Mods vs Rockers

A friend on the island (you know that little piece of rock that juts out in the North sea/ Atlantic) did not seem to like the romanticised Blog on the history of the scooter, he reminded me that I had not really done the era of the Mods and the Rockers any justice, so to make his life a little happier ( I mean how happy can you be living on an island that is dreary and boring, my friend seems to get of as often as he can as he is always in Spain, bet his Spanish is better than his English)

Mods and Rockers were two conflicting British youth subcultures of the early-mid 1960s. Gangs of Mods and Rockers fighting in 1964 sparked a moral panic about British youths, and the two groups were seen as folk devils. The rockers adopted a macho biker gang image image, wearing clothes such as the traditional black leather jacket and riding heavy motorcycles. The Mods adopted a pose of scooter-driving sophistication, wearing suits and other clean cut outfits. By late 1966, the two subcultures had faded from public view and media attention turned to two new emerging youth subcultures — the hippies and the skinheads

Rockers, scorned the Mods, who often wore suits and rode scooters. The rockers considered Mods to be weedy, effeminate snobs, and Mods saw rockers as out of touch, oafish and grubby. Musically, there was not much common ground. Rockers listened to 1950s rock and roll, mostly by white American artists such as Elvis, and Eddie Cochran. Mods generally favoured 1960s rhythm and blues, soul and ska by black American musicians, as well as British R&B/beat groups such as The Who and the Yardbirds

In the United Kingdom, rockers were often engaged in brawls with mods. BBC news stories from May 1964 stated that mods and rockers were jailed after riots in seaside resort towns on the south coast of England, such as Margate, Brighton and Bournemouth (The Pommie Riviera). Fights occurred where territories overlapped or rival factions happened upon each other. As noted above, there was an urban–rural split, meaning that the groups could only fight if brought together for some reason – most often the seaside during summer. The film Quadrophenia, on the other hand, depicts some violence within London, although the majority of the violence in the film occurs within Brighton. Mods sometimes sewed fish hooks or razor blades into the backs of their lapels to shred the fingers of assailants. Weapons were often in evidence; bike chains and flick knives being favoured.

The south coast of England, where Londoners head for seaside resorts on Bank holidays was the scene for one of the biggest battles between the mods and the rockers. Over the Whitsun weekend (Spring break used to be 1st Monday after Pentecost). On May 18 and 19, 1964, thousands of mods descended upon Margate, Broadstairs and Brighton to find that an inordinately large number of rockers had made the same holiday plans. Within a short time, marauding gangs of mods and rockers were openly fighting, often using pieces of deckchairs. The worst violence was at Brighton, where fights lasted two days and moved along the coast to Hastings and back; hence the Second Battle of Hastings tag was born (the first battle was in 1066 with the Rockers from France beating King Alfred and his Mods at Hastings)

The newspapers fanned the flames of hysteria and many Poms believed that the mods and the rockers would bring about the disintegration of the “nations” character (that was lost after WW11) due to their lack of respect for law and order .

Eventually, when the media ran out of real fights to report, they would publish deceptive headlines, such as using a subheading "Violence", even when the article reported that there was no violence at all. Newspaper writers also began to use "free association" to link mods and rockers with various social issues, such as teen pregnancy, contraceptives, amphetamines, and violence.

Well that’s it a short history of the Mods and Rockers


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