Sunday, February 04, 2007

Soul Britannia (Twinned with Betty's 300th Post, *Yay*)

Count Suckle had all the best records, imported from the States and Jamaica. But where to play them?

The owners of the dance halls wouldn't rent them out to the Caribbean community so the only alternative was house parties.

The trouble with house parties is that they create noise which creates a natural antagonistic reaction from the neighbours who call the police who confiscate the sound systems.

And of course there's the perfectly natural reaction from teddy boys and other stupid white boys who disrupt the house parties by throwing petrol bombs and chanting "Burn the niggers! Kill the niggers!" and "Go back to your own country!"

This was the start of the first of the Notting Hill race riots in 1958.

Later in the programme we get working class white youth culture expert Robert Elms summing up the whole era:-

"I think for me mod is the core idea behind the whole youth culture caper, and between that extraordinary relationship between the music of black America and the lifestyles of working class England. I mean, mods are predated by teddy boys and the teddy boys are great, but the teddy boys wanted to stay in their place, they were very kind of brown ale and down the pub on a Friday night and 'gawd blimey' and they were right wing and they were all of these things..."

Yes, Bob. They were all of these things. They were racist cunts and they were gawd blimey and they were GREAT. They were GREAT because they were a smartly dressed youth culture, weren't they? Part of the youth culture caper, all the japes and fun of flick knives and petrol bombs. Oh what a jolly band of boys!

It's all a bit of fun isn't it, Bob?


  1. You can of course trace British youth cults back beyond the teds via Regency fops and then to Elizabethan toffs who chucked bread rolls at Shakespearean actors.

    Cunts, all of them.

  2. I'd like to see the fops and toffs on Brighton beach.

    Sting could take 'em all.

  3. I've just confessed to Betty that. althoughI don't like Robert Elms, I did find his book interesting.
    I hope you're still speaking to me.
    Oh - I agree with everything else.

  4. Was his autobiography called Clothes Maketh The Man?

    We're still friends, Kaz.

  5. Hmmm. Well, I see your point. But I'd say it's also probably true that a lot of Teddy Boys weren't racist and were alright really. And a lot of racists weren't Teddy Boys. The two aren't mutually inclusive. Just because you adopt a uniform doesn't mean you automatically adopt the stereotypical attitude that goes with it. Otherwise our delightful third in line to the throne would be a Nazi.

    Maybe he should've said that?

  6. I don't think our Bob thinks that deeply, Del. He just likes the cool image.

    If you were a Ted you'd be a bit crap if you didn't like Little Richard or Chuck Berry. Maybe it was only the crap Teds who were racist. Just that there were a lot of crap Teds. The programme seemed to suggest all Teds were racist whereas the mods weren't. Elmsy said the mods went to all the subtitled French films to check out the fashions. How cool is that? And what a load of old bollocks.

  7. I went right off him about 5 years ago when he reckoned anyone living near grass was devoid of taste. I used to enjoy his programmes on BBC London until then.

  8. Presumably it's alright to have a swimming pool, though.