Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday Gifts to Avoid 2012

Christmas is tomorrow and hopefully all your shopping is done. But even more importantly, hopefully you've avoided the following list of gifts!

First up, let's take a look at this nice gift idea: a black cotton mac from (drum roll, please)... Pretty Green!
A cotton mac for the wealthy Oasis-obsessed Mod set.
I can't believe I'm going to say this but this isn't a bad piece of coat. Yup, a Pretty Green item I actually don't think is that bad. Nice, short collar with side pockets and epaulets. A step up from a parka if you're looking for protection from stormy weather. There's only one tiny snag in this little coat: it costs $1,100! Yes, you read that right: ONE-THOUSAND, ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Pretty Green, are you for real? If ANY of you have the money for a gift like this, don't be stupid. Please use it for a gift certificate to your local tailor instead. Seriously, for that kind of money you could probably get an even more stylish jacket made to your specifications PLUS a tab-collar shirt to boot!

One for the ladies. So, you think you look 'mod.' You think you dance 'mod.' You think you pose 'mod' in all your Facebook profile pics. But guess what. You probably don't smell 'mod'! Well, now you can fix that with this offering from Avon:
The essence of a "60's mod" bottled up.
And this stuff just won't make you smell like any ol' mod. Nope, you'll be engulfed in the aroma of actual "60's mod". Personally, I don't know what that's like, seeing as I was born a few years after the sixties ended. But this little item might just complete your total vintage experience. You're at a club and spot some gal who thinks she looks like Peggy Moffitt. She's out there doin' her Sandy Sarjeant dances while eyeballin' that fellow you're with. Well, all you need to do is walk right past her, let her take in a whiff of "60's mod," and watch that crestfallen look on her face. She just lost the 'mod' game.

Some of you have families, right? You probably don't have much luck driving your kids to school on your scooter. You and the wife need to hit the supermarket for a week's worth of groceries and scooters just don't seem very practical. In these cases, life forces you to bust out the Mazda or SUV. How embarrassing it's gotta be if you're driving by people who think you're just some regular ol' joe barely existing through life. Well, solve that problem with this little window decal to let the whole world know exactly what you're about:
Will be right at home next to your cartoon family decal sticker.
 With this little sticker, you'll announce your presence to the world.. After all, it's an important thing to make sure strangers know you're 'mod.' After all, why else would you walk around in a parka covered in advertisements for your favorite bands or a Union Jack pin on your lapel?

A few weeks back, there was some 'controversy' over Paul Weller and his tank-top/flip-flop look. Many of you thought, "What's the big deal? He's just relaxing and they're just clothes!" Well, for those of you who enjoy relaxing and don't think style is all that important, have I got a gift suggestion for you! Union Jack Uggs!
Lucky for you, I can't read German and I'm too lazy to find the actual link to buy these things.
After all, Mods need down time too, right? If flip-flops are an acceptable shoe, then why not Uggs? And hey... these are Union Jack Uggs! They'll go great with jeans and a parka.

Aw hell, everyone's suffering from Quadrophenia Fever lately! Well, show off your love of everyone's favorite Mod opera with this awesome tee:
Come on... it don't get more Mod than this!
Show up to that next scooter rally dressed in this and a green pair of sta-prest and I guarantee you'll still be better dressed than 70% of the people there! (Trust me, I've seen photos of enough scooter rallies these days.)

Now, this last item is on the wrong list. Do NOT avoid this but rush out now and get it if you're a dog owner or know a Mod dog owner. It's so silly, it's so ridiculous, it's so wrong... that it's right.
(Thanks go my pal Fred Eagle over at for hippin' me to a piece of Dogrophenia!)
In general, I'm not into clothing for dogs. But, in this case, I'll make an exception. Your dog will be the Ace Face mutt runnin' around the yard in this thing. And if you're hungry for mod dog puns, then the We Are the Mods Facebook page as you hooked up!

That's it for bad gifts this year. Have a GREAT CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Casual Friday #10: Alejandro Garin

Working to look sharp for a rare evening out on the town can actually be easy. The tough job is trying to look sharp on a daily, casual basis. Yeah, you might have your Friday night suit at your beck and call, but what does it matter if you spend the rest of your time in target t-shirts and jeans? Every Friday, I'd like to offer up some style inspiration for tightening up your casual look, because let's face it... sometimes you just don't feel like wearing a tie, but still want to keep it sharp.

A few weeks back, the photo below was posted on a Facebook page called 'Mod and Northern Soul,' and it got me thinking that I don't post enough photos of actual, modern-day Mod types. I guess one of the reasons why I tend to avoid that is because I'd run the risk of having the blog and associated Facebook page overrun with requests from people to "Ooh! Use me! Use me!"

And let's be honest: Out there is a sea of Mod-types floating around in all-too-common Fred Perrys, Jam patch-covered parkas... shiny Merc suits... target cufflinks... zzzzzzzz... But every so often, I do come across images that just knock me out, like this one below of former member of the '80s/'90s Spanish Mod band, Los Flechazosand current member of Cooper. (Ah... remember those pre-Britpop days when bands like these guys, The Clique, and The Lost Minds were keepin' things rollin'?) Check out Alejandro Garin, knockin' it out of the casual park:
Alejandro Diez Garin, ex-member of Los Flechazos and current Cooper member.
Up front, the thing I like most about this image is, well, he's older than I am (I think)! Here's someone who didn't give up on the look or let age get in the way. He knows what looks sharp for an older man without veering into the comedy Mod realm.

Secondly, and let's just get this out of the way, yes... his scooter is beautiful! And you know how you can tell? It's not hidden behind a wall of mirrors and lights! He just has a few accessories on there to give it a little personality, but it's the scooter design and paint job that take the focus.

Now, let's get into his gear, starting with his shoes. DAMN! He's killin' it with a pair of chisel-toed kicks made of leather and suede that you just don't see that often. They've gotta be vintage. One thing I've learned about Spanish Mods over the years is that they are some of the slickest guys around who, somehow, come across really great vintage pieces, especially shoes. (And I'm proud to say that I do have a similar pair to these that I wear, oh, once every five years or so.)

Next up, those trousers. Tight-fitting but with a perfect flare that's not too wide. That type of flare accentuates a great shape that brings a person's attention to the shoes at the bottom. Plus, based on how high they're riding from his sitting position, you know they're not high-waters. And an even more important thing to always remember about a good pair of trousers: a sharp, clean crease down the center. No wrinkled, schlub pants going on here.

