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.”
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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