Monday, 11 April 2011

Did that happen?

Did what happen?  Those scare- mongering headlines in the sixties, beloved of the national press, was the supposed breakdown in law and order in seaside resorts.  These family towns being taken over by hordes of mods and their running battles with their mortal enemies, the rockers.  Clacton, Brighton, Margate, Blackpool.  All came under seige.  Well, apart from violence that did erupt in Brighton, all the rest was a gross exaggeration of the facts by the national press.  In most cases, the press wasn`t even there.  Some did admit to "overstating the facts a bit" but at least the new bogeymen were finally in town.  

    This country has not a "Hollister" the town taken over by a huge gang of bikers in 1947, and used as the story in the seminal biker film "The Wild One" with Marlon Brando and Lee Marvin. As an indication of the attitudes of the authorities in this country, the film, made in 1953, was finally allowed to be seen in Britain, in 1967, as a support feature to a Laurence Harvey spy film "A Dandy In Aspic".  Yes, we could have seen hordes of thugs on bikes taking over towns the length and breadth of the land, but the banning of this film certainly nipped that in the bud!  But not to worry, a new phase of teenage life was ready to burst onto the front pages of the press: the arrival of rock n` roll and the Teddy Boys.