Mods vs Rockers

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


Our mind tends to think that all past time was better, creating a distorted image of the healthy and friendly youth of the generations before ours. But this is not the case, youth has always been a battlefield for a society that advances too slowly compared to the passing of youth. In this article we discover the confrontation between two very different groups, the mods and the rockers , who met in the small holiday village.

But ... what the is a mod ? As you can imagine, it is a youth subculture and initially brought together many different types of people, as if it meant a tailor, to refer to all those followers of " swinging London". That is to say, the revitalization of the cultural scene that London lived during the good and happy 60s, since the postwar period had corseted at 50 in an austerity that left little to the imagination. In short, and saving the distances, it could be similar to our Movida, a kind of cultural, musical and youthful resurgence in front of grayster previous decades and of certain oppression.

However, the movement's parents were a series of Italian dandies known as mods who sold clothes in London. Later everyone would start to take their style until this subculture was made with important areas such as Soho and the entire center of the English capital. The Italian influence was an authentic constant in the movement, many young people longed to travel to the peninsula and enjoy its fashion and style.

At first, their appearance and behavior made that in most cases they were quite accepted by adults, who assimilated them much better than for example rockers or later skinhead. But in the end, this way of dressing was subverting a social reality that was very far from the concepts of the past and the generation of their parents and grandparents. Soon they would take other seals of identity, like moving around the city on Italian scooters like the Vespa or the Lambretta. According to the Sunday Times magazine , the mod's life consisted of going out to clubs seven days a week. However, this could be allowed very few, who usually helped with pills, sticking week after week of party until the body endured. But the truth is that most mods were too poor to afford this rhythm of life, their rusty lambretta and their faintly eaten by the rain and the sun kept the dream away from the reality of many young people. According to Barker and Little, they were not qualified professionally and they occupied positions of low estofa with which they only obtained 11 pounds weekly, insufficient for that so longed for life.

It is at this point that his "magic" lies. They were poor people, with hardly any studies or any type of higher education, to the point that they had assumed their servile role in the day jobs they had achieved. But when the night came, they became the masters of their actions, with custom-made clothes and feeling authentic bosses of the locals they frequented. Because as Denzil well marks, a mod interviewed by the Sunday Times , the dream of every member of this subculture, was precisely to run one of the nightclubs of Soho like the club Scene.

It combined the servility of the day with the absolute vanity of those who only think of themselves during the night. We find ourselves with a figure that borders on the most extreme individualism, an unconscionable ego and above all a superficial and merely aesthetic interest. While it is true that they had a great interest in music, the truth is that his desire was to find the weirdest album, to be the most mod of his neighborhood and be able to boast of it, it is still a materialistic conception and growth personal through something tangible and not really by artistic interest.

To this we must add that to cope with all this and with the little money that was left over, they decided to get up to the eyebrows of speed. Amphetamine was synthesized for the first time in the steep Wallachia at the end of the 19th century, but it saw a strong push during the world wars, where the soldiers went totally put of these to endure days of combat. In addition, during the 20 'and 30' was marketed legally under the registration of different brands. Years later and with the terror of the distant war, the British youth used them in a totally recreational way, as it is used now, although it is not very fashionable anymore. The benefits of this drug were an increase in physical and mental activity in exchange for an aggressive deterioration of both. The topic of lives fast, dies young, and leaves a beautiful corpse. In fact, they are the musical heroes of these people, who comment on it with great success. Let's listen to The Who for a moment:: People try to put us down (Talkin '' bout my generation) Just because we get around (Talkin '' bout my generation) Things they do look awful cc-cold (Talkin '' bout my generation) I hope I die before I get old (Talkin '' bout my generation)

Here you can enter a very personal reflection. It has become very fashionable to criticize the millennials, that is to say, the generations that surely - with some exceptions - are reading this same text. To you, to me, and to all of us who had the misfortune to be born from 1982 to 1996, we have fallen for the samba of being considered the most disappointing, selfish and individualistic generation of the 20th century. Following the topic that all past time was better we have endorsed the glorious title of authentic uselessness, when in reality, since the middle of this century, the prize for seeing who is more individualistic and self-destructive is really close. At the end of the day we are told by generations devoured by the horse and the most absolute nihilism.

