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 .

10 Dec 2009

Mods, Beatles & Rockers

from the french television archives
coiffure, parfum fran├žais, scooters et chaussures italiennes .

click here to watch

16 Jun 2009

The Flamingo Club in Wardour Street and the fight between Johnny Edgecombe and ‘Lucky’ Gordon

It’s not widely known but Georgie Fame was slightly connected to the Profumo affair, the political scandal that led to the resignation of John Profumo the Secretary of State for War in October 1963, and ultimately the Conservative government a year later in 1964.
read full article here :  Another Nickle In the Machine

5 Jun 2009

Nottingham and Midlands part 2

Dave Hill, Alan Fletcher - Stodman St Newark 65

Dave Kimberley, Alan Tinsley Mac scooter

Newark Mods Cross Keys -no waiting

Newark and Grantham Mods inside Jolly Fisherman

Henry Anderson and crowd skeg scooters

source : Alan Fletcher , writer of the "Quadrophenia" and "mod crop" trilogy novels . - BBC Nottingham

also check out Nottingham and Midlands part 1


Turning mod into money

The board of directors meet in John Stephen’s flat. Left to right : Dean Rogers, Myles Anthony, Angelo Uragallo, Ivy Dean, Frank Merkell, Keith Dodge, Bill Franks (managing director) and John Stephen. Except for Uragallo, everyone in under 30.

He’s the Mod King of Carnaby Street.
Ask if he’s a millionaire and he says : “I don’t think I’ve got that much in ready cash – but I must be just about there in assets.”
Ask about the diamond rings on each hand and he grins and says: “I think I paid about £300 for that one … and this one, not more than £200. If I remember. I love diamonds.
Ask if he’s happy and he replies in his Glaswegian accent: “Oh, aye well enough – but I’d like to be REALLY satisfied with something I do.”

His name is John Stephen and he’s only 29. He’s the working class boy who made a fast fortune – not out of the SOUND of the Beat groups but out of the LOOK of them.


In Carnaby street on the fringe of Soho London. John Stephen has seven shops all in a row, all selling the same thing – Mod clothes. Beat music pours out of each shop on to the pavement.
In Carnaby Street the Beatles first bought the collarless jackets that became known as Beatle jackets.
The Rolling Stones shop there. So do The Mojos, the Dave Clark Five and the boys of the Manfred Mann group.
Not to mention such switched on leisure wear connoisseurs as Peter Sellers and the Duke of Bedford.

Away from Carnaby Street John Stephen has fifteen more Mod shops around London – boutiques for boys called His Clothes.
He also owns two clothing factories, an estate agency, a driving school and a vegetarian restaurant.
And this week he’s negotiating to take over a hire-car firm with a fleet of Jaguars.
“Oh aye, I’ve come a long way since Glasgow.” Says John Stephen “My father’s mind boggles when he hears I’m giving the mills orders for things like £60.000 worth of trouser material …”
His father has a corner grocery shop in Glasgow. John who was expected to take over the shop one day left home ten years ago to see what London had to offer. He got a job selling uniforms in a big store.

A YEAR LATER he opened a boutique for a friend who put up the money – and turned a revolutionary line of striped denim trousers into a best-seller.

A YEAR LATER with his savings and the extra money he had made working nights in a coffee bar – he opened his own boutique.
“And with a lot of flair and a lot of hard work” said one of the young directors who now help to run The John Stephen Organisation “ he has got where he is today.
The flair was in gambling on such things as men’s fleecy mohair sweaters eighteen months ahead of anyone else – and in getting singer Cliff Richard to buy one.
The hard work was putting in twelve hours a day, six days a week. And he’s still doing that.”

The Beat Look worn by folk singer Peter Martin: Candy-stripe denim suit, £ 9 10s.; white shirt with collar and cuffs, £2 9s. 6d.; black knitted tie, 12s. 6d.; blue belt, 24s. 6d.; shoes, 55 s. All by John Stephen.

