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Marc Bolan - the last Mod of the world?

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Messages: 1 - 50 of 149
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    Was Bolan the last Mod whose life ended abruptly in September 1977 when the artist, as a passenger in a car driven by his girlfriend, singer Gloria Jones, was killed when they crashed into a tree on Barnes Common, London ?


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  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by islanddawn (U7379884) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    Excuse my ignorance Jack, but what is a Mod?

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  • Message 3

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    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    Mod, Digger, was a postwar ( WWII ) style in England. It had its own clothing, its own rituals and its own music. But mod was something more than that. Mod was a philosophy, articulated in the chrome of a motor scooter's proliferated head lamps. Mod was a signal of a new kind of working class rebellion, not only against bosses but also against the mod's own parents and elder brothers, in short, against the entire pattern of conformism and conservatism in British life.

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  • Message 4

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    Posted by Temperance (U14455940) on Saturday, 15th January 2011


    No they weren't . They were just a bunch of kids with spending power. They wore parkas and rode about aimlessly on scooters. They had more money than sense.

    The Who were OK though.

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  • Message 5

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    Posted by ferval (U14315357) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    Funnily enough, although I was around in the 60's, at the genesis of the Mod era, I was much more aware of the 80's revival, probably because my kids were big fans. I got very sick of hearing Paul Weller, Small Faces etc but Fred Perry polo shirts were easier to iron than 'proper' ones. My daughter scared me half to death by buying a bright pink scooter when she was 17 but, since it was a wreck, it was fortunately off the road more often than on so she survived largely unscathed.

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  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 3.

    Posted by islanddawn (U7379884) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    Thanks Jack, now I know where I'm at.

    I don't see Bolan as the last of the Mod's rather as the first of the "glam rock" brigade and the inspiration for many 70's bands, including Bolan's great friend David Bowie. Just a 20th century boy after all!

    Disagree on The Who though Temp, could never understand all that guitar smashing broohaha. What a senseless waste.



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  • Message 7

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    Posted by CASSEROLEON (U11049737) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    It was the age of Mods and Rockers.. The latter being bound to the working class hardman image of many industrial inner cities. I suppose Hells Angels grew out of the worship of the motorbike and the leather "Bomber jacket".

    Scooter owners took advantage of the cleaner exterior of the scooter that made it ( and has once more) a commuting vehicle of choice for those who worked in offices or with their brains generally. The Rockers prefered to be associated with the militant industrial working class image at least- hard beer drinking and pushing the art of living life to the limit, because like young apparently troubled rebels like Elvis Presley and James Dean life had challenged them. ( I just saw a bit on "Quest" today that spelled out that no-one wore jeans- workers' trousers- for style until those two did).. Rockers seemed to be a less individualistic cult, much more of a uniform- pre-dating the Skinhead uniform taken from Afro-Caribbeans in the late Sixties.

    But Temperance is also correct in saying that for many this was more off the peg style than substance. In another bit of random channel hopping a couple of days ago I happened on that scene in "Grease" when Olivia Newton John's friends have helped her to dress up like the kind of "Rocker girl" who would appeal to 'John Travolta'.

    As for Marc Bolan I would say that he was much more part of the Woodstock, Flower Power and Beautiful People scene, an outreach from the singer-songwriter world that had evolved out of the Folk Scene. Much more a one-man and commercial form of the movement that produced the Incredible String Band and Jethro Tull, perhaps also Donovan, and of course the Beatles in their Maharishi period, when Donovan at least was part of the same Indian retreat. That is where he first heard Paul MacCartney playing with what became the "Blackbird" riff.

    I forget now who said that he taught Marc Bolan to play basic rock guitar in about two days, because he wanted to "make it"- as an electric-Dylanesque kind of poet.

    Cass



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  • Message 8

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    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    Mods were, Temperance:, sophisticated and slick, rebels with a cause, an assault that burrowed from within, asserting not just their own dignity but also the absolute ludicrousness of stuffy conformism. If mod was a statement of the affluence many found in Prime Minister Macmillan's you've -never-had-it-so-good policies...it was a mockery of those things.

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  • Message 9

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    Posted by Temperance (U14455940) on Saturday, 15th January 2011


    Well my first boyfriend was an arrogant little mod and he wasn't sophisticated or slick at all . He was a prat. I dumped *him*, I'll have you know, because he said I was a stuck up know-it-all. He then went out with Katy from Bolton and we all know why he preferred her to me.

    Oops sorry - in a bit of time warp then.

