"Mod (originally modernist, sometimes capitalised) is a subculture that originated in London, England in the late 1950s and peaked in the early to mid 1960s.
There was a mod revival in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s, which was followed by a mod revival in North America in the early 1980s, particularly in Southern California.
I was 13 years old when I saw my first Mod.
It was 1979 and I was living in England at the time. I was at school (equivalent of grade 8) and in he rode on a Vespa Scooter emblazoned with extra lights and mirrors! He was dressed to the nine’s and had on his long, green, fishtail parka with the Who painted on the back... I was awestruck.
NB - hover links in the next paragraph to see images... clicking will take you to top of the page.
1979 was a huge year of change for me – I was uprooted from Canada to return to my homeland of England. The largest change for me was the music. 1979 was the tail end of punk and a time for new identity. Mod revival bands (The Jam
, Secret Affair
, The Lambrettas
, etc.) and Ska bands (The Specials
, The Selecter
, The English Beat
etc.) were exploding! I become swept up with the music, the lifestyle and the fashion. Soon I was sporting button down collars, thin pencil ties, Harrington
jackets, war-time parkas
, Fred Perry
and tasseled loafers
Sadly we moved back to Canada a year later and found myself in a wasteland with respect to this new lifestyle. I was a lone wolf but still tried my best to follow the Mod aesthetic.
Well, many years later I bought a scooter (new Yamaha Vino) and added mirrors, lights and badges I had saved from many years prior. I bought a new fishtail parka on the first day I received the scooter.
In time I met other Mod influenced people, with similar backgrounds, and we started to hang out. I was able to buy a mint 1972 Vespa Sprint that truly has become one of my favourite things in life. It has been completely Mod’ed out and has won many awards including one recently at Amerivespa in Los Gatos (San Francisco) with over 600 scooters attending!
Mod - it's a way of life...