Finally, dig on his multi-colored 3-button long-sleeved polo. There's a style rule about wearing blacks and browns together in an outfit, but this right here is the exception to the rule. Actually, I break that rule in pretty good moderation. Again, I'd guess that the polo is vintage but I could be wrong. Great, wide bars in tan and brown mixed with black narrow striping. Add in the black sleeves and black collar and you've got a beautiful sweater with colors that stand out from all the surrounding black.

Friends, this is my kind of casual. A sixties look that has dated very well over the years and one that sticks out from the Fred Perry army.

Sure, there are a lot of people out there 'keeping the faith' in their Mod 101 gear. But there are also those fellows who know a thing or two about coordinating a pocket square with their tie, hitting on the right details of a suit jacket, and finding the perfect shoe to pull it all together. I oughtta start giving them their due.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Sharp Stylings #57: James Bond

We can learn so much from yesterday’s fashion icons.  And living in a post-Mad Men world means we can even enjoy aspects of current male fashions! Every Friday, I’d like to start your weekend off right with a little style inspiration from either then or now. Hopefully, my fellow Mod enthusiasts will find the whole or some detail of the whole to appreciate and maybe even adopt.

Man, what happened? This holiday season just knocked me out! I'm slowly crawling out of a blogging black hole... slowly.

So, let's get to it. James Bond. He's been all over the place lately, because, y'know, Skyfall, which I still haven't seen. I think I need to see it soon, though, especially after dreaming about it last night (yes, dreaming). And I hope the movie is as awesome as my dream was... I mean, it better include a scene in which he engages in a swordfight (with his hands tied behind his back) by using his nose to nudge his girlfriend's sword into position to battle their opponent... and actually wins. And his beaten opponent better transform into a winged demon and fly away in defeat. If these scenes aren't in Skyfall, I'm going to be very disappointed.

But one thing I know I'm not dreaming about is that James Bond is helping to bring the tab-collar back into style for men's fashion! For years, it seemed so difficult to find good tab-collars, but things may be changing thanks to Tom Ford's designs for the new James Bond film.

And if you want to talk about 'Sharp Stylings'... friends, from what I could tell in the commercials, Skyfall contains what might just be the most bad-ass sharp-styling scene in all moviedom: James Bond, in a clean tab-collar shirt with pointed collar and french cuffs under a slim grey suit, adjusting his cuffs after narrowly avoiding a blow-out behind him. Hey, if you're gonna face death, you might as well look good doing it!
Image from The Suits of James Bond.
Now, there's no doubt I'm on Team Craig when it comes to past James Bonds. Heck, Casino Royale's opening sequence even dwarfed my previous favorite James Bond opening sequence... yup, the one from Octopussy! Sorry, Roger Moore...

But no matter how styling, how tough, how bad-ass the Daniel Craig James Bond is, well... there will always be one better. When it comes to suave James Bond style, you all know the score: 
Image from The Compass.
Yup, I'll drink to that.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tune in to 'We Are the Mods'!

Recently, I was very honored to be asked to be one of the guests, along with DJ Hacker, on Warren Peace's internet Modcast, We Are the Mods, and now that show is available for streaming or download. Got an hour or so to kick around? Then tune in, listen to some good great music, and hear us talk about stuff!

The topic of the show: 'Has 'sloppy society' in 2012 caused a spiralling decline in Mod style standards?'

We Are the Mods is hosted by Wake the Nation and you can get to the page directly here:!radio/vstc1=we-are-the-mods


Friday, November 9, 2012

Casual Fridays #9: Corduroy

Working to look sharp for a rare evening out on the town can actually be easy. The tough job is trying to look sharp on a daily, casual basis. Yeah, you might have your Friday night suit at your beck and call, but what does it matter if you spend the rest of your time in target t-shirts and jeans? Every Friday, I'd like to offer up some style inspiration for tightening up your casual look, because let's face it... sometimes you just don't feel like wearing a tie, but still want to keep it sharp.

As you all know by now, 1990s' Britpop wasn't really my bag. 1990s Acid Jazz, on the other hand, hit me in all the right spots! I started getting into it, probably thanks to that first Paul Weller album and the first Jazzmatazz album which featured Dee C. Lee, Donald Byrd, and Roy Ayers. When I first started reading about Acid Jazz, the Mod thing, for the most part, was dead, media-wise. New Acid Jazz acts were probably the closest thing to Mod that I could read about when it came to the music scene at the time. And for me, it made sense... acts playing funky soul, funky jazz, etc., bringing that sound forward and looking cool doing it.

And during those days, I was mad thirsty for anything related to Mod style. The nearest contemporary inspiration available was from the stylings of bands like The James Taylor QuartetMother Earth, and Cordoroy. I used to pick up On the One magazine which featured pretty cool fashion spreads on 'jazz' style of the time. And although I never got into the whole 'love beads' look, I dug what some of these guys sported on a casual basis. Check out Corduroy, for instance:
From the Mod Speed blog.
These dudes used to rock the short hair, Levis jacket, rolled-neck sweater, and narrow trousers look. And for me, this became a template for my own casual look back then. In the image above, check out the fellow in back. Nice white jean jacket, probably Levis pants to match, and a pair of sharp, leather shoes.

For me, this was a look that was clean, mellow, relaxed, and sharp as hell. I don't wear this look too often these days, not because I don't like it, but because I'm more into a dressier look. But on warmer weekend days, if I'm just going to hang out in our local neighborhood and I don't feel like picking out a dress shirt (because those days exist), I'll most likely follow the Corduroy lead here with my olive green Wrangler jean jacket (or light blue Levis jacket), short-sleeve button-down shirt, sta-prest, and a pair of loafers.

For me, this look is casual done cool. Y'know what else is cool? Corduroy!

And for the Acid Jazz heads out there, hope you're as excited about the 25th Anniversary Box set as I am! And read on for a great interview with Acid Jazz man, Eddie Pillar.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Sharp Stylings #56: Charlie Watts

We can learn so much from yesterday’s fashion icons.  And living in a post-Mad Men world means we can even enjoy aspects of current male fashions! Every Friday, I’d like to start your weekend off right with a little style inspiration from either then or now. Hopefully, my fellow Mod enthusiasts will find the whole or some detail of the whole to appreciate and maybe even adopt.

Have you hugged your local drummer today? Because, man, those guys are some of the hardest working guys in the music business. Trust me, I've seen enough live bands to notice how difficult it's gotta be up there on stage, pounding away on the sticks, and working up a sweat. It's totally understandable why Keith Moon and countless other drummers settle for wearing a t-shirt while playing.

