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Re: Teddy girls

PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2013 7:13 pm
by NormanD
I've noted here before, in some previous discussion, that my experience of 60s scenes were that groups were quite factional. Pubs, coffee bars, sides of dance halls, etc were always offside if you dressed in a certain way. Kids stuck together and tried to avoid going home singly. You'd be left alone if you happened to know one of the other kids from school or work, but that was never reliable.

The Teds were probably the longest lasting, for a good twenty years at least from the mid-50s. Guys would keep the quiffs, pointed shoes, tight suits and slim ties. More rocker than Ted, but not in any way weekenders or revivalist. It was part of their life, dress chosen without any conscious adherence to any lifestyle, rebellious or otherwise. You can see this look in photos of guys throwing rocks at the Brit soldiers in Belfast in 1971, or miners being kicked around at Orgreave in 1984.

How many styles are there now? Bikers, goths, hipsters, folkies..... Are any of them rebellious? Maybe some do dress to provoke, or still get attacked for their appearance (like goths) [or deserve to be, like hipsters and Hoxtontwats with their silly beards]* but they hardly pose any threat more serious than middle-class outrage.

Do the groups still have fights with each other? Will we ever see the like of punchups between the jazz traditionalists V the modernists? Or were such group antagonisms exaggerated out of all proportion to begin with?

The biggest uniformity now is that of young people who have little or no deliberate identification with a particular group - it's more a question of following the particular popular fashion style of the given time, and what's being pushed by Primark, etc. Lilly Allen frocks with trainers? That was so three years ago. What's new now? Whatever is, won't be here this time next year.

The biggest thing I've noticed is that you can pretty much go around wearing what you like now without feeling that you stand out. Maybe that's my own sense of older-age security, or not much caring what others think. Perhaps there's far less security if you're the only goth in the village.

* A joke, a joke

Re: Teddy girls

PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 12:01 am
by Pete Fowler
That’s a really good piece, Norman – and Gordon, just forget it, I was being paranoid, so 90s. Forgive me, no excuses: and, in any case, what you wrote was at least funny, which is a moodset unforgivably absent from my stuff here.

Let’s take one idea. Anti-establishment. The unerring feeling that there was a brick wall that needed demolishing. For me, this drove the youth cultures to which I referred. The turning-over of a new page. The abolition of the old. The ditching of the Light Programme, the overthrow of Scott McKenzie, the trashing of Paul McCartney.

You may know what is happening now that echoes this mood change, I don’t. I’m so fucking old that my kids are too old to see it and my grandkids aren’t yet old enough to see beyond Jessie Jay.

But I’d love to know.

Re: Teddy girls

PostPosted: Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:45 am
by Rob Hall
The overthrow of Scott McKenzie? No problem, there's nothing there to overthrow. The trashing of Paul McCartney? Not so sure about that. McCartney, in his day, could connect with people: that's not something to be sniffed at.

To get back to your main point: no, I don't know what is happening, and I would be suspicious of anyone who claimed to know. But, surely, the establishment will always be the establishment, and there will always be people against it? That's not an argument for complacency, more an argument for closing the gap between innocence and experience.

Re: Teddy girls

PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 12:24 pm
by NormanD
Humphrey Lyttleton tells a story here about Edwardian suits and Teddy Boys. I won't bother working out exactly where it is, have a listen to the whole programme, it's only 30 minutes long, and wonderfully funny throughout
Be quick though, it's only on for seven days.