September 4, 2010


Spy Vibers interested in Mod culture should check out this collection of writings and interviews edited by Paolo Hewitt called The Sharper World: A Mod Anthology. Now out in a revised and updated paperback edition!

From Amazon: As portrayed in the Who rock opera Quadrophenia, the mods were a working-class British youth cult in the mid-1960s preoccupied with mohair suits, dance clubs, scooters, and amphetamines. Rock journalist Hewitt borrows short snippets from Richard Barnes's standard Mods! (Plexus Pub., 1994), fiction by Tom Wolfe and Samuel Selvon, scholarly accounts by Stanley Cohen and Dick Hebdige, and oral histories. More obscure mod-related pieces, including an interview with top mod Pete Meaden, a 1960s article by fashion queen Mary Quant, and an unpublished eyewitness account by mod pioneer Irish Jack are also included. Though he somewhat neglects the mod drive for upward mobility after the lingering postwar economic squalor, Hewitt provides marvelous descriptions of mod trappings: the fashion, the music, the drugs, and the clubs that clearly demonstrate the roots of Britpop and Austin Powers. Recommended for anyone interested in social history, youth movements, Carnaby Street, and rock'n'roll.

Visit the Mod Culture website for book reviews, news, and more.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for recommending this book. I've been doing my own personal findings on the 1960s era but what I had been neglecting going further in depth was the huge British mod scene, which seems absurd to pass along. Personally I'd like to read Mary Quant's article on fashion. You mention he details the fashion, music, drugs and roots of Britpop in the collection, I read some reviews from readers on Amazon who say the same. One negative feedback was the lack of design and poor effort in organization and no attention to detail that "characterized the essence of mod style" but worth reading for those interested in the this time.
    I'll have to do my own review once I get my hand's on it. Thanks again for the suggestion.


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