Picked up a copy of this yesterday… looks an interesting read – a full review will follow. It’s available on Amazon here.
Check out my Reading list.
Filmed over the August Bank Holiday in Brighton, England. Scooters decend on the iconic seafront, to pose, meet and reconnect. They dress sharp, ride some of the world’s best scooters and are committed to the scene. Two-stroke films were there, this is what they saw… Because they filmed it – rather well – you can see it too.
My Minds Eye will be familiar to many of my readers from various scooter magazines and taken the top honours at custom shows throughout the UK and Europe. Commissioned and designed by Nick ‘Tolley’ Tollazzi, who personally sourced all the accessories, only selecting the rarest and the best. The accessories alone (listed below) are valued at £14,000 and are all original and genuine;
The TV200 – known in the UK only as the GT – a rare and desirable model to start with – was personally built by Dean Orton of the renowned Rimini Lambretta Centre, arguably the best restorers of Lambrettas in the world. You can read about the work RLC put in here… to quote Dean “Anybody who thinks it’s the easy option ‘simply bolting accessories’ to a scooter really is talking shite. EVERY single accessory can be a major ‘mare and getting the layout right can take forever. No point slinging it all on and hoping it’ll look good because you’ll end up in tears. Nick’s front rack took the best part of three days work to layout, then strip, polish up, re-mount, wire up and connect. As Mr. T. himself says, “you can’t buy style – either you’ve got it or you haven’t.”
The whole package, the model, the restoration, the accessories, the provenance, go together to make this GT maybe the ultimate mod scooter. And she’s up for sale…
If you’re interested, and you can stump up the not inconsiderable £20,000 asking price, you can ring the owner on 07967363091 with questions or to see more photos. Find out more on eBay, here.
I’ve often featured the work of talented photographers on the blog, and Dammo is the latest of the bunch. Dammo specialises in capturing British subcultures with their inherent diversity, quirkiness and definitive style. The majority of his work reflects his own personal interests in music and cultural movements: be it Northern Soul, Mod, Rockabilly, 50s R&B or the Scooter Scene. However, individual commissions will be considered.
Dammo’s photography is stylish, crisp and detailed, in terms of tone and colour, offering a document of time and place. There is a vintage flavour to his work, but with a fresh modern perspective, demonstrating a graphic designers eye, combined with a photographers passion for the subject and the art of making the observer feel present in the event. He offers bespoke quality pictures depicting events and people in a way that illustrates the emotion and intrinsic timeless nature of British sub cultural movements, whether it be for editorial purposes, display or web.
All images featured in this post are used with permission and are copyright ©Dammo Photography 2014. All rights reserved.
If you’re into the whole ‘mod’ thing, this iconic item of clothing is a must have, especially if you ride a scoot. After posting about the “Being” movie, I received a few queries asking ‘where can I get those coats?” Well as many of you know (just skip this post if you do!), it was the coat of choice for the original scooter-riding mods, mainly worn as a functional garment to keep their smart clothes clean. It’s been years since I’ve worn one myself, but they were a pretty decent overgarment, tough, reasonably waterproof while you were wearing them, your body heat somehow keeping you fairly dry in all but torrential downpours. Once you took it off though, it the whole coat became sodden!
If you’re going to wear a parka, how you ‘dress’ it is up to you, but IMHO, less is more. Just because you can get a bunch of target and union jacks patches on t’interet, doesn’t mean you should. Beware the whole ‘comedy mod’ tag! This, by the way, isn’t a modern phenomenon. We took a very high handed attitude to kids (the same age as us) in the early eighties wearing patches that said “Remember ’64” (you don’t!) and “We’ll fight them on the beaches” (you won’t!).
The one pictured above, US hooded shell M51, is available on Amazon here
I’m a bit behind the curve on this one (it’s been a busy week!), and as it’s tomorrow night, you’ll have to get your skates on if you’re interested. There appears to be a few tickets left (surprisingly) and it’s always worth checking at the box office for returns.
There seems to be a real buzz around Quadrophenia again, which can’t be a bad thing. What with a short film about a boy obsessed with it (see my post here) in the offing, and this fully immersive Cinematic Experience tomorrow night (February 11th) the focus is back on this classic film that influenced so many of our young lives. Changed them even!
The copy below is from the Hammersmith Appollo (as it will always be for me) website. British movie classic Quadrophenia is to become a fully immersive cinematic and theatrical experience, plunging fans into the sights and sounds of 1964 and capturing the spirit of the era.
British movie classic Quadrophenia is to become a fully immersive cinematic and theatrical experience, plunging fans into the sights and sounds of 1964 and capturing the spirit of the era.