But then you got guys like Charlie Watts who, sometimes, don't let all that hard work get in the way of good style:
From the VoxSartoria site. Thanks to Chris P. for hippin' me to this!
Not only is Charlie Watts drumming while dappered up... he's drumming while rockin' a full-on Ivy look! Check it out: thin, pretty conservative-looking tie, white button-down shirt with french cuff and cufflinks, and narrow, double-breasted jacket.  It don't get much cooler than this. I've mentioned before how stylin' Watts could be, but this is just a great shot of him swank and in action.

Yeah, next time you consider wearing a suit and tie too much 'hard work' for hanging out with your friends and family, keep Charlie Watts in mind. This is how he dresses for manual labor!

Now dig on the man just doing his job:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sharp Stylings #55: Study in Contrasts

We can learn so much from yesterday’s fashion icons.  And living in a post-Mad Men world means we can even enjoy aspects of current male fashions! Every Friday, I’d like to start your weekend off right with a little style inspiration from either then or now. Hopefully, my fellow Mod enthusiasts will find the whole or some detail of the whole to appreciate and maybe even adopt.

This past week, my friend sent me a link that made me cringe. I can't bring myself to say who the subject of the link was (*cough* *cough* paul weller *cough*), but that person was wearing flip-flops, denim shorts, and a tank top... a look that has appalled me since I was a pre-Mod kid.

Now, keep in mind, in general, I like this fellow... heck I featured him as a Sharp Styling subject just last week! But in that same week, he crossed into some terrible fashion folly territory while out shopping with his kids in Los Angeles. So, I posted the above article up on the ol' Facebook Mod Male page and got enough comments to fuel this blog for another 3 months alone.

But today I just want to show how two different people have approached Summer wear.

On one hand, you have a public figure, one who has made a career utilizing a 'Mod' aesthetic. He's a multi-millionaire making his money off of his music, interviews, and clothing endorsements, including John Varvatos, Pretty Green, Fred Perry, and Ben Sherman. These companies approach Paul Weller because he's become a style icon thanks to his Mod leanings. And these companies know that if Paul Weller endorses their clothing lines, you can pretty much expect new Mod customers lining up at the doors. So, yeah, it's a bit of a let down to see the guy walking around looking like he's out of 'costume' and taking a Matthew McConaughey approach to Summer style.

On the other hand, you have this guy:
From the Mean Spirited blog.
Here's a nameless Congolese sapeur, also taking a walk with his kids on what is most likely a hot African day. This guy does not have the $$$ of the other and is not getting clothing endorsements. He's just taking the heat in stride and cruising around with his kids without a single name brand shop around him. And he's taken the time to amp up his look, regardless of his environment. I've said it before, but THIS is 'clean living under difficult circumstances.'

Look, I'm not saying you have to wear a suit 24/7, rain or incredible shine. There are ways to dress casually and still look slick in the heat. Light-weight fabrics, short sleeved polos or button-downs, seersucker, loafers, white linen, and yes, even shorts. But please, don't tell me flip-flops, denim shorts, and a tank top is the new, forward-thinking Mod look.

It's just straight lazy.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Mod Gone Wrong: Halloween 2012

It's that time again... time to start planning your Mod costume for Halloween next week!

Actually, now I remember one of the reasons I used to hate Halloween. Yeah, you try walking to school on Halloween dressed in your normal clothes while people around you point out, "Look! He's a Beatle!" or "Oh man, great sixties costume!"

Well, I'm not one to dress up on Halloween, but maybe this year, I'll give it a shot with something simple like this:
Let Harlequin Costumes show you how to "Mod up."
Quite frankly, the only reason why I know this is a 'costume' rather than a photo of an actual parka Mod at a rally is because it says it right there on the outfit's webpage: 'fancy dress costume'. But if you took this guy and dropped him down into a photo of a scooter rally, he'd probably fit right in!

Interesting what this company did to create this outfit, too. It's almost as if they took a Snuggie (look at how long this thing is!), dyed it green, and added fur to a fake hood. Then, they painted on the target to complete the 'Mod' look. Psh! And you were going to spend 3 paychecks on a Pretty Green parka? Just rent this out for the night!

Now, I can't confirm whether or not the pointed shoes or badly-cut trousers are part of the oufit, but I do know one thing. It's not only getting the thumbs-up from the guy wearing it... it's also winning over Rockers!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sharp Stylings #54: Paul Weller

We can learn so much from yesterday’s fashion icons.  And living in a post-Mad Men world means we can even enjoy aspects of current male fashions! Every Friday, I’d like to start your weekend off right with a little style inspiration from either then or now. Hopefully, my fellow Mod enthusiasts will find the whole or some detail of the whole to appreciate and maybe even adopt.

I'm skipping out on Casual Fridays today in honor of Paul Weller's show tonight. Besides, if you wanna find a casual photo of Paul Weller, just do a quick Google search and I'm sure there'll be casual shots galore!

Instead, let's get back to what I dig appreciating most: sharp suitin' style! Now, even though he likes spending most days in casual wear, when Paul Weller does actually suit up, he brings it! For instance, take this oldie-but-goodie here of Paul Weller back in 1995:

If any of you out there in Internetland have a copy of this magazine handy, pull it out and take in all the great color going on in this outfit. Looks to me like he's wearing the same shirt/tie combo from the 'Changing Man' video. Nice, coloful splashes from that tie contrast well with the deep blue of the shirt. But then, combine that with what looks like a Prince of Wales check double-breasted jacket and you got a winning combo there! (My copy of this mag is in storage so I can't confirm the POW pattern.)

But seriously, a great lesson on how to play with color and patterns.

Paul Weller... when's he's on, he's ON.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Growing Up With Paul Weller's Solo Career

Well, well, well... looks like ol' Paul Weller is returning to play in California. And it looks like he'll be skipping the Bay Area... yet again. (What, he doesn't like sourdough bread?) Normally, we wouldn't really consider driving down to catch one of his shows in Los Angeles. He just doesn't have the same pull with us that he used to. But this year, things are a little different. For one thing, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings are opening up! But, more importantly, we get to hang out with my best pal who scored some amazing tickets so that we'll get to re-live the memories together of when we once hero-worshipped the guy!

Yes, there was a time when I tried to collect anything with a Paul Weller picture on it.  I've already discussed how I got into The Jam and why I think The Style Council should be re-evaluated. But it was actually Paul Weller's solo career that I grew up with. By the time the Jam broke up, I was still having battles in the backyard between my Star Wars and G.I. Joe action figures. And by the time The Style Council broke up, I was just starting to trade in my Transformers toys for Smiths records.

