SPIRIT OF '69

SKINHEAD, REMEMBER YOUR ROOTS!!!!!



[A SKINHEAD STORY]

It was the time to make their presence felt, and they
did so in 1969.  Chris Welch writing in the pop press,
was one of the first writers to notice the new -
phenomenon, even if his standpoint was unsympathetic:
'its a curious thing that whenever...a pillar of our
bewildered society wants to cast stones,they instantly
start talking about Long haired Louts/yobs/hippies/
students etc...Yet anybody who has ventured on the streets
will instinctively know that they have nothing to fear
from the long haired youth who merely wants to turn
on in peace to his favourite band and chick.  The sight of
cropped heads and the sound of heavy boots entering the
midnight wimpy bar or dance hall is the real cause for
sinking feelings in the pit of the stomach'.  Welch identified
the new breed as 'Mods', which wasn't a bad description
in the pre-Skinhead days, for no doubt about it, their origins
were the same as the Mods of 1963-64.  But, where as the Mod
had been had been at one with rock music, his younger brother
or sister was left out in the cold.  The cropped hair and turned
up Levis, the braces and the Dr.Martens steel-capped boots
became the obligatory uniform for the 1969 version of the
Mod - a uniform that was quite clearly a reaction against
'hippy gear'.  The hairstyle gave the kids their new name -
'Skinhead' - and the boots the new message 'Aggro' - an
abbreviation of aggravation.   The braces,though no doubt
unconsciously, marked them out as a working-class group.
In every way their image and their attitudes were in direct
opposition to the middle-class student drop-out, who filled the
scapegoat role in the early Skinhead days as the rocker had
filled it for their elder brothers.  Musically the Skinheads had
next to nowhere to turn.   Like the Mods they  wanted music to
dance to, or to 'clomp' to: They had no room for the liberated
free-expresionism of the 'hippies' dancing.  Dave Hill of  Slade
noted: "Skinheads dont move their feet  when they dance, they
stamp them up and down and make one helluva racket.  The more
noise they make,the better.  Putting it crudely, the Skinheads
wanted to be noticed, and this involved noise,brashness,violence
and bovver.  Motown was the only mainstream pop that had any
appeal, and the 'chartbuster' albums were snapped up by the
Skins.  But Motowns identity wssn't clearly defined as they
wanted their music to be - they thus latched themselves into
Reggae, the updated version of Ska and Blue Beat -
pioneered by the Rastafarians in Kingston,Jamaica.  'The
Israelites', the first major reggae seller, was an obvious -
rastafarian record, with its vision of Babylon and the lost
people trapped within its boundary.  Blue Beat had enjoyed
a small burst of popularity by the 'Mods' in 1964, but the
much greater success of Reggae with the Skins was probably
due to the increasing liasion between young West Indians -
especially in Birmingham and certain London districts and
the young whites.  In many of the Skinhead gangs,West Indians
were prime movers:  All racism was chanelled into the anti-
pakistani area - where there was virtually no integration!!!!!!