It's difficult to say exactly what "mod" means in 2012. Even when the movement reached its zenith in London in the early '60s, the definition wasn't clear: not quite hippie, not quite punk, not quite English, yet not quite American, either. Inventing a sort of bohemian dandy aesthetic, the mods wore pork-pie hats, listened to jazz records, gobbled down amphetamines like pac-man and rode Vespa scooters through London, on their way to fights with "the rockers." Ah, but some would say that's not quite right, either. In its evolutions from the Quadrophenia/mod-punk revival of the late '70s to the Britpop aesthetics of the mid-90s, what's considered mod has gone through many changes and titles -- yet, like the Supreme Courts definition of pornography, you know it when you see it.
Here in Denver, the mod lifestyle of high fashion, scooters and record-collecting has been growing, due in part to groups like the Denver Vintage Reggae Society, whose events allow people to get dressed up in mod (or skinhead, ska, northern soul, etc.) gear and dance to records made before most of them were even born. And this Friday, May 18, you can check out these bohemian dandies yourself at the Mods Mayday 2012 event at the Skylark Lounge, featuring DJs spinning ska and northern soul, as well as live music by The Manxx and The Sonic Archers.
Westword reached out to Mods Mayday 2012 event organizer Steve Antonio to discuss scooters, music and shopping for mod clothes in Denver. More »