Small interview about mods, Please help us!

Hello dear Mods!

I have a request. For school we have to research the Mod subculture. We wanted to ask new mods and old mods a few questions! 

We'd appreciate it!

1. How did you end up with the mods?

2. What music did you really find important then and now?

3. Have you ever been part of a different subculture?

4. How does/did your day-to-day life look like?

5. Have you ever used drugs?

6. What did your parents think about the Mods?

Thank you so much!

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  • 1.) I always liked soul and blues, then I saw a live performance of 'Art School' by The Jam on TV and it all started from there. 

    2.) Northern soul, R&B, Beatles, The Small Faces, Kinks, The Jam (and Weller), Oasis, Stone Roses, The Specials and just about anything off the Mowtown label. 

    3.) It's the only subculture I've gotten in to. It'll be the ruin of me (financially) though, and I still need more clothes.

    4.) How does my everyday life look? Almost as cool as me... But really, I'm a student, I'm the only mod I've really seen, I'm stuck in my own world I guess.

    5.) Drugs are for rich kids who can afford them. 

    6.) My dad was/is a mod so it came naturally. Mum's still got no clue.

  • 1) In the 1979 revival I was 18.

    2) To me mod is mainly about white appreciation of black music, so soul ( Tamla, Stax, Atlantic and Northern ) Ska, Bluebeat and early 70's Reggae and Dub ( especially the work of Lee Perry )

    3) I was a punk at 15, and a football casual through most of my twenties into my thirties.

    4) I live in a very rural area, so there is no real scene of any sort. It appears that the youth cultures I grew up with have all but died out, most of today's kids all look the same, I think that's a shame.

    5) I'll give that one a miss if you don't mind.

    6) I left home at 16, and never really kept in touch for a few years after that, so I have no idea.

  • I was a Mod during the original era from around 1963  until around 1968. I suppose this was the first real teenage culture (although teddyboys might disagree). It certainly was the first time teenagers had money in their pockets and could spend freely on clothes,records,clubs etc and indeed it was the first time that there was provision made for them to spend (boutiques,record shops,clubs)

    The music was Soul,Rythmn and Blues,Ska (Bluebeat),Motown,Blues with a smattering of Pop.

    Being a Mod was pretty boring during the week - then, as now we hung around cafes,burger bars,street corners etc but at weekends we would head up to the clubs in Soho for all night dance sessions of catch live bands. Occasionally we might go to the cinema,bowling or roller skating. A lot of time in the pub!

    We spent a good deal of time in Record shops or record bars listening to the latest sounds and shopping for clothes was always worth while.


    I did take drugs at weekends (dexadrine,purple hearts,bombers etc) for recreational purposes as did many others.


    Parents thought we were lunatics! they thought the music was 'jungle music' and were always going on about how we would get into trouble - nothing changes!!!

  • Decided to revisit this question as thinking back I have realised I was a modernist before we knew what a mod was. In my last couple of years at school we had a teacher who played in a jazz band and a few of us started following the band. We were getting into clubs where we were underage by grabbing an instrument out of the van and saying we were the bands roadies. Our teacher made sure we didn't drink too much and educated us in dress standards etc. He would probably get done for corrupting minors now but this was a very different time.

  • Just like chris, I first got into the Mod scene of 79 and early 80's I desperately wanted the clothes but at 13 and under mums fashion law I had no chance!

    The music was a biggie for me it was amazing I remember hearing 'Gangsters' by The Specials and thinking wow this is what I've been waiting for and then came 'The Jam' what more can I say!!

    Never bothered with any other scene still love the music and now I can afford the clothes,Love it!!

    I only got £1 pocket money but it didn't matter I had enough to buy a single record and badge each week.

    Never used drugs, but there again I was never allowed out after 9pm!

    To my amazement my dad told me he was a Mod in his hey day and showed me a collection of badges he had and a really smart silk paisley scarf. Not only that but my so 'uncool you wont let me do anything dad' had posessed a vespa and showed me a photograph of him and his brother posing on it. Unfortunately he had to sell it to raise some cash to come over to England from Dublin with my mum.

    My mum was a dark horse though, she had an amazing record collection that our family knew about as music was always playing in our house and among her collection were some gems 'Booker T and the MGs' , 'Desmond Decker' and 'The Marvelettes' to name but a few!

    Hope this helps, I am really enjoying reliving my childhood in Mod Heaven!!

    • 1. I was a couple of years too young to be part of the '79 revival but remember my eureka moment in music being stuck to the TV screen when a Jam video was playing. Remeber the 2-Tone scene when i was a 1st year at school, lots of big 5th year skinheads. Never liked 2-tone or revival bands with the execption of The Jam and perhaps The Specials. Looking at pictures of myself when i was around 18 i was more of a 'swirlie' type mod.

      2.Now my music tastes are more refined than when i was younger. Back then it was 60's psych bands, '77 punk, bit of rock'n'roll/rockabilly, complete rejection of the bands of the time i was living in . Still like all that to a degree. Love the idea in my head of psychedelia but have grown to feel that a lot of the original psychedelic bands were a bit silly. To my mind now proper psych music is something like the Bitches Brew or Love Supreme albums. My tastes are more 'black' now - soul, jazz, 40's/50's r&b and i became a major convert to old school Jamaican music after visiting the carribean about 20 years ago.

      3.Dipped my toe in all over the place.It's all related you know.Went to loads of music venues and clubs in my younger years but not now, which is fine, though i do go to a few roots/dub dances through the year and an occasional mod night. Was briefly part of the rockabilly scene in London about 15 years ago. Nice people generally but gave me a very sceptical view of scenes in general.

      4.I have a 1 year old boy. am married, and married to my job. My day doesn't stop from 6am to 11pm. However i play music for the first hour that i get up, kind of like a religious sacrement that sets me up for the day. I get the ump if it doesn't happen.