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  • Message 10

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    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    'It was the age of Mods and Rockers..'

    +10000000 , Cass !

    'As for Marc Bolan I would say that he was much more part of the Woodstock, Flower Power and Beautiful People scene, an outreach from the singer-songwriter world that had evolved out of the Folk Scene'-
    he was a former fashion model in the halcyon "Mod" era, Cass.
    His debut single "The Wizard" was issued in November 1965. It was allegedly influenced by his friend Riggs O'Hara, and it revealed an early penchant for pop mysticism, whereas its follow-up, "The Third Degree", was indebted to R&B. Its b-side, "San Francisco Poet", gave first airing to the distinctive, tremulous vocal warble for which Bolan became renowned and which flourished freely on his third single, "Hippy Gumbo", released in November 1966. This slow, highly stylized performance, produced by new manager Simon Napier-Bell, made no commercial impression, but was latterly picked up by the pirate station Radio London, whose disc jockey John Peel became a pivotal figure in Bolan's history.

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  • Message 11

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    Posted by CASSEROLEON (U11049737) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    Ounupa

    I think that the packaging of the early Beatles c61-62 exploited the Mod image and Beatlemania exploded the boundaries of the Pop world beyond that very British image, one so closely associated with the heroic duffle coat warn in films about the British Navy at war, or Scott of the Antartic. The Mod look was essentially that clean cut British Navy one- the kind of thing that "Your Mother Should Know"

    Once the Beatles conquered America and Japan the great Sixties expansion in University education created a whole new market for people who could entertain on British campuses, in an age when student campuses were challenging aspects of the World order... I associate Bolan with this rather than with the Cliff Richard and the Shadows Modism- Taking a London Bus to Greece for a summer holiday!

    I suppose that makes Cliff Richard a better candidate to be hailed the Last Mod of the World.

    Cass

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  • Message 12

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    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    Temperance:, smiley - smiley mods didn't find jobs in order to build careers., and they never kept one....because it had a future..On payday , mods spent. Mods worked in order yo have clothes and scooters +'purple hearts'....and more clothes, chic American soul records, chewing gum, some more clothes and what it cost to tailor them ...Food, drink and girls hardly mattered within this scheme.

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  • Message 13

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    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    'I suppose that makes Cliff Richard a better candidate to be hailed the Last Mod of the World.'- hmmm...may be, Cass.

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  • Message 14

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    Posted by Jak (U1158529) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    Who? Never heard of him. Sorry.

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  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by CASSEROLEON (U11049737) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    Ounupa

    Quote- Food, drink and girls hardly mattered within this scheme.

    Cliff Richard ... ? Anyone for tennis

    Glad that ID [I think it was] mentioned David Bowie-- married a glamour model. Very much one for "Fashion", and funny lyrics. He claimed that he just wrote lots of words on bits of paper and threw them up in the air to see what resulted.

    I also was thinking that, with scooters and bubble cars coming from Italy, the Mods tried to be a bit more European -orientated than the Rockers who really saw America as The Way Ahead.. if only they could get there. Makes me think of a mid-Atlantic type rhymn and blues that I wrote c 1969 about a Brit trying to Hitch to LA, without realising that there was the Atlantic to cross somehow.

    Cass

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  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by stalti (U14278018) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    Mark Bolan was a Mod in a previous life before his fame

    he was the subject of a magazine artcle with photos (was it Fulham mod??)

    he then formed Tyranosauras Rex (sp) with Steve Peregrine Took as a hippy - and apparently was a crap guitarist - best album was "My people were fair with sky in their hair but now theyre content to wear stars in their brows" lol

    he then achieved real fame as TRex with Micky Finn as a glam rock band

    i met him and micky finn at Margate dreamland ballroom in 1970 just after Ride a white Swan was released - i was the only skinhead in the place and burst into the dressing room afterwards to get his autograph - they jumped a foot lol

    they were superb and very friendly - both signed my ticket - which in the last few years i have lost - on ebay now - 2 signatures on the ticket would be worth £100 plus - aaaaggggghhhh

    st

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  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by Vizzer aka U_numbers (U2011621) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    sophisticated and slick, rebels with a cause, an assault that burrowed from within, asserting not just their own dignity but also the absolute ludicrousness of stuffy conformism. If mod was a statement of the affluence many found in Prime Minister Macmillan's you've -never-had-it-so-good policies...it was a mockery of those things. 
    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    A mockery of those things would, neverthless, also be an affirmation of them.

