Came across this tidy Scomadi in Staines, sorry Staines-upon-Thames, the other day.
It’s been tastefully modded to lower the back end, which gives it a much more traditional look, along with a number of performance upgrades. I had a brief chat with the owner, Mark, and it’s up for sale… he wants £2k for it (he’s spent over £3k on it). If you’re interested, drop him an email.
This is a Lambretta blog, not a music one. But I’m going to take a moment to acknowledge the sad passing of musical legend Prince Buster.
37 years ago (!), almost to the day, my life changed. That’s the day Madness performed their first single “The Prince” on Top of The Pops. The song (as was the band’s name) was tribute to someone I’d never heard of… Prince Buster. I knew that this was the group I’s been waiting for. Only a couple of years older than me, but with such a cool, fun, nutty vibe about them… the clothes! The music! Down to Woolies the next day, clutching my 75p, The Prince became my fourth record in my collection. (The others were The Sex Pistols “Silly Thing”, Allies Tartan Army by Andy Cameron, and The Birdy Song – a gift form my Granny – honestly). The B Side of The Prince was just as good – if not better – a song called Madness – a Prince Buster cover. With The Specials in the charts with a cover of Al Capone, (retitled Gangsters of course) and Madness to soon release One Step Beyond, the influence ‘The Prince’ is undeniable. I was lucky enough to see Prince Buster live on several occasions… including with Madness at Finsbury Park.
I, like a lot of my generation, began to seek out the originals. Prince Buster was a revelation. Songs like One Step Beyond, Al Capone, Rough Rider, Wreck a Pum Pum and Big 5 are classics. The whole ska / mod / skinhead scene was inexorably linked to the world of scooters… so maybe, without Prince Buster – no Madness – no love of scooters – no Lambrettista Blog…
RIP ‘The Prince’ A true innovator, original rude boy and musical legend.
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.
Photography with Soul.
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.
Book him, Dammo.
For photographic enquiries you can call Dammo on: 0777 219 7276 or email him here. Alteratively, follow him on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with his latest work.
Back in the day, the easiest way to “customise” your Lammie, was to take the side panels off, and unbolt anything you could… to create a “skelly”. This, along with bolting on a big bore exhaust was also sone in pursuit of an elusive extra couple of miles per hour…
As with all these things, there are different levels of “getting it right” and this skinhead style skelly has plenty of authentic 70’s style touches… the megaphone exhaust, sidewinder seat and wooden running boards all giving it a the proper skin/suedehead feel.
The TS1 225 lump should give it plenty of poke, with a hydraulic front break to bring it to a safe stop.
Lambrettista is back after a short break (at the seaside with the family in sunny Broadstairs, Kent… highly recommended!) Now I’m back, I’m kicking off with a blog recommendation… check out the “You Don’t Need Speed” blog here… Scooters, music, style and more from Lambretta riding Pete, based in The Steel CIty… Sheffield. As well as putting together a very enjoyable blog, Pete can sort you out with enamel badges for you club or event… and has a nice stock of Punk, Ska and Mod button badges in stock here too. As well as the more commonly seen Trojan ones, I love the ones from the more esoteric ska record labels… Bigshot, Doctor Bird and Treasure Isle… bang on.
I find it amazing how countries around the world have adopted the scooter scene ethic… often with the same music and fashions as those originally found in the UK. I know the scooters are Italian, and the music is Jamaican, but the culture is pure British. Except it’s not. It’s GLOBAL. As this video from Bogota (that’s in Colombia, South America for all you geography dunderheeds). And I think it’s pure brilliant.
BTW, As well as Colombia, this blog has readers in Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina. Most of South America in fact. So if you own, ride, or are just interested in Lambrettas and you live in Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana, Bolivia or Paraguay… please get in touch, send some pics, let me know what’s happening in your neck of the woods. There are a few places around the world untouched by the “Lambretta virus” but, as I’m finding out… not many!
I’m loving this tune, and video by Cantabrian Reggae band Smooth Beans. (Cantabria, in case you’re Spanish geography is a little rusty, is the area around Santander in the North. I know it, slightly, from family camping holidays near Castro Urdiales, many years ago!). Any way, the Beans appear to have the Ska/Rocksteady / Skinhead Reggae sound down really well… a genre of music that particularly appeals to me. The video is pretty good too, featuring a nice Eibar Lambrettta (or should that be Serveta). I’m not an authority on these Spanish machines, so I’m not sure if the SX/Jet style headlight was ever fitted to a S2 type machine… but hey… the scooter looks pretty damn good, loving the sidecar too!
With the sad demise of Posterous, the ‘platform’ which got me started on blogging in the first place, I had to look round for alternatives. WordPress seems the way to go… so here I am. All the old content from the Posterous site should import later… and things might look a little different around here… but rest assured it will still be dedicated to “the world’s finest motor scooter” The Lambretta.
In the meantime, until the end of the month, you can still check out the old Lambrettista here: http://lambrettista.posterous.com/
I know open face helmets aren’t up everybody’s street… but I wear one. And there are some great options to choose from these days. I featured the St. Georges cross version of Heritage Helmets impressive Lambretta range a while back. Now they’ve added to the range with a mashup with the truly iconic record label Trojan. Anyone who who’s there British reggae will know Trojan records… a brand synonymous with early ska, rocksteady and soulful reggae. So these helmets make a strong statement about your musical tastes… whatever flavour of Lambrettista you are… mod, skinhead or suedehead… or just a Lambretta riding reggae fan. Hell, there’s even a version you could get away with if you ride a V*spa!. Although for full effect I suggest you ride an orange DL/GP! For the full spec, and the full range, check out the Heritage Helmets website.