5.17.2014

Sunday-Monday, May 17-18, 1964: Mods vs. Rockers



LONDON -- About 1,000 teen-agers battled at the Coastal resort of Margate on Sunday, shattering shop windows and breaking into holiday villas. The new outbreak of youthful holiday violence began when the youngsters arrived at the southern England resort for the Whitsun -- Pentecost -- holiday weekend. They camped on the beach all night and fighting soon broke out between "mods" and "rockers." The first are young people who dress stylishly, the second in leather outfits for motorcycling.
     -- Associated Press, May 19

The Rockers were usually in their 20s or 30s; Elvis-loving bikers rooted in 1950s Teddy Boy culture. The teenage Mods' culture, which flourished in the early '60s, was based on continental clothes, Italian Vespa and Lambretta scooter and the music of soul and jazz musicians.
     -- "Mods v. Rockers!" (Daily Mirror, April 2014; link: @)

Note: The rivalry and violence were the basis of The Who's 1973 album, "Quadrophenia" (official site: @)

-- Photo by Terrence Spencer, Time Life Pictures/Getty Images. Original caption: Pair of Rockers, British youths into leather & motorcycles, zip past a rival group of Mods, British youths into fashionable clothes and fancy scooters.

* "I Predict A Riot: Panorama on Mods and Rockers" (BBC): @
* "1964: Mods and Rockers jailed after seaside riots" (BBC): @
* "Wild Ones 'Beat Up' Margate" (Daily Mirror, May 18, 1964): @
* "Charge of the Mods at Margate" (Daily Mirror, May 18): @
* "Wildest Ones Yet" (Daily Sketch, May 19): @
* " 'astings hain't 'ad it so bad since 1066" (Life magazine, September 18, 1964): @
* "Mods and Rockers" (British Library): @
* "Mods and Rockers" (Subculture list): @
* "Folk Devils and Moral Panics" (Stanley Cohen, 1972): @
* "Mods, Rockers, and the Music of the British Invasion" (James E. Perone, 2009): @

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