I first knew I wanted to be a Mod at the end of 1963 early 64 at the age of 17. I was working in the centre of
I found I had a lot in common in their taste of music, fashion and the way they looked at life. Later, when I went to work at Cadburys I met 3 lads who were also Mods and got to go about with them and that is where I met my girlfriend who eventually became my wife in 1969.
I have always thought Mod and never wavered from it, it has always been with me, once a Mod always a Mod that is my belief. I am 61 now and still think the same as I did when I was 18, much more mature now but still with my beliefs. I know people that are still into the Rock & Roll scene, who are older than me and still ride motorbikes.
I still dress fashionably with suits and smart casual wear, Smedley tops, Levi 501’s, tailored shirts and trousers and listen to the music I listened to in the 60’s, and still go to Mod rallies. I don’t think there are many who think Mod as I do at my age.
The music I listened to back in the sixties was Soul, Rhythm and Blues and British Beat. My favourite soul was STAX and Tamla Motown. Artists like Ottis Redding, Sam & Dave, Booker T and the MG’s, Eddie Floyd, The Four Tops and The Temptations etc. Also British Soul: Geno Washington, Jimmy James and the Vagabonds. Also British bands: Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, The Small Faces, The Who and The Yardbirds. My Favourite band from
The clubs I used to go to were mainly in the centre of
I saw John Lee Hooker and my favourite band Spencer Davis at a club called the Whisky a Go-Go. We used to meet every Thursday evening at our works (Cadburys) club, where DJ’s and our own local R&B band called The Cock- a- Hoops, who had an Hammond organ which I love the sound of, played.
We never got to any of the clubs in London as it was too expensive to travel, but a lot of the London Mods used to come up to the clubs in Birmingham.
I also saw The Small Faces at our local theatre called the Odeon.
Mods came to this venue from all over the country, at the same theatre I saw a STAX show featuring Booker T, Sam and Dave, Jimmy Ruffin, Arthur Conley, Wilson Pickett and The Bar-Kay’s.
I also saw at the Rainbow Suite, a band called “Listen” whose lead singer was Robert Plant who was a Mod at the time and later fronted Led Zeppelin.
I used to and still do wear Smart Mohair Italian Style suits, three covered buttons,
Later around 1965 I wore hipsters, my favourite pair of hipsters were a Rupert Bear check in a camel colour that I wore with a polo neck or turtle neck sweater and desert boots. Also had a grey short Military coat, grey with a mandarin collar, centre vent and patch pockets. I wore this with a black polo neck sweater. Shoes I wore were mainly loafers, desert boots and bowling shoes. In the early sixties we used to wear striped or plain shirts with detachable collars which were fastened with a stud, it was very tricky as you had to fasten one at the front of the collar and one at the back, wore with slim knitted ties.
The Sixties Mod scene was brilliant we all liked the same sort of things, Fashion, Music, Scooters whether it be a Lambretta or Vespa, my preference was a Lambretta as they looked more streamlined. Mods also went Ten Pin Bowling, we had a local bowling alley where we used to go once a week, hence the bowling shoes being fashionable.
There was always something to talk about, always something new happening which is what the Mod scene was all about, and always somewhere to go whether it was clubs or a weekend trip to the seaside, which was a Mod thing to do. Also riding your scooter through the streets dressed really smart gave you a buzz!! Sometimes we had encounters with Rockers but it never ever come to much. The clubs were superb we all loved dancing with always a new dance to learn virtually every week. It was a really cool scene.
Drugs raised their ugly heads sometimes - they weren’t hard drugs though. Uppers and Downers were taken by some to get through all-nighters, and also Bluey’s which were a bit stronger. Not all Mods took drugs and neither myself nor my girlfriend now wife ever touched them.
This is how the scene was every one had there own taste and individuality and it changed all the time. All the Mods I knew were dedicated to the scene and what it meant.
Thanks to Sid for the article and photos ... also thanks to Claudio.