Gary Crowley, Radio London
Friday 20th June 2014
Weekend Offender - D’arblay Street, W1F 8ED
During the late 50s the modernist movement began to appear within coffee shops populated with art students, moving into the 60s the original Mods emerged, prevalent amongst working class cockney teenagers. Scooters, fashion and a distinct taste in music represented the group, yet as any eclectic trend has taught us, inevitably commercialism drives away the very people at the forefront. The mod movement instead has reminisced throughout history; this post will briefly discuss alternative contemporary subcultures influenced by Franc Roddam’s film ‘Quadrophenia’ released in 1979.
Rising within the mod movement instead of a preference for rock, skinheads remaining loyal to their working class roots connected with black popular music. Post war rebuilding the country and working side by side with immigrants, the skinhead reggae genre surfaced. Jimmy in Quadrophenia is an outsider with a desire to belong and skinheads having formed their own coterie, moved into the 80s with a global following. By this decade the skinheads however had been labelled with negative connotations but its core original values should not be forgotten.
Deviating from skinheads, the hardcore remained faithful to their working class roots. The term originates from the Caribbean, and the Jamaican Diaspora in London enabled two cultures to produce an eclectic style. The fashion of the time displayed sharp suits, thin ties and hats. 2014 and the Rude Boy look is again on trend
In 117 minutes Quadrophenia depicts the portrayal of two clashing sub-cultures. Despite the Rockers giving an image of prosperity, the reality proved that moving away from the war, teenagers for the first time had access to a disposable income. The Teddy Boys instigated the Rockers of the 60s, which in return inspired bands such as The Beatles. Considering the media’s portrayal of violence, similar devotees celebrated non-conformity. Since the release of the film, many reunions have taken place and style wise Winklepickers over the years have transformed and now placed within the contemporary Indie scene.
Stemming from the term Hep Cat, Hippies too originated in the 60s yet in the USA. Although their passion spread worldwide, with the end of the Vietnam War, and around the release of Quadrophenia, they were without cause and violently targeted by Skinheads, Rockers and various other groups. Though their presence has reduced, festivals and student campuses will prove that their significance in society has not been forgotten.
(Young Rebel Set – Northern Echo)
Outside of London in working class areas including the Director Franc Roddom’s own hometown Stockton-on-Tees, displays a different scene inspired by Britpop, although it is not restricted within a social-class, smaller festivals such as Stockton Calling demonstrate positively the fashion aspect in an underprivileged region. Bands such as Oasis, Blur and Arctic Monkeys enthuse local artists. In terms of style expect a Mod teamed with a cross between a football enthusiast and Alex Turner.
Beatnik culture influenced the early Mod days just as it influenced the original hipsters in the USA such as Bing Crosby in the 50s. A true hipster very similar to a Mod will possess disdain for mainstream culture. As Mods aspired to dress sharply flaunting their lifestyle, one hipster expression of their liberal way of living is moving into deprived areas. The economic value placed on both groups has diminished their original values.
No matter which group contemporary group you fit into, the passion of Quadrophenia has and still inspires the coming generations.
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