Mod and Rockers


Mod teenagers in 1965

Mod is a subculture that began in London and spread throughout Great Britain and elsewhere, eventually influencing fashions and trends in other countries, and continues today on a smaller scale. Focused on music and fashion, the subculture has its roots in a small group of stylish London-based young men in the late 1950s who were termed modernists because they listened to modern jazz. Elements of the mod subculture include fashion (often tailor-made suits); music (including soul, rhythm and blues, ska, jazz, and later splintering off into freakbeat after the peak Mod era); and motor scooters (usually Lambretta or Vespa). The original mod scene was associated with amphetamine-fuelled all-night dancing at clubs. During the early to mid 1960s, as mod grew and spread throughout the UK, certain elements of the mod scene became engaged in well-publicised clashes with members of rival subculture, rockers. The mods and rockers conflict led sociologist Stanley Cohen to use the term ‘moral panic‘ in his study about the two youth subcultures, which examined media coverage of the mod and rocker riots in the 1960s. By 1965, conflicts between mods and rockers began to subside and mods increasingly gravitated towards pop art and psychedelia. London became synonymous with fashion, music, and pop culture in these years, a period often referred to as ‘Swinging London.’ During this time, mod fashions spread to other countries and became popular in the United States and elsewhere—with mod now viewed less as an isolated subculture, but emblematic of the larger youth culture of the era. … Coffee bars were attractive to British youth because, in contrast to typical pubs, which closed at about 11pm, they were open until the early hours of the morning. Coffee bars had jukeboxes, which in some cases reserved space in the machines for the customers’ own records. In the late 1950s, coffee bars were associated with jazz and blues, but in the early 1960s, they began playing more R&B music. Frith noted that although coffee bars were originally aimed at middle-class art school students, they began to facilitate an intermixing of youth from different backgrounds and classes. …”
Wikipedia, W – Mods and rockers
FT: Britain owes a debt to ‘mod’ culture
Mods And Rockers Fighting For Fashion And Fun In 1960s England
YouTube: THE ROLLING STONES Around & Around, The Kinks – all day and all of the night, The Yardbirds – “Heart Full Of Soul”, The Who – I Can See For Miles, The Who – The High Numbers at the Railway Hotel, 1964, Small Faces – Talk To You Promo, Miles Davis Quintet feat. Wayne Shorter solo live ’64, Bo Diddly on Hollywood a Go Go


Interested onlookers watch from the promenade railings as police shepherd a large crowd of youths from the beach at Brighton on Bank Holiday Monday. Mass fights between Mods, Rockers and police erupted in seaside resorts throughout the summer of 1964, as intense rivalry between the motorcycle-based Rockers and the moped-riding Mods led to violence.

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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