Book “The MOD Years” the style, sounds, scooters
- 130 pages
Possibly the most enduring expression of a youth culture, the Mod movement has spawned its own fashion, music and a lifestyle that refuses to go away. Mods tell the colourful history of their subculture and bring the story bang up-to-date, calling in on the various ‘mod revivals’ along the way. From the lovingly crafted scooters, to the bands who provided the soundtrack to millions of lives via the fashions and people who made – and still make – the Mod scene so vibrant.
I’d never ridden a scooter before, just my dad’s old two-stroke commuting motorcycle, but nothing daunted, I jumped on and rode it home. No insurance – I got round to that eventually; cost me £3 as I remember – and certainly no Lplates and no helmet. The latter bit wasn’t an offence; you didn’t need to wear a helmet until, I think, 1972. I passed my test in November 1968 bare-headed.
It was one of the most glorious moments of my life. No two ways about it. I was no longer limited by how far I could cycle or where the bus when; I had my own wheels I could go anywhere. Freedom. Glorious freedom. Plus, of course, I was suddenly on the inside. I was one of the guys. I think there was a hard core of about 20 of us, though if you rode a few miles in any direction you’d find scores more. We all had Lambrettas and they all looked terrific. Getting the bits was never a problem – whether you haggled with mates for a set of second-hand Florida bars or mirror stalks, or went to Ron’s scooter shop for mirror lenses or a pair of lovely, long-trumpet scarlet air horns. If you had to, if you wanted something really special like a megaphone exhaust you could always go into Manchester, where there were any number of accessory shops down the south end of Deansgate. Then there were the clothes of course. No problems there.