But by the time Paul Weller got back to celebrating his Mod roots again, I was strutting around my high school campus in a pair of loafers and a parka! His solo career started at just the right time for me to appreciate real-time. Ahh... it feels just like yesterday when I walked into that Barnes & Noble bookshop in my local Puente Hills Mall and grabbed a copy of The Face magazine. In there was a timeline of some sort... I can't really remember the theme of the timeline, but on one of the timeline nodes was mention of something called The Paul Weller Movement. No real description on what that was, but it was proof that Paul Weller was still floating around out there in the music world.

A few months later, I picked up that first Paul Weller Movement 12", 'Into Tomorrow' with the Mod-approved multi-colored target on the cover! The A-side of this record was okay, but it was the B-side that made me take notice. 'Here's a New Thing' contained a total '60s soul beat (to my ears) and reminded me of J.J. Jackson's 'It's Alright'. And 'That Spiritual Feeling' was just a beautiful, rollicking funk workout that helped set my music tastes from that point forward (despite my non-Mod friends calling it porn music).

Shortly after this record, I was lucky enough to catch him live, in person at the Variety Arts Theatre in Los Angeles in 1991! I went there with my buddies Juan G. and Dan (Electro) and felt excited to see other Mods walking around... there was even some yahoo in a Union Jack jacket, and yes, for a 17-year-old, that was a cool thing to see! While we were standing outside, taking it all in, some woman approached us with a couple of free front row tickets she wasn't going to be needing. I made the sacrifice and let my pals use those tickets. I'd be okay sitting toward the back. But when we walked in, the attendent looked at my friends' front-row tickets, walked us up to the front, and then pulled a seat out for me assuming I was front row too! Yes, friends, we were front row to Paul Weller's FIRST show in Los Angeles in who-knows-how-many years! He performed Jam songs, Style Council songs, new songs we didn't know... and it was perfect all night long! Paul Weller was back!

Later that year, a friend invited me over to watch his new purchase: a videotape of the Paul Weller Movement's Brixton Academy show.  Not only was he doing old Jam and Style Council songs, but he was also covering The Small Faces (a cover of 'Tin Soldier' that raised the hairs on the back of my neck)! He looked so into it on stage and was rockin' a slick casual look! Oh yeah, I was taking style notes, digging on his narrow jeans hemmed just above a pair of sharp loafers, a white mock-turtle neck sweater, and short hairstyle. Eventually, I would get my own copy of this tape and would watch it as often as I once watched Quadrophenia.

Paul Weller's debut LP coincided with my move up to the Bay Area. Surprisingly, most of the Mod folks I met when I first moved up north weren't huge into The Jam or The Style Council. They were all a bit older than I was and were already exploring deeper sounds from older acts like The Outsiders, Junior Wells, and Paul Butterfield. But Paul Weller still did retain a few fans in our little scene, including my soon-to-be lifelong pal, S.C., and the Sacramento Mods.

S.C. was my age and an even bigger Paul Weller fan than I was. She walked around in a parka, dyed purple, with Paul Weller's actual signature along the back. If any of you have seen the Highlights and Hangups video, she's the one jumping up on stage to give him a kiss during one of the live segments. While most of our crew were more excited talking about Little Walter, we were content to sit around watching old Jam and Style Council videos and playing that debut solo album over and over again. I think a big part of this had to do with the fact that we were closest in age amongst our friends and younger than everyone else around us. We were getting into the Mod thing on our own terms, yet still highly influenced by our older friends.

We were so into Paul Weller that one day we all decided to take a last-minute trip down to Los Angeles to catch him play on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. AND we got in! (My pal, Steven Levano, reminded me that we almost didn't make it in due to the show giving away more tickets than seats in order to ensure a full house! According to him, we were almost ushered in to the Vicki Lawrence Show, instead!) Now, I don't think Jay was a big of a fan of Paul Weller as we were... he called him Peter Weller.

As much as we liked that solo album, I don't think it opened up our eyes as much as Wild Wood did. Not only did we fall in love with the whole LP, but it really turned us on to sounds we probably would have ignored otherwise.

It was filled with songs that were more folky and mature. It even brought some of our older Mod pals around! Around this time, I had let go some of my prejudices against music made past 1967. I was already digging on Vanilla Fudge and The Zombies, but now Paul Weller was turning my ears toward Traffic and Tim Hardin. And it was great. It helped me move on from my parka/Jam shoe Mod period.

Stanley Road continued to excite us and watching that video of 'The Changing Man' for the first time solidified our allegiance to the guy. He was blasting that Mod imagery while stepping up his style! But he was also releasing interesting music that continued to mature. Around this time, Paul Weller started gaining more local fans, mainly thanks to the explosion of Oasis and Blur fans in our area. Although we were a little turned off by the Paul Weller/Oasis connection, it did bring in some new people who eventually became good friends.

Then, the first disappointment hit. When I heard about the upcoming Heavy Soul LP, I couldn't contain myself. This was it... Paul Weller was going to release a full-on super soul album! I was sure it was going to be something like the first album, but more 'sixties' sounding. Unfortunately, Heavy Soul was anything but. Now, it was a great album with a beautiful country-psych graphic design look and fantastic songs like 'Driving Nowhere' and 'Friday Street', but it just didn't deliver on the soul front. And, many other songs did sound a little like filler to me. As much as I still liked Paul Weller, I was starting to get over my super fan phase.
By the time Heliocentric was released, a few years later, I had already gotten turned on to too much good music. Friends had hipped me to the greatness of things like The Pretty Things' S.F. Sorrow, Nick Drake, The Flying Burritto Brothers, and Kaleidoscope. I was getting into music I used to ridicule my parents for listening to... dreaded 'hippie' music. I was walking around in longer hair, flared trousers, and paisley scarves. So, when Heliocentric was announced, what got me most excited was news about Paul Weller using Robert Kirby, the man behind Nick Drake's strings.

And Heliocentric was a really good album. It contained some fantastic songs, but at that time, I was too busy with other music. In fact, the CD that got most play around this time was my Fairfield Parlour CD, released that same year. I hate to say it, but I had moved on from Paul Weller. Many of his songs were starting to sound the same to me and his voice was losing its strength to my ears. Plus, by this point, I think I replaced a following for Paul Weller with a following for Beck. Beck's records were sounding much more interesting to me, especially when he delved into oddball soul styles! He was delivering new music that sounded innovative and fresh.

