Skinhead, Rocker, Mod or Punk?

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As I have matured (grown old) it has become easier to accept the wide range of music available on our diverse planet. The school days of scoffing at the menu of tunes enjoyed by others have long since disappeared down Acceptance Lane, which is a real shame. Mods,Rockers, Punks, Goths, Skinheads, Rockabillys  and New Romantics were part of everyday life in the 80′s, adding colour, noise and sometimes conflict into our book browsing years of learning. The legends that were sent home from school for wearing Dr Martens onto the hallowed grounds or even those punished for daring to wear earrings (I went to an all boys Grammar and believe me that was groundbreaking stuff) were held in high regard. Perhaps the greatest show of individuality was at one School PrizeGiving evening, which of course required full uniform, best behavior and certainly no farting. Through the sea of black blazers and straight (sensible length) ties walked someone straight out of Magnum PI,  a Hawaiian shirt to die for, yellow mixed with black, attire requiring a volume  button to soften the impact. To top it off the guy was wearing sunglasses, what a legend.

The Music of the 80′s (particularly the early years) allowed those individuals, that felt the need to do so, to express themselves. The groups mentioned previously (Rockers, Mods etc) were spawned from the affiliation to a particular style of music. I’m not saying that everyone took this on board and dressed accordingly, but the option was there. It allowed the most timid to be part of a “gang” if they wanted to  be. Some would attach themselves to certain groups because their friends were involved and weren’t really interested in music at all.  As for Hawaiian shirt boy, his drive came from the disquiet felt by school leavers in the early 80′s, the anarchistic late 70′s (where The Punk movement took hold) giving the youth of the next decade a torch to carry, encouraging them to express themselves and fight “the system”

Many however didn’t feel the need to become part of a gang and just enjoyed the music of the time, I fell into that category until I discovered RUSH. I could then be seen regularly wearing a denim jacket covered in patches carrying the name of my favourite band.

As time dragged its heels towards the last day of school, the big wide world beckoned, many would soon discover that having little or no hair did for their job prospects what Maggie Thatcher did for the Coal Miners. Those that had rebelled in the later years of their education would need to start towing the line, gainful employment was hard to find. We still had our music though but even this was about to change. Those that were shaking clenched fists in the air promising anarchy, were now smartly dressed City workers drinking fancy lager and dancing to WHAM! The 80′s music scene changed with the political tide and the Thatcher years encouraged everyone to make money while they could.

The 80′s changed us all, let us know how the early part of the decade influenced you. Please leave a comment.



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Posted by on Jul 29 2013 Filed under Hog's 80s Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “Skinhead, Rocker, Mod or Punk?”

  1. Cheri Price

    I think that apart from a few artists musically, I do feel a lack of excitement towards music of today. Alot of fashion and music now are meerly samples and echos of past. Aside from evolving from vinyl to internet a lot of it has lost its magic and the orginality I felt from 80s music. Music is a soundtrack to life to peoples memories both personally and politically. People used music more then to express how they felt about things going on in the world and in lives also through their fashion to. Thats what made the 80s so special. My mother inspired me with her love of music 60s, 70s & 80s and that’s never left me. That’s something over the years we’ve shared by watching great bands live together that I grew up hearing. Such as shalamar and the osmonds and ub40. If I had to pick a favorite era musically it would be the 80s! And id have definatly been a Mod given the chance

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