The First Mods I Saw

Robert Nicholls has added a great article with his recollections of the early modernist fashions and "the first mods I saw":

A case can be built for London dance palais being the spawning ground of Mod, rather than R&B clubs as conventional wisdom suggests. I, like many fledgling Mods gravitated to the West End clubs after an “apprenticeship” in a Mecca ballroom (the Royal in Tottenham). I first saw Mods in significant numbers at the Lyceum ballroom in Aldwych in autumn 1961 and they were mostly Covent Garden labourers and Holborn secretarial workers. Original Mod, Alfredo Marcantonio confirms, “The Lyceum in London was a Sunday afternoon dance and that was a big Mod club.” (1) In these venues the DJ’s who selected the records we danced to were major architects of teenagers’ musical tastes. Accordingly, Ian “Sammy” Samwell and Jeff Dexter are owed a debt of gratitude.


Read the full article HERE 

I know Rob would greatly apreciate any feedback on the article and points out that this is only part one - in the next part he will talk about the Original Mods in the Media



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  • First mods seen summer 79 guys into two tone suits pork pie hats the specials and madness. Got to say looked cool then. Evolved into guys who knew what mod actually was by 1980. Got to say helped in this by young mr Cameron who even then was into the history of mod in a big way and researched everything with a passion.
  • This is a great article, and I think it demonstrates well how the Teddy Boy and Mod fashions weren't always as clear cut at the transition period when both were fashionable.

  • First Mods I saw were in Great Yarmouth in summer of 1979. On holiday with mates one Bowie fan & other Blondie fan.

    Knew about Mod as had been Who fan since early 70s. Came back home bought Vespa changed style only slightly as had been a trendy.  Never really changed style much since then. Sharp is sharp.

  • The first Mods I ever personally met were my brother-law's sister and her boyfriend and friends in Hong Kong, in 1996. They were into Paul Weller, Pizzicato 5, and rode some obscure brand of 1960s scooter, and the girls had bobbed or pixie haircuts with Manic Panic highlights. They were probably the most influential impression of the scene on my own personal style.

  • Good read that. The first Mod I ever saw was my Uncle David back when I was a nipper in the 60's he had a GS and sometimes gave me a backie down the street. The first group of Mods I came across was again late 60's early 70's in the shape of the Bolton Roadrunners S.C their Number one back then was a guy named Pete who was a D.J at a club in town, who also lived in my street. Most of the guys were really cool and so were the girls. Practically been around Mods all my life in one way or another. 

  • Great article. I remember it well. My wife and I met (1963) whilst working for a company in Adam Street (next to Peter Robinsons) so we frequented the Lyceum at least once a week. To this day we still do the "Lyceum Jive" which is different to any other jive I have seen. Wonder if there is any video anywhere of jiving at the Lyceum.

    • Good memories maties.  Graham, any particular records you remember jiving to?  Did you go the Lyceum in the evenings or daytime (Sunday afternoon/lunchtime?)  Don't suppose there are videos of jiving.  I've heard other early Mods fondly remember jiving styles.  I wonder what was distinctive about the "Lyceum Jive."

  • For the record, looking a little harder at the Tamla clip, I recognize the taller gent to my right as my mate Mel and I exchange a brief word with him. I knew two Mels. Mel Harvey gave me his GS exhaust system, but for the life of me I can’t remember this Mel’s surname, though we hung out a lot together, he has a grey minivan. In one of my articles there’s a photo of we three mates sitting at a restaurant table. Mel is on the left in the photo and Duke is on the right.
  • I still write on my clothes Steve in case I get lost I put my name and address on the tag inside the collar well you never know at my age??.
  • Thanks for the encouragement Dave and others, it is appreciated. 

    Nice recollections Adrian and Robert.  What is interesting here, is we are collecting a range of experiences re "The First Mods I Saw" from the late 1970s, which shows important role models and the infuences that instigated the Mod revival.  Chris Cameron--these need to be collected and noted as a form of Mod history

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