Illumination was released next and although I did pick up the first single, 'It's Written in the Stars', and felt it to be a return to the sounds from his first release, I didn't bother picking up the entire album. I just wasn't that interested anymore. In fact, if you wanna know the truth, I just heard it for the very first time over this past weekend. And y'know... it was pretty good!

Studio 150 was another album I passed up, probably after reading some mediocre reviews. In fact, other than 'The Bottle', I can't say I've really heard the rest of the album. Eh... I'll survive.

My future wife and I started dating around this time. And I knew SHE was a big Paul Weller fan! That is an understatement, actually. Heck, I'm surprised she didn't start re-decorating the apartment with life-size Paul Weller posters the day she moved in! But as big a fan as she is, she was equally as moved with Weller's next album, As Is Now, as I was. We played it once. Frankly, I couldn't tell you the name of the hit song off that one.

Personally, I think we were both over Paul Weller's output. That was okay though as he left us with a large back catalogue we could still enjoy. But then, 22 Dreams was released.
We had no real interest in picking it up, but my old pal, S.C., thought we might like it. So, we bought it and decided we'd play it once just to get it out of the way and then move on to something else. The first song reminded me of The Incredible String Band for some reason. The second song had a '60s guitar thing going on. But the third song is the one that really hooked us! By the middle of the CD, we were sold. And by the end of it, we were jumping to hit the PLAY button again. It became our driving CD for months afterward. We absolutely LOVED the hell out of 22 Dreams! Each song had something different to offer, but each one was just as good to us. We were back in Paul Weller's camp...

...until Wake Up the Nation. Yes, we were super into 'No Tears to Cry', but after playing the entire CD once in the car, we put it away and never touched it again. We haven't even bought Sonik Kicks. All across Facebook, people kept posting the hit song was off that album (I don't even know the name), but not once did it hit me in the right spot. A few days ago, I was listening to samples of Sonik Kicks songs off the internet when my wife walked by and gave me a perplexed look. "Are you listening to P.I.L.?" That pretty much summed it up.

So, there you have it. Hey, I still like Paul Weller and all, but I just don't hero-worship him anymore. He's done some great stuff and he's done some not-so-great stuff. Years ago at one of the first Mod parties I went to in Berkeley, my new friend (Major) Sean C. started discussing Paul Weller with me and he said something that really stuck with me. "Man, some people like Paul Weller no matter what he does. If he put out a heavy metal album, I bet you some Mods would start getting into heavy metal." And I think he had a point.

Look, Paul Weller has had a long solo career by now and most of it has been fantastic. But not everything has been a hit with me. I don't want to spend this post getting too down on the guy. After all, as you probably noticed while reading this post, he had a big effect on me growing up. His music helped open me up to other types of music I probably would have ignored as an uptight younger 'hard-core' Modnick. And despite my disinterest in his most recent releases, he has still put out a lot of amazing songs. I'd like to touch on some of those songs now, picking out my fave from each album, songs that still bring me back to different periods of my life whenever I hear them.

You're probably expecting me to post all the rockin' hits like 'Changing Man', 'Friday Street', 'The Weaver', etc. But hey... I'm an old man and I dig the slow burnin' songs. I like to just groove along with a glass of wine in my hand and my lady by my side. And seeing how these songs made me feel again after all these years, I guess I've always been an old man. So, the following are my Top 10 Retrospective Paul Weller Songs album by album.

1. Bitterness Rising - So many great songs on Paul Weller's debut solo LP (probably my favorite album, still), but this song is the one that always made me stand up! Here, Paul Weller is doing it live from the previously mentioned 1991 Brixton Academy show. Paul Weller seemed to be going through his mid-life crisis a little early leading up to this period, but damn! He sure came up with great songs like this one. (See, guys, sometimes a mid-life crisis can help bring out your creative energy... leave your high school parkas in the closet and work on developing some of your creative skills instead!)

2. Has My Fire Really Gone Out? - Another mid-life crisis song, this time off his second LP, Wild Wood. The whole album, from start to finish, was perfect. But when I heard this song again over the weekend, it was the one that made me stop what I was doing to just enjoy it.  I have no idea why I was so attracted to these songs dealing with self-doubt. Maybe it was because I was listening to these at a time when I was morphing from angsty teenager to slightly less angsty young adult, worrying more about what lay ahead in my future.
3. Wings of Speed - I had a hard time choosing between this song and 'Time Passes...', both off the Stanley Road album. YouTube made it easier by not making a good version of 'Time Passes...' available. But 'Wings of Speed' was the one that always hit my sweet spot. Pretty much just Paul Weller on piano with a nice vocal backing, featuring Carleen Anderson. Beautiful soul music and probably why I had such high hopes for the following Heavy Soul album.

4. I Should Have Been There To Inspire You - Probably the most soulful song off of Heavy Soul. A mellow groove but with a sparse yet strong backing beat. Really too bad the rest of the album didn't have this much soul.

7. Brand New Start - Alright, this one's a little special. I took it from Paul Weller's Modern Classics and made this the second track on the very first CD I made for this girl I had a huge crush on (the first song being a combo of The Kinks' 'Morning Song'/'Daylight'). I figured it was the perfect song to capture the idea of a new beginning. Must have worked because she ended up marrying me.

6. Frightened - By the time Heliocentric was released, he had already lost too much ground to other artists I was delving into, like the previously mentioned Beck. Plus, I was getting more and more into late '60s/early '70s psych/folk/country/rock'n'soul sounds. But this Paul Weller album still grabbed me right, with a great string section and music dedicated to Ronnie Lane. This song, 'Frightened', is one that still sounds ageless to me.

6. It's Written In the Stars - The last Paul Weller song I got into before a long hiatus. That sample totally brought me back to the feel of his first album! I ended up not buying Illuminations though. I think I read a review... actually, no, I KNOW I read a review that persuaded me to save my money for something else. And there was a lot to spend my money on, record-wise, at the time! After listening to the album over the weekend, I gotta say... not bad! I may have to put it on again after writing this.

After buying this single, I lost interest in Paul Weller for the most part. I skipped out on Studio 150 and listened to As Is Now once. There's not one song from this period I can talk about. But six years after 'It's Written in the Stars', we picked up 22 Dreams. Oh boy!

7. Empty Ring - Yeah, 22 Dreams brought us back into the Paul Weller fold. Each song had its own thing going on, but each of those things was right on. '22 Dreams', 'All I Wanna Do', 'Song for Alice', 'Lullaby for Kinder', 'Sea Spray' (my wife's favorite), 'Where'er Ye Go'... sorry but if an album has this many good songs, you've got a great album. But my absolute fave is this one right here. Now why wasn't this a James Bond theme song?

