The Online Mod/ern/ist Archive

archive of original modernist recollections and information .
we are glad to hear from anyone with memories of the time, but we do not rewrite history .

2 Sep 2007

Mod and Rocker (Mike Snow)

I was both a Rocker and a Mod, and was down Brighton during the running battles along the front and on the beaches.

I was 15 in 1965 so I was in that generation that was neither full-on Rocker nor fashionable Mod, the rivalry between the two on the streets late at night or at the weekends was constant.

Rockers loved their motorbikes, leather clad girls, rock 'n' roll music, and, despite their caveman antics, were traditionalists. I was a rocker for two years, hanging out with the local gang, couldn't afford the leather jacket so I wore a blazer, jeans, T-shirt, and desert boots to the clubhouse.

In spite of their image, Rockers were normally quiet, always on the lookout for cheap bike parts, and then used to mount up and go on a "burn up". Many were killed on "burn ups" or horribly injured in all the hell-bent need for speed and adrenaline. But that was their way.

I think there was a motorcycle show down in Brighton either 1965 or '66 when a friend and myself were jumped by a gang of Mods who chased us further along the front to Hove. They lost interest. We waited a couple of hours before going back for our motorbike and the trip home

click here to watch footage

A month or two later I dropped out of the Rockers as the Mods had the better looking girls. I brought my Ben Sherman shirt, Farrah hipsters, a pair of shoes, and smothered myself in Brut Perfume For MEN! Having had the hairdresser re-shape and degrease my hair, I was ready.

Yessir! Saturday night was dancing night!

Those were the great days of Tamla Motown, ska, and dances like the locomotion, funky chicken, and the wa-tu-say. What was .. Steady Go!" that week was in a 1000 suburban disco's and club's the following night.

Like many others I spend some of the weekend wasted on amphetamines and booze.

By 17 I had left the scene behind for good as I was becoming more politically active and socially aware; I moved on to other things

source : BBC and Screen archive South East

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