The thing about rockers ... it's easier to guess, is not it? With Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry for the flag and imitating Marlon Brando in " The Wild One" , the rockers began their wanderings in the 50s. They liked to wear colorful toupees, wide sideburns and the indistinguishable to this day sucks leather. In the London of the 60s the rocker environment had been relegated to the outskirts of the city, where the motorways of circumvallation allowed their motorcycles to roar as they wanted since, generally, their desire was to have a motorcycle of great displacement, in contrast with the more urban environment in which what was styled were the vespa and lambretta of the mods . They were really humble environments and their social and economic ladder was very similar to their future enemies. For rockers , being mod meant extreme hedonism, riding on their mopeds that they literally considered toasters with wheels and with a mechanic that gave a lot of trouble. They saw them as some posh daddy kids who wore expensive clothes for showing off, and they really felt very different but they were not at all. Because this is the case, the hallmark of any young teenager is to believe they are different, and that is precisely what makes them so normal.

In this the mod s were true experts, since they combined their desire for individualism and complacency with the feeling of belonging to a group that felt like them. In contrast, for his rivals, the feeling of brotherhood and camaraderie was much more significant. Our mind tends to think that all past time was better, creating a distorted image of the healthy and friendly youth of the generations before ours. But this is not the case, youth has always been a battlefield for a society that advances too slowly compared to the passing of youth. In this article we discover the confrontation between two very different groups, the mods and the rockers , who met in the small holiday village.

Mods and rockers the mods and the rockers, who clashed in the small holiday village. In the London of the 60s the rocker environment had been relegated to the outskirts of the city, where the motorways of circumvallation allowed their motorcycles to roar as they wanted since, generally, their desire was to have a motorcycle of great displacement, in contrast with the more urban environment in which what was styled were the vespa and lambretta of the mods . They were really humble environments and their social and economic ladder was very similar to their future enemies. For rockers , being mod meant extreme hedonism, riding on their mopeds that they literally considered toasters with wheels and with a mechanic that gave a lot of trouble. They saw them as some posh daddy kids who wore expensive clothes for showing off, and they really felt very different but they were not at all. Because this is the case, the hallmark of any young teenager is to believe they are different, and that is precisely what makes them so normal. In this the mod s were true experts, since they combined their desire for individualism and complacency with the feeling of belonging to a group that felt like them. In contrast, for his rivals, the feeling of brotherhood and camaraderie was much more significant.

The truth is that initially both sides went to his ball. There was no violence between the two subcultures beyond the violence of youth nightlife itself. That is to say, there were no reasons of hatred between both sectors for the mere fact of being part of their ranks. However, as they got together, the altercations flourished, and the press was responsible for making both rockers and mods end up identifying themselves as real enemies. It might seem an exaggeration, a minor confrontation of four or five young people with too much free time, but no, it was an advance even for sociology, since Cohen coined the term " moral panic " which he describes as follows:

A group is seen as a threat to the interests of the community. The threat is described in a recognizable way by the media, by means of symbols, such as scooters or leather jackets. Carrying these symbols arouses public concern. There is a response from the authorities and politicians. The "moral panic" leads to social changes of some relevance. The importance of the media in all this is vital, as they serve as a means of disseminating the discontent of youth and at the same time help the adult sectors watch with terror as their society evolves, something that from its generally conservative prism makes You think that society is way off and that the world is losing its way. Does it sound like something? According to Cohen, these groups end up being considered as dangerous as "popular demons", that is, as the demons of popular folklore stories.

Like a Trojan horse they were defined by newspapers of the time. They were allowed to call both groups "vermin and louts" who were true "internal enemies" with the aim of "disintegrating" the British nation. And then, terror arose among the middle and lower classes of the population, whose children were also part of these groups.

