In this series of extracts from his forthcoming book, Mike Lewis looks at the growth and evolution of social motorcycling in Britain and the USA.
A Social History of Motorcycling: Episode 8 – Mods vs. rockers (1964)
From May 1964 and 59 Club members congregate in Trafalgar Square, to collect posters promoting Christian Aid Week, which they then distributed.
On December 19, 1963, a feature in Motor Cycle magazine invited readers aged under 25 to answer the question: ‘Are you a Mod or a Rocker?’
Starting with the assertion that “Sitting on the fence is out these days,” it went on to offer an everyman’s guide to both camps, but concluded with a caveat that stated, “The Editor does not hold himself responsible for the consequences of this article.”
Yet while modernist music and fashions received popular assent from the weekly ITV television programme Ready Steady Go!, there was scant positive publicity for young leather-jacketed motorcyclists, whom the Mods nicknamed Rockers for their conservative musical tastes.
Read more in August’s edition of TCM