Wednesday, April 11

Shocks of Mighty

Weird how things you haven't thought about for years come into focus suddenly through random association; after reading Paulie's post about his time as a skinhead a while back, I had a conversation shortly afterwards with Bill Mize about skinhead girls' haircuts. (I know.)

Anyway, it reminded me of a book I first read in my art college (hey, I was a former punk!) library by Nick Knight (later a well known fashion photographer) called 'Skinhead'. First published in 1982, it features some iconic black and white shots of skins around London, and a guide to their music and fashion. I dug my copy out and snapped a couple of pages.

My experience of skinheads was a couple of beatings and regular escapes from gangs of them in north London in the early eighties. They were everywhere during the '70s-80s revival; I even ill-advisedly adopted the 'look' for a short while which resulted in an attack in our local high street from the real thing. Ha! The friend I was with was kicked on the ground simultaneously by about six skinheads, which lifted him into the air off the pavement and into the road in front of a bus: an achievement I've never witnessed since.

When I lived in Australia, one of my ex-pat mates was Scott Russell, a proper ex-skinhead from Catford who had '70s skin tattoos nestling amidst his sleeves and had great stories about fights and gigs and the scene back then that were almost unbelievable in their ferocity and violence-as-leisure offhandedness.

Anyway, if you haven't got 'Skinhead', it's a good read: you can get reprints on Ebay.


23bricks said...

just thinking about skinhead girls haircuts has set my day up

jimmy monk said...

when you meet someone with the Skinhead tat.
I always like that.
And Skinhead girls...
So tender.

Curtis said...

one of my favorite books, the photos are awesome. I think it ranks up there with Lyons"bikeriders". I first saw it as a young kid. My best friend's older bro was a skinhead around the Detroit area. When we were young they use to take pride in kicking the shit out of us. the skinhead girls were hot they would say all types of dirty shit to us to mess with our young fragile minds. I first heard punk rock at there house I think I was in 2nd grade. We grew up fast hanging around that crowd maybe a little too fast.