8. No Tears to Cry - Unfortunately, we were turned off, yet again, by Wake Up the Nation. The songs all fell flat for us, delving into dull guitar rock. But THIS song was totally amazing! Soul beat plus orchestral backing add up to a great mix.

And, quite honestly, that's the last new Paul Weller song I've actually liked. What we've heard from Sonik Kicks just hasn't done it for us. Yes, it's new-sounding, but so what? New does not mean I need to like it. A lot of people out there do, though, and that's good for ol' PW. I'll wait to see what he comes up with next, because no matter what, over the years he's always shown that he's deserved a chance. He's still got several good years left in him.

But I promised you guys 10 Paul Weller songs! So, I'm going back early into his career to talk about my two favorite Paul Weller tracks.

9. Feeling Alright - This B-side track to 'Above the Clouds' was a fantastic cover of Traffic's 'Feeling Alright'! When I first heard this, I recognized the song but didn't know the source. Despite that, I loved it to death! I played it almost daily while spending the summer back home in La Puente after my first year in college. This is the song that led me to Traffic and a love of Dave Mason's songwriting. Even today, it still sounds fresh!

10. Here's A New Thing - And here's the first Paul Weller solo song that really blew my mind. DJs... if you haven't already, go out and find the 'Into Tomorrow' single version and play it at your next club. You will get that dancefloor smokin'!

Alright, enough about Paul Weller already. Let me open this up to you guys. What was your take on his solo career? What were some of your favorite tunes or memories associated with his records? Are you still a Weller-phile or do you see his career a bit more objectively?

And I'll end this post with a cover of my fave Paul Weller track ever. Daryl Hall and the Bacon Brothers covering 'Above the Clouds'! Yes, you read that right.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Casual Fridays #8: Michael McClure and Robbie Robertson

Working to look sharp for a rare evening out on the town can actually be easy. The tough job is trying to look sharp on a daily, casual basis. Yeah, you might have your Friday night suit at your beck and call, but what does it matter if you spend the rest of your time in target t-shirts and jeans? Every Friday, I'd like to offer up some style inspiration for tightening up your casual look, because let's face it... sometimes you just don't feel like wearing a tie, but still want to keep it sharp.

Alright all you Anglophiles, you may wanna sit this one out and go put on that Parklife record or something. This post is for the Americophiles! Specifically, those who appreciate American Beat culture and 1960s American rock!

Before getting in to the Mod thing, Beat culture was something that took up a lot of my reading time. Far into college, I still loved reading about Keroauc, Ginsberg, Burroughs, etc., and there was one image that always captivated me... one that did tie in to my Mod obsession.
Yup, this photo of poet Michael McClure, Bob Dylan, and Allen Ginsberg hanging out in San Francisco in the mid-sixties. Now, as much as I love Bob Dylan (especially this era of his career) and as much as I dig Allen Ginsberg, they weren't the ones who grabbed my attention in this photo. Nope, it was Michael McClure, looking sharp and stylin' next to his pals.
This was a photo that, early on, helped inform my attitude toward casual wear. Beats are generally seen as more scruffy and less interested in surface appearances, but someone forget to send McClure the memo. The three-piece suit (or, most likely, just a waistcoat with jacket) and tab-collar shirt done up without a tie (the only way you can wear a tab-collar shirt, casually) struck me as both dapper and loose, a look I've always loved.

When I was younger and thought there might be an expiration date to my Mod look, I pictured myself still dressing like this when I got older. Maybe not super Mod, but still as sharp a look as I could pull off as an older man. Heck, I even saw myself with slicked-back hair (my dad's hairstyle) and a large cross hanging off my neck!

For years, this image remained my favorite Beat image and McClure's style was something I still carried in the back of my mind. But then, I came across an even greater shot from this session:

Yup, turns out Robbie Robertson (of Levon & the Hawks and The Band) completed this quartet of cool! Check him out there on the far left, sporting pointed shoes, narrow trousers, wide belt with large buckle, button-down shirt, and three-button leather jacket.

Now, I'm gonna let you in on something if you don't know me personally. I write this blog and you probably think I dress up in a suit and tie from morning until bedtime, and even then, you probably think I sleep in a suit. But the reality is that most of the time, I'm dressing exactly like Robbie Robertson in the photo above. For me, that's usually as casual as I like getting. A pair of vintage shoes with narrow toe, sta-prest trousers (slightly flared), wide belt, patterned long-sleeved shirt, and a 3/4-length leather coat. Perfect wear for the Bay Area climate!

Granted, now that the weather is starting to get a bit cooler (finally!) and after having lost a couple of pounds, I may just start going back to the ol' suit'n'tie look on a daily basis. But chances are, if you ever do run into me on the street, I'll be sporting that Robbie Robertson look!

Alright, Anglophiles... did you stick around? Then let's give you something to appreciate about the good ol' U.S. of A. with some Levon and the Hawks, featuring Robbie Robertson!

But damn! I can't just end there...

Have a great, stylish weekend!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Casual Fridays #7: Steve Marriott

Working to look sharp for a rare evening out on the town can actually be easy. The tough job is trying to look sharp on a daily, casual basis. Yeah, you might have your Friday night suit at your beck and call, but what does it matter if you spend the rest of your time in target t-shirts and jeans? Every Friday, I'd like to offer up some style inspiration for tightening up your casual look, because let's face it... sometimes you just don't feel like wearing a tie, but still want to keep it sharp.

Can you ever really get enough photos of 1960s Steve Marriott? Nah! Here is one of my faves of the guy just cold kickin' it Mod style:

First off, he's got that classic Marriot hairstyle going on. Notice that his sides only go down to around the bottom of his ear, though? These days, Mod dudes look like they're reaching 'skinbyrd' levels of fringe. Wonder if Paul Weller's to blame for that?

Secondly, take a look at that great cardigan! Monochromatic blues with great striping down the center, nice flat collar, and chest pocket with navy/white striping. For years, I wanted a cardigan like this. Well, that search ended a while ago thanks to these guys! What I like about Steve's use of this cardigan here is how he matched it up with those brown trousers (browns 'n' blues, always a winner!).

Speaking of those trousers, Mod guys take note! See how un-tapered they are? Admittedly, it took me several years to come around to this style of trouser hem width, but once I did, I never looked back. These trousers are tighter around the thighs and come down straight toward the shoe, without tapering at the ankle. Perfect trousers without looking peg-legged!