    I'm always struck by how those who have experienced genuine want are always dismissive of self-appointed 'rebels with a cause'. Those who have come from real poverty (not self-imposed 'poverty') have little time for rebelliousness for rebelliousness' sake. Only kids who know that they can ultimately rely on mummy and daddy to bail them out, think that it's clever to be wasteful, mindlessly destructive and nihilistic.

    This has been the case with so much of the leaders of so-called 'popular culture' in the UK since around 1950.

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  • Message 18

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    Posted by CASSEROLEON (U11049737) on Saturday, 15th January 2011

    Vizzer

    A great deal in that.. I mentioned the Universities as places for Gigs.. but they were also (along with art colleges) places where people who had made it to Higher Education had the chance to create bands and start gigging themselves-- or at least feel that they somehow belonged to the whole new counter culture challenging the establishment.

    As a teacher in the deprived Inner City I had little time for revolutionary Left Wing colleagues, plus the pop musicians and radio DJ's - many from public school and college, university backgrounds- who were only too happy to propagate the "We Don't Need No Education" "School's Out" kind of message that discouraged children like my pupils from trying to use the sort of educational opportunities that- in many cases- had created their relatively cushioned lifestyle, often through their parents more than themselves.

    I have just been reading "The Fry Chronicles" in which Stephen Fry frequently goes into paroxysms of self-loathing over the way that he has abused the great good fortunes that came to him in one way or another..

    His observations about Oxford and Cambridge- e.g. "Cambridge makes martyrs. Oxford burns them", and that Cambridge men and women tend to be more iconoclastic- does seem rather relevant to the way that several generations of Cambridge intellectuals have used the new and developing world of mass media comedy to reinforce this message that Western Civilization, as understood by previous ages, is really hardly worthy of any respect- and is not really worth studying. any more than is necessary to rape, exploit and prostitute it.

    Part of the problem, however, I believe comes from what a US Professor of English Lit described in the forties as the phenomenom of the "Loss of the Father".. And this seems to owe a great deal to what the First and Second World Wars did to male self-respect and self-confidence.. There is a moment in the Fry book when Richard Armitage expresses his deep sense of thanks to Fry, for re-working "Me and My Girl", the great show written by his own father between the wars. Armitage, like many sons, had taken a different path to his father. Now he said, he could feel that his father was smiling down on him. Fry wrote that he turned away with a tear in his eye, for he knew just how important it was for sons to eventually feel that they had their father's approval.

    Last year's "Lennon naked" TV play showed how even John Lennon, as a mega star was prepared to give his father another chance. And Arthur Miller witnessing Dylan Thomas destroying himself with drink at the Chelsea Hotel understood Thomas' sense of guilt that he was a famous poet and playwright on the basis largely of all of the hard work , hope and fruitless ambition of his Schoolmaster father in South Wales. Death of a Salesman was in part an expression of Milller's own sense of guilt and indebtedness to his own father, and his anger over how the world (and he with it) had treated him.

    Cass

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  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Sunday, 16th January 2011

    Bolan was a Mod for ever, Stalti. I like his refusal to alter the formula of his compositions which 'would be' resulted in an equally spectacular decline as some experts state.. You now the sad destiny of The Sweet when they tried to change their hard rock style in their last album Level Headed ( 1978 ). These years- 1977-79 were crucial as for Mods so for Rockers....

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  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by raundsgirl (U2992430) on Sunday, 16th January 2011

    Well this has been such an interesting thread, but by gum, it makes me feel old when someone asks what Mods are! I am old enough to remember that Bank Holidays were the times for pitched battles between Mods and Rockers at the seaside. Rockers were sort of brute force and motorbikes, and fought with chains. Mods thought themselves more refined with scooters, and they fought with flick knives.
    (thats only a broad generalisation, btw)

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  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by islanddawn (U7379884) on Sunday, 16th January 2011

    "Well this has been such an interesting thread, but by gum, it makes me feel old when someone asks what Mods are! I"

    No need to feel old at all raundsgirl! It was really a request for confirmation on the meaning of the term, having been raised in Australia some of the news on the happenings and trends in Europe during the 60s and earlier just passed us by.

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  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by Mr_Edwards (U3815709) on Sunday, 16th January 2011

    Glad that ID [I think it was] mentioned David Bowie-- married a glamour model. Very much one for "Fashion", and funny lyrics. He claimed that he just wrote lots of words on bits of paper and threw them up in the air to see what resulted. 
    He only claimed to use that method on Diamond Dogs and he got it from Bryon Gysin and William Burroughs, who in turn took it from Andre Breton, who suggested it in his Surrealist Manifesto back in the 1920s.

