pure coincidence. To think some kid growing up on a council estate in Sunderland in the late sixties saw the American astronauts on a grainy black and white telly and ran out to the shops to search out similar looking gear has to be pure fantasy IMO. Maybe another lad in a different environment with more money and resources COULD have claimed SOME tenuous influence but the chances are slim to none! (I think @Mr Knightley mentioned trips in to London to visit the Ivy Shop / John Simons which was absolutely NOT accessible to us scruffs from north east England!😆).
There was also the claim on here that skinheads in the UK were influenced by some photos in Life magazine in 1966, like that was even remotely likely as a route of influence. It would be like teenagers reading The Economist.

watts-1966-9.jpg
 
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Inkss

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We spent half of one of our double-English lessons a week in the school library. We were supposed to be looking at books and stuff, but I spent the time looking through the magazines/periodicals. I used to look through the old issues of Life as they had a lot of cool photos. That was the early-80s and they were 10+ year old issues though, but maybe that's the scenario some lads might have come across those photos back in the mid-60s. Never bought an issue of Life, but definitely summat I would peruse when stuck in the boring library.
 

Thin White Duke

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We spent half of one of our double-English lessons a week in the school library. We were supposed to be looking at books and stuff, but I spent the time looking through the magazines/periodicals. I used to look through the old issues of Life as they had a lot of cool photos. That was the early-80s and they were 10+ year old issues though, but maybe that's the scenario some lads might have come across those photos back in the mid-60s. Never bought an issue of Life, but definitely summat I would peruse when stuck in the boring library.
You had a library?
You were lucky!
That were luxury.
We dreamed o’ libraries!
 

Reggae Mike

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There was also the claim on here that skinheads in the UK were influenced by some photos in Life magazine in 1966, like that was even remotely likely as a route of influence. It
There was also the claim on here that skinheads in the UK were influenced by some photos in Life magazine in 1966, like that was even remotely likely as a route of influence. It would be like teenagers reading The Economist.

watts-1966-9.jpg
Those pics were taken in Los Angeles, pretty far from any Ivy leauge schools.
 

covskin

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I think the skinhead trouser length influence came from here



(some more British comedy for @Reggae Mike)

But seriously, didn't 1950s Teddy Boys have short trouser lengths, and coloured socks too. A much more likely source of influence for these things, older brothers, uncles.
 

northernbloke12345

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We spent half of one of our double-English lessons a week in the school library. We were supposed to be looking at books and stuff, but I spent the time looking through the magazines/periodicals. I used to look through the old issues of Life as they had a lot of cool photos. That was the early-80s and they were 10+ year old issues though, but maybe that's the scenario some lads might have come across those photos back in the mid-60s. Never bought an issue of Life, but definitely summat I would peruse when stuck in the boring library.
Lol it was a completely different kind of magazine i used to look at when i was a lad and it wasn't something you found in the library!.
 

Reggae Mike

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I think the skinhead trouser length influence came from here



(some more British comedy for @Reggae Mike)

But seriously, didn't 1950s Teddy Boys have short trouser lengths, and coloured socks too. A much more likely source of influence for these things, older brothers, uncles.

I got tears from laughter. Thats a good point about Teddy Boys thought. I hear often that the Teddy Boys started the traditions in British subcultures, by dressing better than thier social class was defined to. There are all kinds of Ivy style that didnt make it to Skinhead. I feel American record covers might have played a part.
 

Clouseau

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…and American movies.

Going over old ground again, but I suppose it is the same in all forums. Always the same stories…

 

Swampster

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We used to dream of being in a lake.

As it happens, our middle school library wasn’t bad. I suspect the above mentioned Life magazines were donated for the edification of the youth - ours had things like collections of magazines about the world wars and a whole load of national geographics . More helpful if you wanted fashion tips from Inner Mongolia rather than Inner London though.
 

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