Black Mods

John Waters has added a very interesting and socially significant article to the site on the subject of Black Mods


"The one place that did cater for this burgeoning black population was the Flamingo in Wardour St. The Flamingo had started out as an upmarket jazz niterie and had gradually changed its clientele becoming a magnet for black GI’s and West Indians alike. The club eventually became ‘off limits’ to US servicemen but by the early sixties the club was known as a ‘black club’. The club’s unique mix of R&B, Soul, Ska and Jazz coupled with the best in visiting live acts from the USA and West Indies was a magnet for black clubgoers. There were other clubs in the West End of course but the Flamingo was the place for black teenagers to be seen. The young black clubgoers always ‘dressed up’. Mohair suits were very much the order of the day. They often sported a ‘blue beat hat’ (trilby with a narrow brim) and the hat became almost synonymous with the club. The Mod movement had really moved into full gear by 1963 and the commercial world had moved in. ‘Ready Steady Go’ came onto our TV sets and the pirate radio stations were in full swing but the target of all the commercial enterprises was the young ‘white’ teenage population. "


You can find the whole article HERE.


I'm sure John would appreciate any feedback or discussion of the subject.

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  • Not sure who I'm exactly replying to but.... I'm what I believe is 2nd generation West Indian, (37 and proud), and I have a different perspective on things. Unlike the stereotype, my dad stayed with us when we were growing up and to be quite honest Jamaican's get a bad rap. There is a common misbelief that we are peaceful and gentle but in my experience this is not always the case, though now dead, my Jamaican father was by far,THE most aggressive person I've ever met. I have been to Jamaica and found it poor, dirty and the people aggressive. My dad thought it was marijuana that gave us a "cool" rep, but when I think how many riots between blacks and whites I sometimes wonder if it was partly retaliation on our part. Let's not romanticise Jamaica with it's drug and gun culture. How on earth can we be called "peaceful". My dad used to blame the commonwealth for turning us into "savages" as he called himself as he was a very serious man. For me though here was a man whose complete obsession was with how "white people" viewed him. Nothing else mattered. He was"black" and he made damn sure you knew it. What a way to die.
    • Interesting reading! Unfortunately we are victime of 'sterotypes' whether racially or religiously people everywhere tend to get tarred with the same brush.

      I can understand why your father may have had a 'chip on his shoulder' when it came to the question of his colour. the fact is that the British abused and misused almost two thirds of the globe during the course of history. They presented the world with an image of 'fair play and good manners' whilst making fortunes off tha backs of those less fortunate.

      So many immigrants came to these shores from the West Indies,Indian Sub Continent and Ireland expecting to be greeted by fine upstanding Englishmen in bowler hats giving a fair chance to all (sterotypes again!). Instead they were treated as lepers, crammed into overcrowded 'ghettoes' and given the most menial jobs. It is no wonder so many (especially the younger males) felt aggreived and angry.

      My father was an Irish immigrant and although a very intelligent man he was emlpoyed in hard menial work for most of his life in this country simply because of what he was rather than who he was. He was a placid easy going man but could be violent at times. i never understood this when I was young but in later years I came to appreciate the kind of life immigrants were subjected to often led to violence.

      I knew several West Indian lads in the sixties - all had been born in Jamaica and come here as kids and many were aggressive when it came to the question of 'colour'. I hated to be classed as 'Irish' with all the 'thick Paddy' connotations etc and would have gladly belted anyone who called me a Paddy!


      I have been lucky enough to have travelled the world and nothing really changes! All over people are subjected to poverty by the ruling classes be it in Jamaica, New Orleans or New Delhi. One only has to look at the plight of the Australian aborigines and American Indians (both indigenous peoples labelled as lazy drunkards) The rich get richer and the poor stay as they are - nothing really changes!!!


      John Waters

  • Wish there was some photo's of the Black Mod's/Rudie's back then.

  • Interesting point Chris against racisim of any kind
    Though to be fair as a White Scotsman I have never had any racisim directed against me.
    We in scotland suffer from another blight.
    Would like to think we have the intellegence to see beyond anyone's colour or creed and form an opinion on individual bases on people we incounter
    • Aye midges George. They are the blight of my life too.
    • Don't forget flying haggis Jim
      Or of course people from Renfrew lol
  • Lets get back on topic because if we are talking about modern racism it's not only the Muslim's/Eastern European's that suffer from it but also White British people too. 

  • John a fine article giving insight to the way people thought back then
    Thankfully we have largely moved away from dividing by colour or religion in this country
    Still room for improvement but sure we will get there
    • Hi George

      It would be nice to think so but personally I believe that racism is something we will always have to deal with in this country! At one time it was the Irish and West Indians, then Asians and now it has moved towards Eastern Europeans.

      Some people are always looking for scapegoats to blame for the country's misfortunes!


    • Hi john agree will always be here to a degree and will need to continue fighting it but think that it is now a minority who will be involved in what is clearly feeble minded knuckle dragging bigoted racist bullshit behaviour
      While I see these people as a total joke still think they need to be confronted every time you hear their vile comments or see their vile actions. Vital we keep on top of this to make sure these people can never gain any footstep in this country
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