Mod Heroes...or villains







Mod heroes...or villains

With the subject of 'mod groups' and 'what is a true mod' being brought up recently. John Waters has added an article he wrote a while back (initially appearing on Modculture) on the Who/Small Faces and their relation to the Mod scene at the time. Of course the article is entirely from a personal perspective but it reflects the opinion of many mods of the day.



Read the whole article HERE


"As a living ‘golden oldie’ who was present during the formative years of the Mod revolution I feel it is perhaps time to question the relevance of the Small Faces and The Who with regard to the Mod movement. Both these groups are generally regarded as being figureheads of sixties mod culture. Nothing could be further from the truth."      John Leo Waters



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  • This reply was deleted.
    • Exactly Trevor

      At the time I didn't even know they were "mod" bands - don't recall ever hearing of such a thing. And as they seem to have shopped in Carnaby St that in itself would make them followers rather than leaders

    • ... accordingly we might as well blame the Who and the Small Faces for destroying Mod. Some do. As far as I´ve read, Townshend and his mate Richard Barnes had a genuine interrest in the Mod Scene even before Meaden decided to force the image on them. The other three didn´t, though.

  • This reply was deleted.
    • Very good points Trevor! And of course we copied each other. You'd see (I remember in particula the bowling shoes) someone with an idea and adopt it if it felt "right"

    • Enjoyed your contributions in the Beesley book, Adrian!

    • Thanks Kai!

  • Great article I lived in Edmonton back in 63 and was up west nearly every night and as John says we hoped to set a trend not follow one and that went with the music as well
    • don't remember any trends,remember not giving a toss about anyone else except me mates, especially posers,middle class kids spending their parents money and dandies that screamed look at me I'm trendy :-) Pop groups was just pop groups nobody special and most of em relied on girls buying their records,but I suppose our lack of being impressed came from our backgrounds.

  • Good one John! Our music was ska and soul. That's it! No pop crap. Yes Georgie Fame, yes Geno Washington and many other of the London blues and soul artists - but theWho and the Faces? No.

    Once it was on the telly it was history anyway! Things moved fast - as I remember it. And then it was over as you say around 67 - maybe into 68.

  • Hi sorry but i don't agree with this john waters bloke to me the Small Faces was the sixties Mod culture maybe not so the Who but the SF were true Mods, they were Mods before they became a band,and i don't see how they draged the Mods down? just my opinion of course. Mike.
  • Well, I certainly seem to have stepped on a few toes here!!

    Just for the record - I have never said that either the Small Faces or The Who were not gifted musicians and songwriters who have both played a part in the evolution of this country's popular music history.

    Both bands had a part to play in shaping the popular image of Mods as percieved by the general public. Along with Carnaby Street, Kings Road and Ready Steady Go they are commonly held as being the 'face' of sixties Mod culture.

    It is these mistaken myths that I find questionable. In the mid sixties both bands were courted by the media as being the sterotypical Mod groups which of course they were not. Their photos were plastered all over the press. Thousands of young teenage girls swooned over the Small Faces peering out from teen magazines. Both bands became almost parodies of themselves.

    Whilst they both courted their new images for a time it was inevitable that as serious musicians they would soon tire of their 'mod' personna and move on. The faces splitting up and the Who moving into the Rock arena.

    That is not to say they did not produce some excellent music during their short lived 'mod' years. Although the music in question would not be on the playlists of many Mods at the time some of their output was first class and as good if not better than a lot of the pop drivel released by many of the big name groups of the time. I have quite a few tracks by both bands in my own collection and indeed included 'What'cha Gonna Do Bout It' and 'My Generation' in my top 100 Mod tunes of the day as I believe both tracks were relevant and popular with the true Mods in the sixties.

    I would be the first to defend anyone's right to play whatever music turns them on and there is no doubt that the Mod revival that came along in later years did look to these bands as inspirations along with many other factors.

    There is a difference between the Mods of thse sixties and the revival movement and quite rightly so. The revival movement have so much more to draw from than the sixties Mod who was starting from scratch so inevitably there will be differences of opinion and tastes.

    So please do not take my ramblings as a put down of anything or anybody in particular. Diversity is a marvellous thing.

    I only try to put things into an accurate perspective historically based on my own experiences. 

     Happy New Year to one and all

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