      5. Amphetamines occasionally as a teenager but through my job i have seen so much drug damage to young people which seems to get worse every year that now i would have no interest in drug use. Nice glass of red with friends on a Saturday night goes down a treat.

      6. My dad was into James Last. No more to say on the subject.

  • 1. I was a bit of a rebel when I was young, but found the mod movement in 1979 to be the total opposite to the Punk movement,    I could always relate to the sixties music and much preferred it. I also enjoyed the thought of being part of a clean cut, classy culture, that loved music, clothes and our country. Modism related to british culture.

    2. I loved motown from the 60's and the Jam, early who and many others. These are still my most popular, but I also enjoy Duffy, Oasis etc.


    3. I have been a skinhead through shear anger at the way society treated its people.


    4. I live for the music, fashion and scooter. It my way out of day to day dreary jobs.


    5. Yes on occassion. Nothing heavy though.


    6. My parents were 60s mods, I was always destined to be a mod

  • Hi Roelina

    First got into the Mod scene in 1964 in Bradford UK, the north was alittle behind london in taking up the lifestyle. My cousin and I wanted something different we had been into motor bikes, scrambles riding and the like but when we were old enough to ride on the road we went for the scooters. I was an apprentice blacksmith so money was a bit tight my scooter was a second hand Lambretta LI 150. My cousin worked as a labourer so he could afford a brand new 200 SX.

    We listened to a wide variety of music in the sixties both American and English with the occasional Aussie band like the Easybeats. My personal preference was for pure blues music with lots of wailing harp and a cool organ.

    The culture proceding Mods had been the Teddy Boys and I had had some ambition to get myself a long jacket with a suede collar and skin tight jeans with brothel creeper crepe soled shoes but it never quite happened.

    Quadrophenia got it pretty right our normal everyday life was just go to work go home and work on the scooters or listen to radio Caroline and hang on for the weekend. We all thought that the coast was the place to be and that life there was constant Mod heaven. 


    At least the oldies never called us scruffy, they didn't like our music as a rule although some of the more mellow stuff did find its way into their collections. A couple of us had a scam going at our dance club "The Little Fat Black Pusy Cat" where we used to sell Carters Little Liver Pills to the wanabees at allnighters and tell them they were blues and would kep them raging all night nobody ever fell asleep after taking them so we never got any complaints. My dad found the pills in my parka pocket one time and said he had sent them to be analysed I never heard any more about that so I dont know what happened there. I never took any of the real stuff home.


    • Hi Roelina, I'm from Australia, and we had a mod scene in Sydney in the 60s and I think many went new wave in early 80s.  We had " surfies "" Teddy Boys and rockers too".  It was stronger and more obvious in UK

      Funny thing about mod music in Australia, it was never part of a subculture as it may have been initially in Britain.  The clothes were, though. While we follow the traditions of our mother country in many ways, what British Mods thought of as music subculture was mainstream in Australia from the time we first heard it.  Anything that is mainstream ruins a subculture who wish to be different

      Furthermore, it should be said, the " surfies ( also called wax heads due to their use of surfboard wax to get grip on the surfboards ) loved mod music as much as any bloke on a scooter.  Mod music was mainstream here from the start

      Australia produced a few great mod bands too, who usually covered UK bands.  The Throbs version of Fortune teller is great too

  • 1. How did you end up with the mods?
    i kind of drifted into it as i was always a fan of black music,jazz and british rnb....all the people i hung around with were into the same music and some were mod and rode scooters. by degrees my dress and outlook changed and soon i was immersed in the one up man ship of Mod

    2. What music did you really find important then and now?
    although i have broad tastes in music i can appreciate most of the genres in the Mod musical canon. ironically now my least favourite genre would be the Revival sounds. As someone who has always looked back to the original movement, the sounds of that era are particularly special to me. as a deejay soul and latin would have pole position in my deejay box. I'm conscious that the scene is a living scene and one of the kicks i get these days is finding new bands and listening to their output. I run a Mod magazine so i'm always happy to interview and give some publicity to current bands

    3. Have you ever been part of a different subculture?
    paid up member of the Northern soul scene to this day. For a period in the nineties when there was nothing happening Mod wise in Dublin a bunch of us used to frequent Raves and house music clubs. There were a lot of corpses littering that highway however most of us escaped and lived to tell the tales of excess and madness.

    4. How does/did your day-to-day life look like?
    these days i have moved on in my career and thus i have a lot of latitude that i didnt have back in the 9t's - from a fashion sense its a perfect fit as nice trousers, fitted shirts and jackets are always going to be de rigeur for business. outside of the office i have a wife and two kids so theres a balance to be struck between normalcy and the requirements of being part of the scene. back in the day with no responsibility i could go wherever i wanted on impulse now i have to plan every weekend to ensure that i get to clubnight/bandnight/deejay that i need to but also to devote time to the family...

    When i was younger and between jobs the day was spent listening to music, hunting for clothes and records and planning for weekends. weekends were for dancing and partying with like minded souls.

    5. Have you ever used drugs?
    Yes. pharmaceuticals, alcohol, nicotine. would i advise indulging in drugs? all i can say is that i am still here where lots of fellow travellers are not (see latter answer to Q3). the one thing i did find is that those sort of diversions sap creativity and drive.

    6. What did your parents think about the Mods?
    My older brother was a punk who wore chains and leather and all that carry-on so when myself and 2 younger brothers started clamouring for shirts and ties it was a relief for my parents i suppose plus they knew the sixties sound from their youth....not really a hardship for them to be hearing Tamla Motown coming from my bedroom. From my elder brothers lair all they heard was chaos, violence and dissafection

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