Anyway, both the desire to cover the media means blaming the new generations, and these for having the desire to party and problems, the breeding ground for a confrontation was served. The first place of confrontation would be Clacton, in Essex, where during the Easter of 1964 they faced off leaving the pitched battle with 94 detainees and numerous damages to the hotels of the zone. There were also riots in Hastings, in what the media called "the Second Battle of Hastings" and later the most famous ones in Brighton and Margate, because of the importance that the press gave him and for his immortalization in Frank Roddam's film " Quadrophenia" Brighton was a holiday village, quiet in the south of England. Although, over time it has been becoming the Benidorm of Albion, the coastal and fisherman environment of the area still had an important printing press in the small town. Its mild climate for the British Isles and its bucolic environment began to attract more and more tourists to rest in the festivities, and that meant that both mods and rockers were going to have fun in the premises of their environments.

And so it happened, at first there was a tense calm that soon culminated in two crazy days of rioting throughout the city. Despite the mobilization of the police forces, which had armored the city by previous precedents, they could not contain the adolescent fury that was coming upon them.

While a small group of rockers enjoyed the spring day on the beach, a whole tangle of mods pounced on them, receiving blows with sunloungers, American fists, sticks and even knives. It soon led to a pitched battle when the rest of the groups in the city became aware of what was happening. However, there are many different points of view, since Tony Edwards, a mod who was then 18 years old, explained that when he arrived with his group to the beach, there were only a few of their own, in front of a large group of their rivals, but that when he spent an hour and a half the beach was full of companions. In fact, we speak of figures of up to 2000 individuals in an unprecedented battle. He witnessed the throwing of stones that caused many to leave there bleeding, although the truth is that there were no seriously injured at any time and the worst were the police, two of whom were hospitalized with superficial injuries. They had to charge against the beach to escort the group of rockersoutside of this, so that they literally "did not kill them", which was a humiliation for them since according to Edwards "they looked like little children with fancy clothes (...) and seemed terrified". It also tells how they threw a mod out the window - breaking the glass - and how it was bleeding in spurts.

Well may be the fanciful memories of a more than adult Tony Edwards 68, who at that time was nicknamed "king of the mods" and is currently a father of three and grandfather of two. Even at this age, he argues that the blame for everything that happened was that of the rockers and especially the police who "had a terrible hard hand".

The newspaper La Vanguardia allowed itself to narrate the facts in Spain in the following way: "Mods and Rockers have returned to the old ways in two other coastal cities: Margate and Brighton. It is estimated that about six thousand have intervened, with the ensuing fights between them, the clash with the police and material damage. However, despite the vast majority of huge headlines, the press this morning could not cite a case that a "Mod" or a "Rocker" had been damaged, although two policemen were slightly injured or bruised. The phenomenon exploded, and acquired international resonance, something more than a month ago in the coastal city of Clacton. Two species of young people, the "mods" and the "rockers", invaded it, fought with each other, and with the police and against the city and its citizens. Besides being some hooligans, the question is that "mods" and rockers "can not be seen, rather, see themselves,

"The young English bikers are divided into two groups: 'mods' and 'rockers'. The first ride on Italian-style motorcycles; the seconds, in motorcycles more powerful engine. They wear high-collared shirts, wear sharp- toed shoes and comb long locks . The well-dressed youngsters spend their vacations in the continent -Italy, especially- and bring new ways and fashions to the island. More than a hundred hooligans have been arrested and some of them have already been condemned to spend a few months away from society or pay heavy fines. A detail: a boy (mod) of 18 years, fined by almost 13,000 pesetas, has paid there signing a check .

We can not forget that it is still the point of view of a conservative newspaper in the Franco era. However, seeing thousands of young people, up to the eyebrows of pigeons and giving themselves cakes even on their identity card was also something that seemed surreal in the United Kingdom itself. It was the dark face of " swinging London " and all the cultural revival of the insular country, which later would bring us other movements with lights and shadows, like skinhead or punk. In summary, we can say that it is an important conflict to understand the sociological state of a fundamental country in post-war Europe. Also like the great media they begin to be a diffusers of exception capable of falsifying reality in many cases, creating alarm and social panic that in other cases would not exist if the news were treated with rigor and not as a panfletary joke, but at last and After all, they live selling newspapers and tuning their channel, and reality does not sell. But what will I tell you, right? every day we see news manipulated on television, disguised political campaigns and misinformation errors of obsolete media that are increasingly seen as incunabula of the past, and not as something serious to be taken into account.


Submitted: November 29, 2018

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