Sure, the fact that the whole Mod thing was, indeed, very British did get me interested in the social/economic/cultural conditions of post-war England that led to Mods and surrounded their existence throughout the sixties and beyond. And to this day, I still find that whole history fascinating.
However, as much as I love that history, as much as I think the Union Jack is actually a great design motif, and as much as I really dig the humor of Ricky Gervais, I've never considered myself an Anglophile. For one thing, I don't spell the words humour or colour. Too much typing energy for me. I have also never used the words mate, oi, blimey, carboot, arse, or shite in conversation. I use my middle finger when flipping people off, not a two-finger salute. I call women women, not birds. And I don't know a thing about Manchester or Liverpool football teams. (But I do know it's better to call it football and not soccer!)
That said, I love a lot of British music from the 1960s up to today. (But, I also don't care for a lot of British music... Blur and Oasis, I'm looking at you.) I would rather watch a marathon of the U.K. Office instead of an episode of the U.S. Office. (Let's face it, the British know how to make great TV!) I
And yes, it was a 'very British phenomenon.' Over the years, on occasion, I've heard about how non-British Mods have gotten called out on how they can be into this subculture when they themselves aren't even British. I've always found that to be an odd put-down, especially considering how world-wide interest in Mods has grown over the years. As a Mexican-American, personally, I've been asked before how I could be into a culture that is neither Mexican nor American in nature. And heck, I don't even live in Mexico, unlike these Mexican nationals!
My response to questions like these is that Mods/Modernists themselves weren't feeding off their own culture to begin with! Heck, they were influenced by bits of European culture (Italian scooters, French films, etc.) and a whole lot of American culture! In fact, as I've gotten older, I've realized I'm getting more into the American influence that originally fed Mod tastes and continues to do so today.
So today, in honor of the 4th of July (Independence Day), let's celebrate some of the American influences on Mod/Modernist culture over the years. (Click the header links for more info!) And then, go throw on The Kinks' Something Else LP to balance it all out!
|John Coltrane |
Photo source: the Ivy Style blog.
|The Chico Hamilton Quintet |
Photo source: Night Lights.
Ivy League Style
|Photo source: The Ivy League Look.|
|Photo source: Ivy Style.|
|Photo source: A Modernist.|
|Photo source: Phil Are Go!|
Photo source: All About Jazz.
Levi's 501s, Sta-Prest, and More
|Photo source: Where is the Cool?|
|Photo source: VINMAG.|
Photo source: Doo Wop.
Photo source: Little By Little (Hales).
|Steve Wonder and the Funk Brothers.|
Photo source: Soul Walking.
|Photo source: The Weejun (didn't see that coming, did you?)|
|Roy Lichtenstein - Sweet Dreams, Baby, 1965|
|Andy Warhol - Campbell's Soup Can, 1964|
Hope you have a super fun Independence Day today! Me, I'm oddly craving some fish & chips, a pint of Boddingtons, and some British freakbeat music right now. Go figure.