In a few years between 1960 and 1964, everything changed for young people in Britain. Teenagers were recognised as an emerging social class with some spending power and influence, and pop music replaced traditional band music as the choice for most people under 25. With the music came new dances, rebellious attitudes, and fashion statements. Sides were chosen, and young people dressed to show their affiliations to one kind of music or another.
The once-famous Chris Barber band and their singer posing for a publicity photo at the Marquee Club in London, 1960. It would not be too long before they would have trouble getting work performing to young people.
Young people ‘Jiving’ at the Lyceum Ballroom in London, 1960. This building is once again a theatre, and hosts the long-running musical, The Lion King.
Teddy Boys posing on a London Street. They preferred Rock and Roll music, and later allied with ‘Rockers’, who rode powerful motorcycles and liked the same style of music.
Then the ‘Mods’ arrived. Smart dressers who rode Italian scooters and liked Soul music and Ska.
One young model showing off Mod clothes here (light couloured suit) is Marc Bolan, later famous as the singer in T-Rex.
It wasn’t long before The Mods and The Rockers were clashing. They used to congregate at seaside resorts close to London, and had many famous ‘battles’ on the beaches.
These young middle-class people are showing off what they believe to be the Mod style. They didn’t get it quite right, unfortunately.
A small gathering outside the famous Flamingo Club in London. Originally a Jazz club, it adapted to the new music favoured by Mods, as did The Marquee Club. One of them is Zoot Money, a popular musician, and another is Andy Summers, who later found fame in The Police with Sting and Stewart Copeland.
Two Mod girls dancing in The Marquee Club, 1964.