Sunday, February 8, 2009

The 1960s and the End of the Mod Movement

Small Faces album coverImage via Wikipedia

The End of the Mod Movement by Russell Shortt

When the Mods and Rockers clashed, the antagonism reached its peak in the summer of 1964, when hundreds of youths fought running battles with themselves and the police in the seaside resorts of Clacton, Margate, Bournemouth and Brighton in the UK. However, the media reports of the time greatly over-exaggerated the severity of these incidents causing some moral panic and vindication by the older generations that these youth movements were decadent rabble.

As psychedelic rock music and the hippie subculture began to become popular in the UK, the Mod lifestyle began to peter out. Some of the great Mod bands such as The Who and The Small Faces had changes their styles and really no longer considered themselves as Mods. The "peacock" or "fashion" wing of mod culture evolved into the Bohemian style of London hippie culture, which favoured the gentle, marijuana-infused contemplation of esoteric ideas and aesthetics, which contrasted sharply with the frenetic energy of the mod ethos.

However, there was a small core that did not relate to the middle-class hippie movement's drug-oriented and intellectual music. They began listening to Jamaican Ska and attending underground house parties and clubs and adopting the Rude Boy look of pork-pie hats and too-short Levi jeans. These 'Hard Mods' soon evolved into the first skinheads, a non-political group who hung with black Rude Boys in West Indian clubs. These early skinheads retained some of the basic elements of Mod clothing such as Fred Perry and Ben Sherman shirts, Sta-Prest trousers and Levi's jeans but they mixed them with working-class oriented accessories such as braces and Dr. Marten work boots.

Russell Shortt is a travel consultant with Exploring Ireland, the leading specialists in customised, private escorted tours, escorted coach tours and independent self drive tours of Ireland. Article source Russell Shortt

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