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  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Sunday, 16th January 2011

    When Marc Bolan gone he left behind an Era and a legion of loving fans. Now I can celebrate his life- the life of the original Child Of The Revolution who Rode A White Swan all the way to Mod Heaven .

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  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Monday, 17th January 2011

    Cass, very interesting bur such art schools like Ealing Art School and others, where were in their time many well known rock musicians ( J.Lennon,Eric Clapton, Bryan Ferry, Freddie Mercury, Ron Wood ), were technically speaking a failure, as was the entire British art school system, since it churned out far more students than there were jobs. smiley - winkeye

    It was to become Britain's most important UNIVERSITY OF THE ROCK'N"ROLL to which the purpose these Art Schools in realty served !

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  • Message 25

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    Posted by CASSEROLEON (U11049737) on Monday, 17th January 2011

    Ounupa

    But they just brought their artistic creativity out of the tradition of Church, Court, ruling elite, and State sponsorship into producing things that appealed to the mass of young people...

    Not lest because, as I am trying to explain on the salute thread, the German inspired scientific and technology cultural legacy of the 2WW had meant that- amongst other things- this generation had grown up in an overly establishment- managed, rule ridden and mechanistic non-society..

    Bertrand Russell had foretold an economy of powered robots and automated equipment producing every good and service people needed, so everyone would just spend their time being creative. But until the robots arrived, life especially "down south", was bondage to the great machine/mechanism of a reconstructed and reconstructing post-war economy. Up North it was still a story of un- or under-employment in depressed and depressing areas.

    As we have exchanged- on before many of them associated with the music of the down-trodden Afro-Americans, especially as mixed in with immigrant "white-trash" traditions-producing Rock and Roll.

    Who was it who died recently in the USA having returned to the visual arts from the pop scene? Surely not Frank Zappa-- but someone of that ilk.

    Cass

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  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 25.

    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Tuesday, 18th January 2011


    'But they just brought their artistic creativity out of the tradition of Church, Court, ruling elite, and State sponsorship into producing things that appealed to the mass of young people...'-

    it's tempting to suggest, Cass, that art schools had more impact on those musicians through its exposure of a bohemian sensibility than through what was learned in class. But that is not borne out by the development of British pop-music , especially the hard rock of such bands as the Beatles, the Kinks, the Rolling Stones and the Who, all of them led by art school alumni. Lennon displayed a thorough familiarity with contemporary artistic theory , which can easily be seen in his immediate application of ideas derived from Blake's pop art paintings ( 'The First Real Target' and 'Self Portrait', in which the badges, including one of Elvis Presley ). The lectures of such adventurous artists as the Americans Larry Rivers and Bob Brownjohn were the grounds on which many students picked up their ideas about technical and conceptual aspects of performance and recording technique ( that is why I prefer to use the term 'University of the Rock'n'Roll regarding the generation of the Mods and Rockers who were the students of the art schools ). The art schools were a sort of clearinghouse, and music was something that was very much considered to be okay. And not something that they only did after hours. IT WAS PART OF THEIR LIFE . They were professionals in the best meaning of this world.

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  • Message 27

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    Posted by bandick (U14360315) on Tuesday, 18th January 2011



    OUNUPA Hi… as you’re an obvious fan of Mr. Bolan, perhaps you can help me out with a question I’ve long wanted answering. Listening to… maybe Radio 2 and one of their old time revival shows from the 20-30s… I was suddenly aware of a catchy little tune I recognised as ‘we love to boogie’…
    I’ve trawled my way thru countless hours on Utube trying to find it, but without success. Any ideas of its origins…?

    Kind regards bandick.

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  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 26.

    Posted by CASSEROLEON (U11049737) on Tuesday, 18th January 2011

    Ounupa

    Universities and Life

    I think that you/we have forgotten the special legacy of the real Rock and Roll Generation...

    We were the first generation in the whole story of Humankind to be born into a truly global event- and to be treated as the special "seed corn" of a New World order..

    It was only when growing up and outwards that we realised that the world, which we had experienced as one-joined up entity, meant that we shared the essence of the human experience with all of our age-group across the globe. This meant that we were one with young all around the world and art in its various forms was the most accessible international language- especially "The Lord of the Dance".

    Now, just as these days we have built observation stations in special high places above the weather and the atmosphere, and even out in space, where we can observe fundamental realities of existence, universities and the art colleges offered a similar opportunity to escape from home and neighbourhood and look all around at the fundamentals of life..