Then we end with the white chisel-toed steps. Personally, I don't know if I can pull off white shoes anymore, but these look fantastic! Nice detailing up the sides, great toe, and a small, clean heal that contrasts with the uppers.

This, my friends, is how you play it casual. Now, start the weekend off with some Small Faces goodness.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Casual Fridays #6: Jackie Opel

Working to look sharp for a rare evening out on the town can actually be easy. The tough job is trying to look sharp on a daily, casual basis. Yeah, you might have your Friday night suit at your beck and call, but what does it matter if you spend the rest of your time in target t-shirts and jeans? Every Friday, I'd like to offer up some style inspiration for tightening up your casual look, because let's face it... sometimes you just don't feel like wearing a tie, but still want to keep it sharp.

A few days ago, Mod Male Facebook reader, Lion F., turned me on to a great singer: Jackie Opel. I'll be honest with you, as much of a ska/rocksteady fan that I am, there is still a lot out there that falls off my radar. Thank you, Lion, for bringing him to my attention because not only is his music just what I needed this morning to get me ready for the day, but dig on his style vibe here:

Jackie Opel, not only rockin' the madras jacket, but gettin' down to the ground in the process! A pair of sharp shoes, narrow slacks, white cufflink shirt (with what looks like a button-down collar), and that great jacket sans tie... cool 'n' casual!

His look actually reminds me of what some of the guys I first met up in the Bay Area used to wear on a casual basis. I'm from southern CA. When I was still living down there, I remember the casual Mod look consisting of sneakers, jeans, and a Jam t-shirt. That was the daily look. At least it was with some of the people I knew or saw around.

When I moved to the Bay Area (Berkeley/Oakland), I saw a huge change in how the fellows dressed. Up here, on a daily basis, a few tended to wear 1960s narrow slacks, dark pointed shoes, vintage dress shirts (Arrow Kent, Van Heusen, Towncraft, etc.), and a 3-button suit jacket (or corduroy/suede/leather coats), with no tie. And this was just to hang out listening to records!

Jackie Opel's look above wouldn't have been out of the ordinary back then. It's a look well worth exploring once you're ready to move up from jeans and a Fred Perry. Plus, once you master this type of daily wear, think how much you'll start improving your evening club wear. Jackie Opel, for instance, looks slick and smooth here, but when he got dolled up, well....
...dude didn't mess around.

Now, let Jackie Opel start your day off with some sounds to get you bouncin'!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rise of the Internet Mods

Image taken from Modculture's 'The 10 Varieties of Mod'.
So, I've been listening to a great online radio station lately called We Are The Mods. Don't let the name throw you... it's not a show dedicated to the Quadrophenia soundtrack! It's actually a fun 2-hour mix of music (some you'll like, some you might not) and rants about Mod stuff, hosted by DJ Warren Peace. Well, the show got me thinking about something: technology... namely, the internet. The internet and the Mod thing.

Some of you might be too young to remember life before the internet. Heck, in MY time, I had to march through the concrete landscapes of La Puente, CA, rain or snow, to make it to my local library and find whatever music or sociology section existed there. I'd go straight for a book's index and look up 'mod,' 'The Who,' 'The Jam,' or 'ska.' Rarely did I find anything, but if I found even a nugget of information, I'd file it away. This was my 'google' search back then. Things got easier in college thanks to the larger libraries of books, newspapers, and magazines. (Anyone else remember microfiche?)

But in my second year of college, I was introduced to something that would change my life FOREVER. An email address. And with that, access to something I had never heard of before: the internet. Now, this was back before actual webpages with GIFs. When I first started using the internet, all that was available to me were text-based newsgroups. Things like or alt.literature.keroauc. Unfortunately, there was no alt.subculture.mods...

... until a woman named Lisa Gerson created the Modslist (click the link for the skeletal remains of the first major online Mod group).
For the first time, thanks to this list, you were able to communicate with Mods across the country and across the world via email group messages. Not many people were on this thing at first, but over time, it grew. It's where I met some great people with whom I still keep in contact today. (Leave a comment if any of you out there remember the ol' Modslist!) Of course, there is always the negative side to internet communications and soon the Modslist became an arena for online fighting. I ain't gonna lie... when britpop hit big and people started joining the list in droves, I spent more time arguing over whether britpop was really 'Mod' (I didn't think it was) than actually studying for classes.

But as the Modslist grew, old subscribers dropped off while new ones joined. Soon, other online forums started popping up. You had Yahoo groups catering to scooter scenes, music scenes, and local Mod scenes. (Anyone else remember Bespoke, What's Shakin', Britishmods, or Mod Veterans?) You also had new websites popping up which catered to regional Mod scenes. There were sites coming out of Chicago, New York, Italy, Germany, the UK, and Spain.

By this time, I was out of college and working on websites with friends. In an effort to help spread the 'Mod message,' while mastering Flash technology at the same time, we created a fictional 1960s cartoon group called The Huggabaloos.
We wanted to make sixties stuff accessible to people, with the idea that there would be kids out there turning on to the site and turning on to Mod culture. We featured record reviews, animated pieces, and games. It was a fun time as we tried pushing the boundaries of web design while pushing forward our own Mod interests.

Around this same time, a few important sites emerged: Uppers, New Untouchables, and Modculture. Each of these tried to cater to all aspects of Mod life, but Richard Karström's Uppers website really went for the world-wide angle. There were record reviews, club night galleries, and general news items from all over. Contributors from the UK, the US, etc. helped build this site into a great source of information. It used to be my first go-to for anything Mod-related.

The New Untouchables site was something that really needed to happen. These are the guys that kept 'the faith' going through the lean years and beyond the britpop years. Chances are, if there's a giant Mod event going on, these guys are involved somehow. From Le Beat Bespoke to the Mousetrap, the New Untouchables are the movers and shakers. Jason Ringgold was the man behind the original website (now designed by pip! pip!), which added in great design and functionality. This site worked to spread the news on their happenings and create a forum for people to share news and information.

And then there's David Walker's Modculture site. If I remember correctly, it started out a little clunky and seemed to concentrate, at the time, on more British happenings. It didn't seem to be updated as often as I would have liked and I tended to forget about it from time to time. But eventually, it went through an overhaul and now stands as one of the best stops in the Mod interwebhood.
They are on top of everything, from Mod news in general to music news to book releases to info on new clothing. It's filled with fantastic interviews, well-written articles, and great galleries. Modculture has gotten so big, it's spawned various sister sites, including Retro To Go and His Knibs. And if you like their Facebook page, you'll get daily updates on current news stories.

