Author Topic: A way of life  (Read 493 times)

greenstreet

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A way of life
« on: April 27, 2018, 05:35:34 PM »


Truth is I hadn't high hopes regarding this book. I thought it'd be a badly-assembled artifact to cash in last years' interest in popular culture and subcultures. Now that I'm midway thru' it, I (gladly) have to admit I was wrong. Not that you'll find much new stuff here, but it's a worthy addition to any mod library, in spite of the uninspired title.

Basically it's a photographs book with the original (60s) mod movement as its subject, and in that sense it works just as it should: hardcover edition, good paper, good reproduction of the images, perfect size to handle (smaller than a coffee table book but large enough to watch the pics comfortably), simple but nice pages' layout and overall design (with motifs based on the RAF target)...

Most of the pictures, as I've stated, are fairly well known to anyone interested in modernism (including the iconic scooters' row that made the cover of Richard Barnes bible), with lots of press snapshots of crowds at the seaside, but this book is a handy way to have them together in a place. And there are lots of them.

I have to admit I was especially cautious about the accompanying essay, thinking it'd limit itself to go through the motions with the usual cliches and old topics thrown in. But to my surprise I was wrong again; in fact, the text is not only only well written but thoughtful and witty, with well chosen quotes (among others, Pete Meaden, the book Generation X, Richard Barnes...), and while it doesn't tread uncharted territory (and includes some wrong facts, a defect common to many books about modernism), it's a pleasure to read.

Add to this a fairly decent price and the veredict can't be other than: recommended.


Simon Bond

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Re: A way of life
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2018, 01:01:48 PM »


Truth is I hadn't high hopes regarding this book. I thought it'd be a badly-assembled artifact to cash in last years' interest in popular culture and subcultures. Now that I'm midway thru' it, I (gladly) have to admit I was wrong. Not that you'll find much new stuff here, but it's a worthy addition to any mod library, in spite of the uninspired title.

Basically it's a photographs book with the original (60s) mod movement as its subject, and in that sense it works just as it should: hardcover edition, good paper, good reproduction of the images, perfect size to handle (smaller than a coffee table book but large enough to watch the pics comfortably), simple but nice pages' layout and overall design (with motifs based on the RAF target)...

Most of the pictures, as I've stated, are fairly well known to anyone interested in modernism (including the iconic scooters' row that made the cover of Richard Barnes bible), with lots of press snapshots of crowds at the seaside, but this book is a handy way to have them together in a place. And there are lots of them.

I have to admit I was especially cautious about the accompanying essay, thinking it'd limit itself to go through the motions with the usual cliches and old topics thrown in. But to my surprise I was wrong again; in fact, the text is not only only well written but thoughtful and witty, with well chosen quotes (among others, Pete Meaden, the book Generation X, Richard Barnes...), and while it doesn't tread uncharted territory (and includes some wrong facts, a defect common to many books about modernism), it's a pleasure to read.

Add to this a fairly decent price and the veredict can't be other than: recommended.

Thanks for the write up , Sydney . I think many have tried to upstage Richard Barnes over the years but for overall content his probably still the best , especially considering that when he wrote it there was no internet and no Go*gle.

As a matter of interest does the Pete Meaden section mention Existentialism at all. .
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greenstreet

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Re: A way of life
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2018, 03:17:52 PM »

Thanks for the write up , Sydney . I think many have tried to upstage Richard Barnes over the years but for overall content his probably still the best , especially considering that when he wrote it there was no internet and no Go*gle.

As a matter of interest does the Pete Meaden section mention Existentialism at all. .

No, it's no more than a couple quotes by the faces' face, not even the "living clean under difficult circumstances" part.

Of course, Richard Barnes' and Smiler's book are still and by far the definitive works about the first mods wave, but this one has been a nice surprise.


Simon Bond

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Re: A way of life
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2018, 03:29:39 PM »

Thanks for the write up , Sydney . I think many have tried to upstage Richard Barnes over the years but for overall content his probably still the best , especially considering that when he wrote it there was no internet and no Go*gle.

As a matter of interest does the Pete Meaden section mention Existentialism at all. .

No, it's no more than a couple quotes by the faces' face, not even the "living clean under difficult circumstances" part.

Of course, Richard Barnes' and Smiler's book are still and by far the definitive works about the first mods wave, but this one has been a nice surprise.

Ach well , back to my Rosa Chacel books then i suppose. . 8) ;D
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Martin G

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Re: A way of life
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2018, 05:09:52 PM »
Nice one mate. Think my copy must be on the way as I think I ordered it a while back. Glad it ticks most boxes.

greenstreet

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Re: A way of life
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2018, 06:52:38 PM »
Nice one mate. Think my copy must be on the way as I think I ordered it a while back. Glad it ticks most boxes.

As I said nothing new, Martin, but it's a well done job. I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy it.

Martin G

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Re: A way of life
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2018, 08:20:27 PM »
I love any old photos from the period regardless of the subject. Old streets, cars and all the rest so scooters and clobber will always go down well with me. Look forward to it. Nice little review too mate.

Simon Bond

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Re: A way of life
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2018, 08:37:37 AM »
I love any old photos from the period regardless of the subject. Old streets, cars and all the rest so scooters and clobber will always go down well with me. Look forward to it. Nice little review too mate.

Yeah , l thinking recently about how much our society has changed this the sixties era . You look at some of those streets compared to now and they are almost unrecognisable , particulary with regard to clutter like barriers , bollards , the amount of painted lines on streets and even the amount of traffic lights . .

Life was simpler in the past. .but who thought we would see peace breaking out in Korea. .
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Martin G

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Re: A way of life
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2018, 03:30:19 PM »
My copy came a few hours back. Flicked through it during my weekly shoe polishing session with an episode of THE CHAMPIONS on in the background. (What a way to spend a Sunday afternoon huh "Living for the weekend"!) I agree with comments so far. Quite a decent little publication. Only a few photos I've seen before and most are familiar, in as much as the same kids are in them, but in slightly different poses or positions to ones from other books published on the subject. Slightly better quality than the Richard Barnes book in terms of clarity to some that are in there as well but certainly worth nabbing I'd say. There are a couple of great shots. One from the Peckham Labour Exchange session showing one of the lads in 1964 wearing Adidas trainers. The other is one on the stairs leading to The Aquarium in Brighton next to what is now VOLKS Bar. Every Bank Holiday that scene is recreated but generally by blokes and ladies old enough to be the parents or even Grandparents of the kids in the photo. I wonder what they'd have thought about that back then?
« Last Edit: April 29, 2018, 05:42:12 PM by Martin G »

greenstreet

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Re: A way of life
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2018, 11:04:51 AM »
There are a couple of great shots. One from the Peckham Labour Exchange session showing one of the lads in 1964 wearing Adidas trainers.

I spotted the Adidas too, I guess that pic puts an end to the old discussion: are trainers mod gear or not? (not that the matter worries me in the least)