    There were some sad people who went to uni just to get a degree and entry into employment, but really it was all about going to specialist "hot-houses" where the conditions were favourable to the promotion of flowering and blooming in order to bring to fruition the potential within- in order to help to change the world.

    Perhaps Lennon too got some of his Jesus complex from being the kind of little boy that traumatised people in the post-war world could look at and say "Lord now lettest though thy servant depart in peace, for mine eyes have seen the salvation".. and when your home life was tragic that was a further encouragement to embrace a wider humanity.

    We were born as collective evidence that life would fight on against the Dance of Death that had killed 55 million people in 5 years, and we had grown up seeing our Mother's "Standing in the Shadow" - of war and nuclear holocaust. The "big idea" was to Save the World- not least from itself.

    Cass

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  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by Wyldeboar (U11225571) on Tuesday, 18th January 2011



    the Rockers who really saw America as The Way Ahead..  

    I think there's more to the Rockers than that. They were a distictly Britsh phenomenom. They rode, in the main, British bikes, the American marques like Harley-Davidson, Indian etc being both too costly and too slow. The customized 'Cafe Racer' style bike, which saw its ultimate incarnation in the 'Triton' grew out of the transport cafe centred social circle they inhabited and neither culture nor style of bike ever really took off in the US.

    The Hells Angels and other ' Outlaw' motorcycle gangs WERE an American phenomenom and have a well documented history, tracing their roots back to disaffected returning servicemen from WW2 unable to settle back in civilian life and customizing the aforementioned Harleys and Indians for the speed and style they too felt they lacked. Their non-conformity became notoriety following 'The Hollister Incident' which also spawned Marlon Brandos' 'The Wild One'.

    IMO it wasn't really until the release of 'Easy Rider' that things American became so attractive, the biggest indicator being the drift from Cafe Racer' styled bikes to home grown attempts at copying the 'Chopper' style of Fonda and Hopper, albeit mainly still using British bikes as the basis.

    Changing tack completely, although the Skinheads as metioned above may have taken their style, and certainly their musical tastes from the Caribbean, I have always understood them to be an offshoot from Mod culture, with often blurred boundaries.

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  • Message 30

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    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Tuesday, 18th January 2011

    "the Rockers who really saw America as The Way Ahead.. "-..why ? Because rock'n'roll and rhythm&blues captured the imagination of many kids in England, partially because they were American Things that meant in those times expressions of affluence and cultural liberty with such hits as 'Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor'- the product of the skiffle boom which is remembered fondly today because it was the first flowering of the remarkable musical talents of postwar British youth.In sound and spirit , it had all the innocence of a fresh start.The term 'skiffle' originally itself applied to a kind of jug band music popular in Chicago during the twenties.

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  • Message 31

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    Posted by CASSEROLEON (U11049737) on Tuesday, 18th January 2011

    Wyldeboar

    Obviously Brits who saw "America as the way ahead" would have assumed that it would be a way ahead for Britain. This would be a new chapter in a distinctively British Civilization- clearly better than the upstart, uncertain, pioneer and rootless (or uprooted) American one. The USA after all had more or less no history to live up to. Bob Dylan's "With God On Our Side" summed it up pretty well.

    Hence the American version of the motorbike gang produced the literally Hell Raising phenomenon of those dark angels.

    As for skinhead culture, Noddie Holder and Slade may have just gone for the image with their instant re-modelling. But on the streets of Lambeth, where West Indians youths told their white peers that if they came to Brixton they would be "cut up": and the White Youths said the same for The Cat's Whiskers in Streatham- this was an overtly macho and aggressive dumb working class cult. Not at all like my experience and knowledge of Mods.

    Of course someone like our pupil Tim Roth, very much not a Skinhead in my experience, could use it to get a carreer break-through and specialise in playing "nasties" in various media- claiming knowledge of rough streets and rough schools in the inner city.

    Cass

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  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Tuesday, 18th January 2011

    Bandick, I love them all -Marc Bolan and Noddie Holder...simply because 'I LOVE TO BOOGIE', my True and Real LOVE !

    Report message32

  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by Wyldeboar (U11225571) on Tuesday, 18th January 2011



    Not at all like my experience and knowledge of Mods. 

    You may well be correct Cass, with the benefit of a better memory that maturity brings. I was but a primary school kid when the skinheads emerged in the sixties, but spent a lot of time at the house of a friend whose 'big brother' was the 'cock' of one of our towns skinhead gangs. A very hard and intimidating individual. I do however vividly remember the interaction, parties and clubs he and his like shared with the local Mods. There was more than a degree of cross pollination between the two.

