What Is Mod

What Is a MOD??

To my understanding it’s a way of life, the clothes, the scooters, the music and the image. The whole package...The "buzz"

I was a mod back in ’79 and my first musical experience was watching the band ‘Selector’ perform their debut hit ‘On my radio’ on Top of the Pops.

This changed my life I loved the music and the clothes!!! I wanted more!

I soon got onto the mod scene and was meeting new people every day, same interests same passion same drive. I followed bands such as ‘Secret Affair, The Chords, Squire and many more the list is endless...Life was making sense & I loved it!

My first record was ‘Green Onion’ by Booker T & the MG’s I must have played this ten times over!! Transfixed and still not fed up with the tune...its timeless

My first LP was ‘Mod May Day ‘79 for a young kid it was great it was all about being somebody, Being a Mod! 

After Watching the film ‘Quadrophenia’ and listening to bands such as ‘The Kinks, 'The Who' and 'Small Faces'  I gradually began to lose interest in the 80’s Mod music and realised that my taste in music and my style of fashion was gearing more towards the 1960’s.

 I threw away my fake parkas and my cheap Harrington jacket (which was in black and was a huge fashion accessory at the time) and got myself a MA51 fishtail parka, and other items followed such as my boating blazer, 3 button suit’s, tassled loafers, boating shoes, desert boot’s and skinny tie’s.

I do remember telling my mate Tony to "do up ya top button" because we were the most popular faces on the Mod Scene at that time in our area (well we thought we were anyway!!) To us we were the dogs! we had a certain amount of street cred. Looking sharp was a must!!!

It was all about going out Monday night to Moor Farm and Saturday night to the King John pub or Brit in Nottingham Town. I was 17 years old I had a Vespa...I looked sharp... I was a Mod!!!

The only bad memory I have was when my mate got killed on the back of a scooter, his name was David Raynor I have put is name on my web site in his memory may he rest in peace. 

Getting up in the morning, socialising, going to work, everything I did revolved around being a mod. 

Then in 1982, it got to the stage where going on the scooter runs wasn’t about the fun but the fights, every scooter boy and rude boy wanted to beat up a mod so Brighton ‘82 unfortunately, was my last ever scooter run.

These events resulted in the whole scene dying off and my best friend Tony was no longer a mod, I felt my world had fallen apart!!!

I got out of the scene in 1983 and became a ticket until November 2004, I’d sit in my house looking at ‘Scooter Trader’ and one day I saw a scooter for £300 that was it! ...I was hooked again!!! 

Here I am a 40 year old man and back on the scene and being a mod is GREAT!!! I can feel something is happening again IT’S COMING BACK!!!!

I was buying everything I needed for my scooter, mirrors, foxtails, and chrome.

I got all my good’s from eBay ‘Icon Scooter’s’ and ‘Midland Scooter Centre’ in Nottingham. I bought chrome horns from the good old of USA and put them on my scooter, and then I started selling them on eBay. 

As I sold them very quickly, I decided to order some more as well as some foxtails. The demand for these items was so great that I decided to set up my own business.

With the help of my work colleague who set up my website www.modclothin.com I now have a successful small business selling items that I have had a passion for nearly all of my life.

My thanks to my work colleague who did such a fantastic job of setting up the website. This was the first Store that he has ever done and once you have visited it, I’m sure you will agree that it is fantastic!

I have looked on a lot a mod websites but have never found anything that I personally think signifies what I think mod clothing is about. Boating blazers, 3 buttons suits, sta press trousers, desert boots, Tie’s,  we move on to making our own suiting & shirts the list go’s on. All these items are available on the website.

Pete Whelbourn.

Suited and booted and ready for action.

Saturday morning was all about going into Nottingham. I'd have my levi's on, my desert boots or loafers, white Fred Perry polo shirt ,partnered by a black v-neck jumper, terry towelling socks (white socks were 'a must'), (3 for £1 and after a few wears your heels were poking through because they were made so cheap!!), and last but not least the 'Fishtail Parker', The item of worship, the holy grail, the 'thing' that identified me as a 'Mod'.

I'd be either on the bus or my Scooter and as I entered Nottingham and jumped off the bus or parked my scooter with pride, the adrenalin rush would set in as I would syke myself up to face the oncoming jeers and abuse I was about to receive from the punks, greaser's(Rocker's) Casuals or any other person that hated Mods.

I'd walk through town, down Wheeler Gate towards my destination 'Broad Marsh Bus Station'. Around the corner, was a 'sea of green', lads and girls, Mods and Modettes, all thinking alike, all into the same music, lifestyle and fashion.

The topic of conversation would be about 'The King John (The local Mecca for Mods along with 'Brit' which was another one of our haunts), clothing and music. The conversation would lead to what time we would all head up to Victoria Centre to 'Take on' any poor unfortunate sod who wasn't a Mod!! (as in any gang 'which doesn't relate to the negative stereotype that's used today) there's alway's a few nutter's who like to kick the crap out of 'anyone' who was in the wrong place at the wrong time!)

We'd run through Broadmarsh Centre, chanting 'We are the Mods', fist's in the air and shouting the words with pride. The atmosphere was electric as everyone participated and got involved. There would be about 80 -100 of us running through the centre, not taking any notice of who was in our way, (I'd hate think how may grannies we knocked over!!!)

We'd get to Victoria Centre to find all of 'Three' Teddies Boys'. While the 'nutters' kicked the crap out of them, we stood around jeering and cheering them on, contributing the odd kick and punch now and again!! (It was great!!)

The Word would be out, someone would shout" the police are coming” and we’d all scatter in different directions.

The chat would be about the events of the day and how many Teddy Boys were beat up.

The Man of the Iron Pub

Me and my Friend Tony were at a party in an upstairs pub, dancing to 'The Who's My Generation', when the pub landlord came up and told us to stop dancing as the ceiling was bouncing up and down and looked like it was going to cave in.

Huge Mistake!!!

All he received in return at the same that time that 'Daltry' sang the line' WHY DON'T YOU ALL FADE AWAY', about 20 of us who were jumping around so heavily you could feel the floor boards moving, elaborated on our moves and all shouted 'WHY DON'T YOU JUST F**K OFF!!

The landlord and his friends, who were much older than us, decided to remove us from the pub. When we got outside, some bright spark suggested that we move on to the 'Man of Iron Pub' which was up the road which was renowned for occupying the local greasers(Rockers) from 'Stabbo' (Stapleford).

On entering the pub we went to the bar, ordered a drink, saw all the 'greasers' / rockers' in the pub and by this time the room went silent. You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife.

A guy called 'Foxie' notorious Clifton nutter, thought it would be good idea to put some music on and even better entertain the 'greasers' with 'The Jam'. This in turn caused a bit of an uproar as we all ran out the pub with them in tow, we all ended up in and around a skip with bricks and building materials, ideals weapons to wipe a few greasers out.

At the end of the tussle, most of us escaped on foot or some of us headed off on scooters. Foxie and his mate Jimmy (another Clifton nutter) was being caught up by a greaser on a motorbike. Jimmy was always renowned for carrying a walking stick with a ball on the end. As the greaser caught up with them, he decided to stick the stick in the spokes of the motorbike, the biker came of his bike and landed in the gutter where he belonged.

We all rode back to our pub 'The Vic' and had a laugh and joke about the nights events.

It's funny when you're young that you don't have a conscience, thought or care about your actions or how they affect other people. You could be in crowd watching a 'rocker' being beat up just for being a rocker, none of it made sense nor did it have to because we just did what felt right at that time.