And this really does lead us to today's online Mod landscape. In addition to Modculture, you now have Stephen Hughes's The Mod Generation site. I joined this quite some time ago and, quite honestly, forgot all about it until about a year ago. I was working on a blog entry on white socks, and in a google search, I happened to find out that this very subject was already being discussed... on The Mod Generation!
And that's not all... Mods from the 1960s to today were on the MG forums talking about everything, from the history of the culture to happenings today! 1960s Mods were contributing interesting articles and correcting various myths that have existed since the '60s. In addition to their forums and articles, I think the most interesting contribution coming from The Mod Generation is its "Weekly Paper," a one-stop shop for any news worth knowing about that you may have missed. Of course, much like Modculture, The Mod Generation also has a strong Facebook presence updating members daily with news stories, links to outside blog posts, and music clips.

And let's not even get into how social websites have affected the Mod thing... okay, let's get into it. First, there was Friendster. People logged in, said nice things about their friends, and uploaded profile photos. It was a neat time.

Then, along came MySpace. All of a sudden, people had the ability to alter their personal pages and, in effect, create their own personas. By adding photos of op-art designs, Twiggy, and The Small Faces, and uploading profile pics of themselves with a sexy pout and a Who Poster in the background, people could show the whole wide world that they were MOD! Heck, based on MySpace itself, you'd think a whole Mod revival was happening online!

Things mellowed out a bit thanks to Facebook, but even here, Mod exploded all over the social landscape. MySpace Mods migrated over. New Mod social groups popped up on the site, many of them mediocre, but some of them fantastic (like my favorite, Original Modernists 1959-1966, which features actual, original modernists from this period). Many people, in fact, have used Facebook to change their names in an effort to ensure people knew what they were about (for instance, instead of my for-realz name, I could just re-name myself Mod Carlos... yeah!). On Facebook, you could like your favorite bands, your favorite record labels, or even your favorite blogs (hint! hint!).

Speaking of blogs, well, I'm sure you know how those have grown over the last several years. If not, peek on over at the right-hand side of this page... yeah, see that list there? Just a handful of recently updated blogs worth your time!

In addition to blogs, websites, and forums, you have Mod radio stations and podcasts. Frankly, I didn't explore these much before. I mean, why would I when I have music at home to listen to and an iPod to keep me busy at the gym. But then, I realized some of these stations were good with hooking me up to new sounds. Plus, I'm always a fan of theme shows. That's how I got turned on to Mr. Suave and his podcast.
Then, there's the actual 24-hour-a-day Mod radio site, Mod Radio UK. This site includes revolving DJs (like Captain Stax), new and old music, and cool promos, including one by Chico Hamilton who, honest to God, declares himself to be an original Mod in the promo!

But, my favorite online show now is the one that spurred me to think about this entry: We Are the Mods. At first, I was a little hesitant. I think you all know my viewpoint toward Mod cliches. I saw the Facebook page for this station and was faced with targets, Quadrophenia images, and Pete Townsend keeping it real. But this site was recommended to me by Gabriela of French Boutik, and one thing I know... you don't question Gabriela's tastes. So, I logged on to the We Are The Mods show... and was floored! In addition to a good mix of musical styles, you have a host who isn't afraid to speak his mind (and if you thought I had strong opinions... wait 'til you hear this guy!) and who works to get people thinking about this whole Mod subculture. That's what makes the show... the music (which is very varied) and the charisma of the host. That's what we needed... someone who's excited about this stuff and willing to call out the bunk side of it when necessary. Trust me, it's worth your time!

Lately though, the host, DJ Warren Peace, has been talking about the idea of this whole Mod thing dying without some sort of new revival to keep it going. I've mentioned before that this Mod thing seems to be going through a revival every couple of years since britpop first hit. If it wasn't before, it's definitely in the mainstream consciousness now, thanks to the Olympics. But, over the years, I've heard others share the 'fear' of Mods dying out (because, y'know, global warming, poverty, and terrorism aren't fear-inducing enough.) In the past, I've been told I need to help build the 'scene' or work to get more people into this thing. Sometimes, I still hear that.

But here's the thing... I'm much older now and 'scene' stuff doesn't really interest me. Helping to grow a 'scene' isn't on my to-do list. I know what I like, and I've liked loved this stuff since I first got into it. I'm lucky in that many of my friends still really love this stuff too, without the need of a 'scene.'

Now, if there are kids out there discovering the Mod thing for the first time today, more power to them! Personally, though, I don't want to be the creepy old Mod guy hanging out with a bunch of 19-year-old kids trying to help them 'keep the faith'. That's not my role. It's up to them to forge their own ways. Don't get me wrong... if I'm djing a club and there's a bunch of young mod kids out there dancing, I'd be stoked. But I'm not going to go up to them afterwards and say, "Hey gang, let's hang out and get our mod on."

Ew. See, I had my time. I had my youth. When I was younger, I hung out with people around my own age and we did these things on our terms. We didn't have a lot of clubs at the time, but we had each other. We hung out and turned ourselves on to music and discussed clothing. Some of my friends spent time and money on their scooters, in addition to slick clothing. Now though, we're all older and at different phases of our lives. Some of us have families of our own, some don't. But for me and my friends, this stuff still excites us! Families and jobs didn't kill the Mod thing for us.

Now, though, it's the younger kids' turns to form their own little scenes. Some will last, some won't. Some of these young mod kids will stick with it and evolve, trading in their parkas and Jam pins for sharper, more detailed clothing. Some will veer off into other looks/scenes/whatever, and might retain a love for their Mod past (while others put it down). Others will drop out completely (and maybe come back in their 40s, looking to continue where they left off at age 20). And this will go on and on for years to come, much as it has been going on for years past.

Think about this... I started using the internet in around 1993. Since then, as mentioned above, we've had new websites, blogs, online radio stations, social media pages, etc. Kids born in 1993 are now (oh-my-god-why-am-i-aging-myself-like-this?) 19 years old! They've grown up with the internet and don't know life without it. If they get into the Mod thing, the internet is going to be their main source of info. Sure, it'll be easy for them to find what they need in a matter of minutes and become insta-Mods in a short period of time. People my age went through a longer process, but probably gained a better appreciation of it all, after all the hard work. Some kids today will get into it after a Wikipedia search, a download of the top 25 Mod hits, and a purchase of a Pretty Green shirt. Some will drop out to follow their next fancy. But others will really stick with it and use the information to explore more and push themselves to learn more. And this will continue on...

Mod is never going to die. And you know why?