Glasgow Mods Story

I originally posted this on the Glasgow Mods site but as the comments are closed on there I am posting it here so people can add to it with their own stories. Glasgow Mods Story On 11th November 1979 Tiffany’s (previously known as the Locarno) hosted the 2 Tone tour with The Specials, Madness and The Selector. Their visit to Glasgow apparently included a visit to Paddy’s Market (the Briggait) as Jerry Dammers was to witness: “in Glasgow, there were these little old ladies on the streets selling all their household goods, their cups and saucers.” Along with the tour bus’ route through the East End of Glasgow this image was to provide the inspiration for Ghost Town…Felonious Munk The early Mod movement grew mainly, but not exclusively, from disaffected punks. The main venue at the time was the ‘Mars Bar‘ (near St Enoch Sq) which became the ‘Countdown.’ As Mod became more popular this was the place most Mods met up on a Friday evening and Saturday afternoon. After the pub closed on a Friday most made their way up to Glasgow Art School or Glasgow Tech (Caledonian Uni). As the popularity of Mod grew more venues opened. At first everyone bought their gear down the Briggait market, army and navy stores, or wore their ‘Jam’ suits and shoes. After Mod became more popular it became easier to get clothes. Musically at first, it was ‘The Jam’ & ‘The Who’ because you could still see both live. Groups who played Glasgow at the time were - Merton Parkas (Glasgow Uni), Purple Hearts (QM?) Secret Affair (Tiffanys?). Also incorporated was the Ska revival with The Specials, etc. The music played at the venues mentioned above was mainly sixties mainstream pop, but it evolved…Modernworld I met loads other Mods for the first time at the Beefeater in Union street before we all set off for Ayr on Easter Bank Holiday Monday in 1980. The Rooster was a Monday and Thursday night and we would line the Scooters on the lane down by the Blane Valley opposite the Rooster. The music was a bit mixed with 60’s, the Jam, Secret Affair etc and UB40 with Food for Thought was a floor filler. There was a group of old 60’s Mods who would sit up at the far corner and tell us how good it was back then. Another popular place to hang out was Brookes Bar in Charing Cross. Clothes wise it was Arthur Blacks at St Enoch Sq if you could afford a made to measure suit. There was a shop on Saltmarket which is now is for Kilt hire and you could get your Levi’s, Fred Perrys and Boating Blazers off the peg with pork pie hat if it suited. The Briggait was the best though and cheap. At the time there was a hairdressers in Duke St that was all girls who cut your hair and like to party on a Friday and Saturday Night…Robert McTear I remember The Scene Club well. We used to go to the Lindella on Buchanan street too (opened one night in the week for a Mod night) which played a fair mix of 60’s stuff. A lot of us used to hit the Briggate on a Saturday too (got some great original 60’s fodder). It’s great… if someone wanted to slag you off at school the Briggate was used as one of the ultimate insults - fighting talk in fact . Leave school, get into the Mod thing and it becomes a Bohemian meeting place busy with youths striving to find a physical connection with the sixties. Or was it just that we were so skint back then?......Sammy McKenchie My fondest memory is about just under a hundred of us doing “The Monkees Walk” down Sauchiehall Street on a Sunday morning, followed by “California Dreaming” I can still recall the beaming smile of a couple walking past us, probably just a married couple who enjoyed 60’s music as much we all did, priceless moment in time, pure fun, simple, just being us, like all the mods around today, being part of something that never leaves you in life, whether its Mod, Soulie, or whatever compels you to soul search for a better scene, enjoy and live for the moment.........…Charlie Murphy Picture the scene. Along with three friends, all dressed up for a Saturday night to remember, you make your way along the Bandstand with the obligatory carry out. It is two weeks before Christmas and it so cold that the river has frozen over. Under the first bridge we meet 70 to 100 Mods all having a tipple before going up to the Scene. After joing them for a while we move along to the chessboard. As we get closer we can hear a buzz, and when we arrive there are at least 200 Mods there doing the same as the guys under the bridge. The chat is brilliant and everyone is looking great. About 9 o’clock we move up to the Scene Club, which as always is packed to the rafters. The music is to die for, and amongst the classics being played is the Cat Stevens track ‘Here Comes my baby.’ What an amazing time it was to be young and involved with such a movement as the Glasgow Mods...…Chris C I remember going to the Olympia (East Kilbride) a few times with the Glasgow Mods. It was on a Sunday night and they played a lot of 60s music. Then one specific Sunday there was around 50 Glasgow Mods got to the Olympia and the guys on the doors wouldn’t let any of us in - it was pandemonium. A few fights broke out with the local neds. On the way home the bus we were all on got all the top floor windows smashed in with all the neds throwing stones and bottles at us on our way out of East Kilbride. It was mental, the bus driver was going to drive the bus to a police station and he only gave in at the last minute when a police car led the bus back to Glasgow. I never went to another night in the Olympia…Fudgie Marching through town the Police circling the hundred odd strong mob trying to work out if we were on a war path but not being able to stem the flow. Then seeing the ‘Ace Face’ who rode what turned out to be a heavily modified honda C90… the poor mug tried saying the C90, complete with backrest (paper cutting cellotaped on it saying ACE FACE) a fibreglass lammy mudguard & bolted on PX panels was a GS hahaha….Summer nights in Cambuslang, hanging out with a lovely girlfriend and other Glasgow Civics….The Clothes, the music, the scooters, the feeling of wearing new gear down the One Up cafe, the feeling of power in the city centre because you were one…TYB Civic Mod It was May 1982. We boarded the bus for Bellahouston Park and, along with thousands of others, were herded into respective sections…then the wait began!! We got ourselves into the best position, ready and waiting. “He’s coming!! He’s coming” were the chants. “He’s going to come right past us!” Almost within touching distance. “Right boys, get ready!” yells Mick, this was the moment! We hoisted the banner (hand painted in black on a huge piece of cloth) which read: “GARNGAD MODS WELCOME THE POPE” As he passed in his Pope-Mobile not an eyelid was batted, even an almighty chorus of (you’ve guessed it) “WE ARE…WE ARE…WE ARE THE MODS!!!!!…Quinny I thought that when The Jam split up there was no other Mod bands kicking around and a lot of Mods chucked it in when they disbanded. From early 1983 the scene in Glasgow was mainly one off Mod nights until the One-Up got started in 1984. The thing that was really different to our scene, was the fact we had no bands to identify ourselves with. In England there was bands a plenty, Small World kept the Mod banner going from 1981, until the emergence of bands like The Scene, Makin’ Time, The Prisoners etc I reckon its fair to say, this in someway helped our scene, as there was more to being a Mod than just wearing a parka. We always thought of ourselves being one better than the next bloke, maybe it’s just a Glasgow thing…NG MOD I remember precisely a moment in time; standing in the Scene Club and the dj playing 'Harlem Shuffle' - I was hearing it for the first time and it hit me in an instant- the music, the dancing, the style, the people - everything was just right - it felt like a perfect moment - and i'll never forget.....Stevie fae Cranhill But this site is not exclusively for Glasgow Mods - anybody who wishes can start a discussion on their own memories of the Mod scene, wherever they are from (perhaps Alvaro could start - I'd certainly to hear about Mods in Spain). There are, I know, thousands more stories out there and we would love to hear yours.