    He is now a Police Inspector............

    Having always been more interested in motorcycles than scooters, but, in my advancing old age, now being able to appreciate better the wares of Messrs Vespa & Lambretta, and working with several scooter enthusiasts I am still of the opinion that this cross pollination existed and exists. In fact, one of my colleagues describes himself as a 'Scooter Skin' ( His main mode of transport being a classic Vespa.)

    On a different topic, another describes himself as a 'Red Skin'. His outward appearance is that of your 'traditional' skinhead, whilst his politics are those of The Left as opposed to the more extreme Right one would stereotypically associate with Skinheads. I just feel old and that I need to get out more.............

    Report message33

  • Message 34

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Tuesday, 18th January 2011

    Long time, Cass, England had lacked a teen idol who could produce music as exciting as Elvis's. And the Cliff Richard came. In him and the Shadows , the youth found a perfect object of obsession. Richard really spat out rock&roll songs and he wasn't above crooning ballads as mawkish as Elvis's. His band, the Shadows, particularly guitarist Hank Marvin, had true panache.

    Report message34

  • Message 35

    , in reply to message 34.

    Posted by CASSEROLEON (U11049737) on Tuesday, 18th January 2011

    Ounupa

    I was thinking of C& the S after my comment about a "British" way forward... I think it was the Shadows on their own- coordinated step-moves and all- that I saw at the Oxford Playhouse on the same bill as Bill Hayley and the Comets- perhaps c1960.

    I suppose the evangelical Christian nature of "the lads" had something in common with the some on the US music scene. But they were able to keep the two separate. For many years Sir Cliff had his totally separate Christian rdcordings and tours.

    As I have been writing recently- the whole idea of just positive entertainment to help people to "Always look on the bright side of live" had proved its moral and morale value during the IWW..

    The Rickie Gervais antics this week have highlighted the fact that comedians/artists like the individuals who became the Goons were radically different from the modern crop. Most had actually seen action on the front line. Anyone who saw Spike Milligan talking about his friend/colleague/ subordinate who was killed one night in the desert war will understand that- for all the clowning- there was a person of real humanity and commitment to the cause of a better world for which so many people had died, or made great sacrifices.

    Somehow such humour was always saying that WE ALL are funny and silly- as a species- but also loveable and ultimately worth it. So bringing brightness into people's lives was a valuable function.

    What Stephen Fry's autobiography has reminded me is that there was often seemed to ba an element of sneering, belittling, and denigrating that came into the humour of the Sixties, when rather arrogant- seeming-as Fry asserts- Cambridge "geniuses" used their talents to pour excrement upon a British heritage.

    I suppose that this was part of the creative tension between Lennon and MacCartney. John Lennon did find ultimately that the "way ahead" was New York-- and paid the US price of being someone who wanted to struggle for a better world of love and peace.

    Cass

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  • Message 36

    , in reply to message 35.

    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Tuesday, 18th January 2011

    Cliff Richard and the Shadows rekindled the British rock'n'roll flame. I think it was especially important to have a major home-grown talent in a country that was beginning to feel overwhelmed in too many ways by American pop culture and soon the British rock bands became known as the best in the world with such memorable hits as the Beatles "Ticket to Ride' and the Stones' 'The Last Time'. was a real blast.

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  • Message 37

    , in reply to message 36.

    Posted by CASSEROLEON (U11049737) on Tuesday, 18th January 2011

    I am not sure just when I first heard that look referred to as "Skinhead"... But c1970 one of the pupils in the boys secondary modern that I was teaching at in Croydon was persuaded to adopt the look and pose for the cover photo of a novel of that title.

    As someone I spoke to recently, who had attended the school in the late Fifties, observed it was a school serving two tough council estates, and this was the time of Chelsea shed and football gang fights.. It was also a time of burgeoning Far Right movement that obliged me to give up using my standard abbreviation for Not Finished when marking books. There were enough NF's scrawled around.

    The Skinhead image seemed to become closely associated with both: indeed football matches were one of the prefered recruiting grounds for the NF.. Football hooliganism was defined by some journalist as "the revolt of the D stream"..

    I still have reservations about seeing this as something that Mods evolved into.

    Cass

    Hank Marvin-= Buddy Holly lookalike.

    British rock and roll-- Johny Kidd and the Pirates "Shakin All Over"

    Report message37

  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 37.