The board of directors of The John Stephen Organisation were holding a meeting in his smart Chelsea flat when I called there at 8.30 at night.
Only one of them was over thirty – and they discussed with enthusiasm the “ new English double-breasted, slightly waisted suit with slant pockets.”
John Stephen told me: “One big secret of success is getting the right people around you.
Each one here can do something better than I can do it myself.


He got up and suggested supper at a club.
”I get so restless” he said “Often I can’t sleep at night – and I relax by getting up and wandering around the streets studying the windows of my rivals…”
At weekends he drives down in Brighton in his Rolls Royce with his white Alsatian, Prince to gee up the decorators in his luxurious new house on the sea front.
He thinks he owns dozens of suits, knows he only drinks Scotch and smokes 8s 6d apiece cigars, but feels he is basically still an ordinary Glaswegian.


“A year ago.” He said “I thought it might be better for my image if I tried to change my accent.”
But I decided it was better to sound like a working class man who knew what he was talking about – d’you follow? “
When I left John Stephen he was discussing a new girls wear department, the wholesale supplies for stores throughout Britain – and world export markets.
I had the distinct impression he knew what he was talking about.

Dixon Scott – Daily Mirror – March 1965

25 Mar 2009

The Whiskey a Go-Go, Birmingham .

The 60's in Brum were the best for live bands, specially at The Whiskey a Go Go above Chetwyns on the corner of John Bright Street and Hill Street. The whiskey was unique in the fact that not only did the local bands King Bees, Modernaires, Jugs O'Henry, Moody Blues, Denny Laine, Spencer Davis play there, but also people from the states. "Motown" & "R&B" greats like Sonny Boy Williamson sang there, and all night on Fridays till 8am Saturday mornings and again on Saturday nights till Sunday morning. The owners Chris & Steve Healey were two great guys who were there to welcome us all every night the Whiskey was open. They both wore lowed striped jackets as I remember.

I have been told that Steve still has a book that records all the bands and singers of that time that they booked up, such as The Faces, Long John Baldry, and Gary Farr and The Knockouts. I remember Georgie Fame playing virtually all night. They couldn't get him off the small stage until he collapsed with exhaustion, or lack of stimulation's. Great Brummie characters also frequented The Whiskey; Sean MaHoney, Billy Sutton, Billy & Dodger Thompson, Colin Mythan, Noel Barnes, Chris and Gary Burgess, Jock Ellis, Duffy, Bugsy, Chris Wolsey, Kenny Frazer, Rob Marsh, Popeye, Dicky Martin, Bobby Summers, Henry O'Neil, Eddy The Jew, Jonnie Hutton, Dorian Walford, Black H and Spencer, who were both Brummie DJ's with Caribbean and soul backgrounds.

The place buzzed for three years until it changed hands and became the Marquee in 1967. And the chicks that went there were out of this world. One group were called "The Magnificent Seven". Other male groups of people were nick named "The Martini Set", "The T-set" and the "Coca Cola Boy's". It was cult and leading edge for urban 60's live band music, dance styles and fashions. They used to pack in nearly 250 townies and mods onto both floors, live bands on the 1st floor and DJ's on the top floor. Many dudes where "knocked back" at the door if you weren't part of the crowd, as they could not get everybody in the gaff.

After we crashed out in the mornings at the KD (Kardoma) coffee bar in New Street, we went on to the West End Saturday afternoon dance. We then had the energy to go to the "All Nighters" at the Town Hall. Spencer Davis with Steve Winwood were classic, along with the other Brumbeat bands. The Whiskey attracted people from all over the midlands, including Coventry and London scene, to dance and hear live music of the era that was very ahead of pop culture in England at that time! If the Town Hall gigs weren't on we used to go to "The Twisted Wheel" in Manchester that also played Motown & Blues".

Other live band venues we frequented where the "Lafayette" and "The Connaught Suite" in Wolverhampton.

Bobby Summers

source : internet