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  • ..i was passing dee on trongate the other day and saw a pair of desert boots in the window also harringtons as well. and it hit me that it was 30 years ago i bought a boating blazer from there omg. also i rem my mum haggling with the two jewish guys in cash city taylors on the saltmarket to get a quid off my parka. it,s so fitting that this area of town has three retro clothes shops(one of which had an ad in the window .wanted singer for mod band.) and mc,chuills just up from it.back in the 80,s its where we shopped or all our clothes  ect
  • i rem goin to see the jam in the apollo about 84 i think was the trans global express tour. there were 4 of us 2 mods and 2 jam fans. the other 2 were winding us up sayin we will be the only mods there as mods were dying out. we turned the corner from w nile st into sauchiehall st and it was like quadrophenia. we were chatting to some mods from airdrie when about 30 to 40 scooters came down renfield st right past the apollo. i looked at my 2 pals who were staring open mouthed. i didnt need to say anything all the mods had done that for me.inside the gig it was some sight everybody singing we are the mods .all this never left me i really felt part of someting that night.
    • Think I was at that gig, seen the Jam at the Apollo although I thought it was earlier than 84. Yes it was fantastic nearly all mods. Got that buzz again last night watching the Underground Jam in mcchuills. Those guys have got it spot on likely the best tribute gig ive been at.
    • i was there last nite at mc,cuuills ,yes those guys are great.thats the 2nd time i have seen hopin to see them in bellshill next month. not a big fan of tribute acts but they are really good.
    • Enjoyed reading these storys , brilliant stuff, very similair to Belfast back in the day....

    • I agree Marty, great to read these stories. well told.

      very like Letterkenny too, although we were on a much smaller scale..

      and of course we were the centre of the known Mod world :-)

      in our eyes at least!!!!

    • just so cool

  • was my dad Chris
    • What, it was your dad that had the barbers on Springburn Road at Petershill ?
  • Just thought i would put a post in to get this thread back up

    the list to see if anyone else would share their memories.


    I have many great , and some not so great , memories from my time as a "Glasgow Mod ".

    I remember one night,after the usual session in the Avalon, I decided to take my scooter

    to the Scene Club. It was a about a five minute drive but being bevied ,still had a scare or two

    on the way to the club. Anyway for those of you who do not about the world famous Scene

    Club ,it had a lane at the back where you could park yer scooter, amongst other things.

    Pulls in on the bike and there were about 10 or so other scooters parked up and a few people standing around

    enjoying a small libation and or a wee bit of a winch. Diana Ross was booming out from the club above and

    I swear that for a minute I felt like I had been transported back to the sixties, was in such a rush to get into the

    club left the keys in the ignition, was lucky some other drunkard didnae take the bike for a spin. The Scene Club

    was the center of everything for a short while and for me the mod scene lost a bit when it shut down.

    Meeting up at the bandstand was all very good, and the Star Club was at least somewhere to go for a pint and the

    occasional wee dance night,but for me it was never the same. The Scene had a feeling about it,probably because it was ours that could not be replaced. Just like to say a lot of credit should go out to Laurie who ran the club, I Know he made a few quid out of it, at least I hope he did, but I always felt that he was also in it for us. Hail Hail the Glesga Mods.

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