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THE PRINTED WORD

Having just noticed that the initiator of the latest "book" thread left the site taking the discussion with him, it's my turn again to revive it; being too important a topic to be dropped, imo.

Having finished "Get Carter" by Ted Lewis over the Holidays, I'll soon start with "Jack Carters Law", a prequel set in late 60s Soho.

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  • Now this one looks brilliant, too; Ronnie Woods diary of 1965, while he was a member of the Birds. Will start on it as soon as I've finished my current read!

  • This one slipped under my radar obviously; Looks like essential read though. Anybody got this yet?

  • Really impressed by my holidays' read. The background story is the same you've read a dozen or so times before; but like a good christian with his gospels, I never tire of reading it time and time again: the Swinging Sixties from early jazz loving modernists to the dawn of psychedelia. A bit sceptical at first about the main character being a bit of a Little Lord Fauntleroy, I got to endear Tara Browne throughout the read so much that it's easy to see why for many of his contemporaries the Sixties ended with his untimely death.

    • A really good and incisive review Kai. I get a distinct sense of this book. Like all popular culture Modernism/Mod is born out of the energy and creativity of the working classes and then commercialised and exploited. I can well understand your scepticism of the main character.

      This is what we call class distinction in the UK. We are regularly informed by the upper classes that class distinction no longer exists, so that we are less likely to fight for a few more crumbs from the cake. This view is endorsed by some of the lower classes in order not to face the reality of the situation. To do so would require action. Not for the faint-hearted.

      This state of affairs is often depicted as a British oddity. I doubt this. I feel it manifests itself in different ways in different countries. In your opinion, is there anything similar or comparable in Germany?

      Thanks for the review- it is excellent, and reminds me of how much I miss frames posting.

    • I do believe something similar exists in Germany and probably most european countries, albeit not (yet) as extreme as in the UK. The book (not for the first time) empazises how class destinction was abolished for the duration of the 60s, but I truly believe this to be a myth. I guess the average working class Mod wouldn't even have made it into places like the Ad Lib...
    • I was doing Soho regularly from 1960 to 64.  . It is a myth. Most of what I read about the sixties is mythical, written by people who researched it years later.

      I have never read anything that resembled my experiences. I knew very little about Mod until I joined MG. The original Mods that used to belong to MG have chosen to leave by and large. I ponder this. It seems to me the Mod they spoke about and experienced doesn't appear in the Mod books I have read.  I know who I believe.

      MG was very lively and sometimes nasty a few years ago. There were some that refused to believe or acknowledge that Modernists ever existed. It was vital though. Now  is almost as though the myth is preferred.

      Mod has moved on, as it should, if it doesn't evolve it becomes an anachronism which defies the title Mod. I think your allusion to reading the gospel (myth) is interesting.. Throughout history this process is repeated. It started with stories around the fire which recorded a history which was embellished, enhanced and made more exciting and heroic as time wore on. The technology may change. The legend lives on..

      For instance, Scotts in Gerrard Street was unbelievably basic and shabby. I knew Ronnie Scott. He was barely making a living and used to make the tea and serve us with sandwiches and meat pies when he wasn't playing. Not all the time but he took his turn. The tables and chairs were all secondhand, I doubt you will read that in the Gospel of the Modernists. It was great. It was proper.

    • Must have been great to actually have been there, John. All we 'younger' (haha...) ones can do is rely on books by and large, and I think people like Tony Beesley and Smiler Anderson are doing a great Job collecting original Mod voices in theirs'. However, I know what you mean about certain decades being glorified by people who weren't there. There's a cult about the 80s going on that makes me want to throw up really; not for nothing I retreated into the 60s at the time... ;-)
    • Yes it was Kai but I would like to think that when ever I was a teenager/young man, I would have had a good time. For all you or I know, you may have had a better time than I had when you were a young man.

      I remember you once told me in answer to my question, that there were six or seven Mods in your crew in Germany. Well I am not sure that I would have taken the road I did if being a Modernist had been such a solitary pursuit. It is what you make of your time that matters and the enjoyment you got from it.

      Claiming celebrity by when you are born seems to me to be a bit desperate.

       

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