The Society of Cool!
David B. has kindly added the very entertaining and colourful story of his journey from South London to land of the maple leaf and moose...(you'll find his story HERE).
I'm sure he would be interested to receive feedback on his experiences and maybe somebody out there can locate his old scooter.
"I was born in Paddington but we moved south of London when I was still a small lad. I was involved in the Mod scene around Guildford starting in the summer of 1964. Since I lived alongside the A3 (the main road south out of London) that's where I first saw what subsequently became known as Mods in 1962 and 63. They were on very smart scooters - not the "mum and dad" type with a windshield, but very smart; with accessories but not overdone. The riders wore parkas and trilby hats. I was gob-smacked and knew that was what I wanted to look like - problem was I was fourteen and making ten bob a week on a paper route..."
Thanks Chris. I may just start looking for my old scooter-this site has inspired me to try to find my old mate Alan Taylor. We were inseparable during this period. I used Google to track down one of his old neighbours on the weekend. When I told her I was calling from Canada she said "Oh, you must know my brother in Toronto!".
The search continues...
I was one of the Guildford Mods and remember you and Alan well. Sad to say that I heard that Alan committed suicide back in the late 70s/early 80s. His little brother Ray worked in Record Corner (Godalming) around that time and told me. Alan's other brother 'Tiddly' is still around.
I'm planning to write my own version of those days on this site soon, so watch out for it although my memories may differ from yours ! (The Ricky Tick Club 'Mickey Mouse' ? not as far as I'm concerned!). BTW, the boutique was called 'Bold'.
I've also seen a couple of replies that mention a Northern night at the Wooden Bridge (late 70s) and a Mod night at the same place (early 80s) - I was the DJ at both !
Will write more soon
Dave,did you start off in a Pub,in Goldalming,Djing 60s Soul-then transfer to the Bridge???
Hi Dave E, I want to say it is good to hear from you but I never expected to hear this news...
Alan Taylor was a great guy-he had charisma and women flocked to him-I was the one who was more f****d up then. I will try to contact his brother Robert "Tiddly". Very saddened by this news.
I was waiting for someone to challenge me on my "mickey mouse" comment about the Ricky Tick. It was great when it started and I suppose I should remember that-its just that it got so bad at the end that there would be six of us in the audience for John Mayall with Eric Clapton! The Harvest Moon Club dealt the death blow.
The Wooden Bridge was a great place!
I think it's quite correct that the original mod movement was 'of it's time' as much as the mod revival of the late 70’s/early 80's was of it's time - in fact it was first labelled a 'mod revival' by the media (unfortunately the label stuck) but the people involved never felt they were reviving something - to us it was something new - a reaction to the dreadful styles of the 70’s and (although it was partially born out of punk) the lack of direction offered by punk.
We wanted to look smart, not like punks or hippies but, like Pez says, none of us had much money and most of our shopping was done in jumble sales/markets where luckily you could find items from the 60's and, in 2nd hand records shops, where we found the fantastic sounds that appealed to the original mods and were timeless.
I'll just add that the attitude stuck, for me as well as a lot of other now middle-aged blokes. If I buy jeans, they still have to be Levis and I won't wear a shirt that doesn't have a button-down collar. Speaking of jumble sales and junk shops, regardless of how skint I was I wouldn't have been seen dead in an oxfam at that time, I took care of what I had and despite being unemployed, very few people round here were ever out of work! There was almost always a day's work, cash in hand, on a building site out in the sticks or something.
The black economy in the Thatcher years got one hell of a boost. But just a few weeks ago I happened to see a rack of shirts in a Heart Foundation shop, went in to take a look, and found a beautiful blue check Ben Sherman, my size, apparently unworn. 3 quid. How could I walk away from that?
All I can say is good luck to you mate, you must have stayed in another part of the country that Thatcher favoured more than up here. No matter how hard I searched for a job there was nothing going between the time I left school to around the mid 80s, well unless you knew someone who would give you the nod I suppose. Aside from that a lot of us had to go on these government schemes such as YOPs which paid more than the dole, but not an awful lot more.
Most people up here preferred to mix their gear, between buying brand new and made to measure, to buying original and authentic second hand stuff in the markets. You could still uncover some crackin stuff in the early 80s if you were prepared to put in the effort, and it was stuff you were never going to find on the high street.