Many of the film’s key stars will be taking part in the event, to be staged at London’s Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith on 11 February 2016, including Phil Daniels who took the central role as disaffected Mod teenager Jimmy Cooper. Joining Daniels will be other major names from the cast including Phil Davis, Mark Wingett, John Altman, Toyah Wilcox, Trevor Laird, Garry Cooper and Daniel Peacock, plus director Franc Roddam, who together will share their memories in a Q&A to add an extra dimension.
In addition to a screening of the 1979 film, based on The Who’s double-album rock-opera released six years earlier, and the Q&A session, there will be staged re-enactments throughout the night of scenes from the film to conjure up the feel of the mid-60s era in which it is set. The all-important sounds of the day will be performed live by leading Who tribute act Who’s Who, and there will be an exclusive VIP after party with appearances from all the Q&A special guests, plus memorabilia including original Vespas and their real life Mod owners. As any self-respecting Mod knows, it is important to look your best at all times and there will be awards with great prizes for the guests in the “best threads”.
Director Franc Roddam’s film is seen as a classic tale of alienation, disillusionment and escapism, as well as an important document capturing an important part of British youth history and rebellion. Watching the movie has been a rite of passage for millions since its release and the Mod era has been a source of fascination for generations – its fashions and music continuing to resonate.
In the film Daniels stars as bored teenager Jimmy who finds excitement and escape from his undemanding job by seeking thrills with his Mod pals, popping drugs, chasing girls, riding his Lambretta and fighting. After the thrill of a weekend in Brighton, which ends in a riot and a court appearance, he decides to leave his old life behind and head to the coast but finds the reality a harsh let down.
Quadrophenia reflected the real-life situation of the day as partisan teenagers in fish-tails and leathers sought excitement through large scale scuffles when Mods and Rockers clashed at seaside resorts. Lines from the film’s famous courtroom scene were even lifted wholesale from genuine hearings.
Also featuring Sting as Jimmy’s idol Ace Face (who turns out to be considerably less cool than he has made out), Leslie Ash, Ray Winstone and Phil Davis, the two-hour film ranked in the top ten rock and roll movies of all time chosen by discerning readers of Rolling Stone magazine. The soundtrack featured many of The Who’s songs from the original album, including tracks such as ‘5.15’.
Immersive performances have become a hugely successful and popular way to enjoy much-loved films, adding an extra thrill and an unforgettable live experience.
Significantly for this event, the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith actually featured in the original artwork for the 1973 Quadrophenia album release, with a photograph of The Who standing in front of the building, then known as the Hammersmith Odeon. It is also mentioned in the sleeve notes, in which Jimmy recalls seeing Who posters being pasted outside the building after he sleeps rough in Hammersmith.
If you go, and take some pictures, get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be glad to post them on the blog.
Farewell David Bowie, the greatest stylist of them all.
Firstly, this is not a scooter book. I think there is one mention of a Lambretta in it, so don’t buy it expecting a insight into scooter riding in the sixties. But, if you’re into the sixties, and the whole mod scene, this book is a must read. It’s the story… or several interlinked stories really… of some ordinary, working class girls growing up in Chelmsford, Essex, and how they make sense of the world.
The whole “mod thing” is not laboured… but is there as a constant backdrop, and it’s clearly how these girls define themselves. Being a mod is the most natural thing in the world. And it’s something that ‘society’ just doesn’t get. At one point, one of the key characters, Linda explains what it means to a confused German… “We’re working class. So people don’t think much about it, I mean except to say “They’re fighting again”. But the clothes are good.” The girls, for once, are the lead characters in these stories, and the male characters very much fall into supporting roles. A Sense of Occasion is a slim volume, but one I thoroughly enjoyed, because it’s beautifully written and because of it’s authenticity. The dialogue is believable and ‘real’, and really gets you into the head of the girls… and you really start to empathise with their lives. If you have an interest in the sixties and the mod scene, read it. You can grab it on Amazon, here.
Follow author Elizabeth Woodcraft (that’s her on the cover at a school fashion show in 1964) on Twitter here… and her blog is also a great read. A follow up collection of Chelmsford stories “Beyond the Beehive” is coming shortly.
Anybody who attended a scooter rally in the 80’s or 90’s will know the name Tony Class. A larger than life character who loved the scene, the music and the scooters, Tony was one of the few who kept the scene going through difficult times. He sadly lost his battle with illness last month. Scootering magazine has written a piece here.
My condolences to his family and many friends.
These videos are worth a watch too.
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