On this date in 1964, Time magazine discovered the Mods. Sort of.TimeImage1

“Like a flock of noisy starlings, more than 1,000 youths buzzed into [Clacton] for Britain’s four-day Easter holiday….Most of the invaders ‘slept rough’ on the beach, warmed only by their ‘birds’ (girl friends) and quantities of ‘purple hearts’ (goofballs).”

Um…goofballs? You thought we wouldn’t know the term Purple Hearts, but we would know goofballs? Americans are so weird.

“The Clacton riot climaxed a longtime rivalry between the sartorially splendid Mods and the hot-rodding Rockers….A Mod…would rather go naked than don a leather jacket.”

The article goes on to shake its head at the swiftness of Mod style changes and the black walls of the Scene club. It thinks the classic parka (shown below) is made of leather. It also claims that Bill Haley was having a renaissance among those dancing the Face Twist, which makes me think some of Time’s interview subjects may indeed have been having a giggle.TimeImage2

“‘We don’t really like to fight,’ explained one Mod after the Clacton giggle. ‘Our clothes cost too much.'”

Click here for a high-res PDF of the full article.

Click here for good-quality versions of the article’s three photographs:
Mod Girls
Scooter Covey
Rocker Chap

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