    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Wednesday, 19th January 2011

    'I am not sure just when I first heard that look referred to as "Skinhead"... '

    - as me Cass the word 'skinhead' is more connected with the image of pink-scalped kids at school during the times of Elvis than with the Mods and Rockers. Even Noddie Holder never had such 'criminal' appearance. Skinheads stood like camels in the Arctic in the sea of Mods and Rockers and the Rock'N'Roll in a whole. Children in the U.S., Australia and England were expelled from their schools when they refused to lop off their Elvis Presley style ducktail- the sign of belonging to the rock'n'roll culture ! For Elvis his hair had always been his crowning glory although all around were always onto Elvis to cut his hair. But Elvis went his own way without fighting back and he wouldn't give up, he would have rather died than cut that hair.

    Report message38

  • Message 39

    , in reply to message 38.

    Posted by CASSEROLEON (U11049737) on Wednesday, 19th January 2011

    Ounupa

    Well. Perhaps the skinhead-look derived from the American military "crew-cut"-more than just short-back and sides, and the long hair style was the Ducks-Arse at the back and the Tony Curtis 'quif' at the front.

    As my Dad used to give me a "basin cut" in the kitchen anyone looking at me in the schoolphotograph when I was 11 might think that I was a pre-Beatle: but being blonde it looked Country Yokel.

    Cass

    Report message39

  • Message 40

    , in reply to message 38.

    Posted by Wyldeboar (U11225571) on Wednesday, 19th January 2011


    he would have rather died than cut that hair.  

    Kept it like that while he was in The Army did he??? smiley - whistle

    Report message40

  • Message 41

    , in reply to message 40.

    Posted by Jak (U1158529) on Wednesday, 19th January 2011

    smiley - laugh smiley - laugh smiley - laugh

    Report message41

  • Message 42

    , in reply to message 40.

    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Wednesday, 19th January 2011

    Yes, the army barber was the only one man whom Elvis allowed to cut his hair off. Presley served in the Third Armored Division -General Patton's old outfit. Private Presley was assigned to the Scouts in the division. For those who had speculated that he might have gone into Special Services, they were surprised to hear of his posting, which even in peacetime Germany was the least cushy place in the army.

    Report message42

  • Message 43

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by Wyldeboar (U11225571) on Wednesday, 19th January 2011

    the least cushy place in the army.  

    He must have been SOOO envious of those lucky guys monitoring The Wall and camping out on the ranges at Paaderborn etc.Lucky he was able to go round Priscillas every night to unwind .............smiley - whistle

    Report message43

  • Message 44

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by Jak (U1158529) on Wednesday, 19th January 2011


    the only one man whom Elvis allowed to cut his hair off.  

    Private Presley "allowed" the camp barber to cut his hair. Yikes!

    "That man there! Haircut!" "Actually I'd rather not, corporal, but if you really think I should, well maybe I'll allow the barber to give it, say, just a little trim."

    My time in Germany was pretty cushy too, but not quite as cushy as that.

    Report message44

  • Message 45

    , in reply to message 37.

    Posted by lolbeeble (U1662865) on Wednesday, 19th January 2011

    Cass, it would appear just as improbable as the evolution of Mods from the modern jazz loving pseuds of the early sixties to the Italian cut sharp suited R&B and soul inspired advocates of mass consumerism of the mid decade. However many mods could never afford or get credit to pay their tailor for the peacock suits and A line dresses as well as the constant alterations needed to remain among the faces. As such the more functional attire that became the skinhead uniform was just the less well to do Mod style of narrow sta-prest trousers and button down shirts.

    The dedicated followers of fashion gravitated towards the hippy movement and their trouser hems got wider, their dresses more flowing and hair got correspondingly longer. The clues to the link are there in the shared musical and fashion stylings of late mods and early skinheads. Note the appreciation of ska and rocksteady as well as the hairstyles favoured by female skinheads that were directly linked to the short cuts worn by many mod girls. As Wyldeboar points out, there was considerable cross over between mods and skinheads in the late sixties and again during the revivalist movements took off in the late seventies and eighties.

    The evolution from a largely apolitical sub culture to the popular perception of right wing bovver boys was an early to mid seventies phenomena. As such the less fashion conscious mods and early skinheads were never averse to a bit of aggravation, with skinheads and West Indian rude boys often hanging around together and targeting the most recent immigrants of South East Asian origin. This echoed the Teddy boy attacks on West Indian immigrants in the fifties and probably was why the National Front considered the movement to be a fertile recruiting ground. By no means all skinheads were right wing sympathisers as they ran the gamut of views from the extreme left to the extreme right with perhaps the majority remaining distinctly apolitical. That said, tales of youthful misdemeanors have always sold papers and so it was easy to categorise a particularly visible youth movement as violently right wing. In doing so the papers got the chance to titillate their readers with the vicarious thrill of violence while cloaking it with a veneer of condemnation.

    Report message45

  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 43.

    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Wednesday, 19th January 2011

    1

    It had been agreed that Elvis could live off base, which was no special privilege, really . + It wasn't against the U.S. army rules ....if you could afford it smiley - winkeye, and naturally Elvis could ! But many men couldn't. So what ?

    2.
    As for the Wall...There were times on maneuvers up close to the border when the G.I.s really had to be on their toes, and they wouldn't sleep sometimes for a long time. There Elvis picked up his bad bad habit..Well, the Sergeant wanted his men to be sharp, and he didn't want thenm falling asleep at their posts. So from time to time he would give out these D. pills to keep his men awake. But Elvis had never had anything to do with pills or booze up until that time.

    Report message46

  • Message 47

    , in reply to message 46.

    Posted by Wyldeboar (U11225571) on Wednesday, 19th January 2011


    So what ?  

    So it kinda puts the kyebosh on your 'least cushy place in the army' assertation a couple of posts ago...................



    up close to the border when the G.I.s really had to be on their toes,  

    I think The Wall loosely qualifies as a 'border' and those guys were there all of the time, not just popping up for a photo opportunity..........



    There Elvis picked up his bad bad habit.  

    What was that? His 'acting' ??? smiley - whistle

    Sorry. I just couldn't resist, but I'll stop now..............



    Report message47

  • Message 48

    , in reply to message 47.

    Posted by OUNUPA (U2078829) on Wednesday, 19th January 2011

    'So it kinda puts the kyebosh on your 'least cushy place in the army' assertion a couple of posts ago...................'- the border ( a cushy place ) had nothing to do with the Bad Nauheim which 'E' could afford himself.
    Now I have read stories saying that this hotel was a luxury hotel.But it was a sort of outpatients'' hotel' foe heart-attack victims. There wasn't anyone there under sixty and evr]ery one of 'em looked like they had one foot in the grave and the other one on a roller skate. Private Presley rose at about 5: A.M. every morning and headed to the base. And it was , naturally, an ordered life, but occasionally something would go wrong or else a superior officer would hassle him. I suspect that was when Elvis got in a bad mood and he would say, 'Man, what the hell am I doing here ? That old s.o.a.b. the Colonel, he could have got me out of this. He could have fixed it. ' But most of the time he fitted in well.

    Report message48

  • Message 49

    , in reply to message 45.

    Posted by CASSEROLEON (U11049737) on Wednesday, 19th January 2011

    lolbeeble

    I am not sure that the evolution was actually that which was inherent within "Mod Culture" -- or whether, as history moved on, the people moved with it and created new "cloaks" and fashions ...re-inventing themselves.

    Ray Davies was recently interviewed on TV and very much portrayed himself as the pensive chronicler observing continity and change. There no doubt were some people who were "dedicated followers of fashion": and other's like Bob Dylan who were just following their muse where it led them, and where they could find the audience reaction that gave "Satisfaction".

    "Hey Mr Tambourine Man play a song for me.. Take me on a trip upon your magic wurling ship".. A trip that had "Blood on the tracks" and "No direction home".

    And round here skinhead was shaven head, often braces, short-legged blue jeans, and Doc Martin boots- which were not cheap.. but may have been economic. With the steel toe-cap they were made for industrial work, but were pretty handy for giving someone a good kicking.

    And during the age of the Mods who needed tailors when there were Mums getting bored back home because the Welfare State had created the idea that full employment for men, and State social security and free education, meant that working men could achieve the same status as their Victorian superiors- i.e. have wives who would just stay home and be homemakers. Moreover, those who had not known how to Make do and Mend with a needle had been forced by circumstance to pick up those skills during the war.

    Cass

    Cass

    Report message49

  • Message 50

    , in reply to message 49.

    Posted by Jak (U1158529) on Thursday, 20th January 2011

    Hey Mr Tambourine Man play a song for me.. Take me on a trip upon your magic wurling ship.. 

    Does this really mean anything? Might it continue:
    "They sailed away for a year and a day
    To the land where the Bong-Tree grows..." ?

    Or is it just pretentious flatulence?

    Report message50

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