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Published by Michael Marino

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Published by: Michael Marino on Nov 02, 2012
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01/25/2013

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TheAttackofBillyEckstinebyMikeMarinoandSandozDiegoCervezaTheBritishInvasionhadadarksidetoit'smoonthatmanifesteditselfinwidespreadviolencethatswepttheislandnationwiththefuryofaVikingraidoffierceNorsemenhellbentonpillageandplunder.Thisdarksideresultedinscatteredconfrontations,andoftenbloodygangbattlesoverthetwodecadesoftheTeddyBoyFiftiesandtheModandRockerSixties.Mods,RockersandTeddy's.Atrioofstreetviolence.turfwarfare,andbloodshed.TheBritishmusicandyouthsub-culturescenewasaJekyllandHydehybridthatresultedinbashedinheads,brokenfaces,brokenbonesandbloodredbattlesatbeachsideresorts,nottomentionracialattacksonimmigrantsfromtheWestIndiesandothers.TheBritsdohaveaviolentreputation,let'sfaceit.Takesoccerforexample.SoccergamesontheinternationalstageusuallyhavetheBritfansinthestandsrushingtothefieldtopummeltheotherteamsplayersandfanbase.Theygetsoviolentinfactthattheyarereferredtoderogatorilyas"Lagerheads"andhaveapentuppenchantforviolencethatmustbesimilartoanorgasm.ThisblowninnerfusebywannabearmchairathletesisnotconfinedtothesoccerfieldsorBritainalone.JustlookatparentsataLittleLeaguebaseballgameinAmericawherethe"adults"getoutofcontrol,notinallcasesofcourse,butoftenenough.It'safuckinggamepeople,thatisall,sportsisagame..notlifeanddeath.IcanseeGandhinowchallengingtheBritishEmpiretoasoccergametodecideiftheBritsstayorleave...NorthVietnamchallengingTeamNixontoaroundofgolf(there'safuckingdullgamethatIhesitatetoevencallasport!)todecidewhichideologywillsurvivejunglewarfareandboobytraps.Itisthearmchairquarterbacksyndromeofwannabeswhoneverwillbetheheroonthefieldandhavetolivepotbelliedonthesidelineswatching..foreverwatchingandnotparticipating..ineffectthepenishasbeencutoffatthepassandwillneverscoreacheerleadinggoal.HowdoesthisvisceralviolencetranslatetoaestheticsfosteredandpromulgatedbyTheBritishMusicInvasion?Itwasaboutmusicandfashion,right?CarnabyStreetmeetsSevilleRow,right?However,ifyouwentdivinginthepopculturedumpsterofthetimes,youwouldhaveseenadecapitatedheadortwo,figurativelyspeakingofcourse,(quitepossiblyliterallytoo!)thatwasseveredduringasociologicalgangrapeofepicproportions.TheyouthcultureofSixtiesEnglandwasinfullbloom,avirginwaitingtohavehercherrypoppedbyaPrinceCharming.Insteadshewasthrusthardtoherknees,mouthwideopenandforcedintogivingheadtoavulgarbeast.Atwoheaded,twosided,twofaced,yinned-yangedbeastofangelicgoodandpureevil.Dr.JekyllandMr.Hydehadsplittheirownatom,andhadsprungtolifeasayouthsub-cultureensconcedinasocietygonequitemad,nottomention,quiteModandquiteoffit'sRockers!Thetwoheadsofthebeastwereexactopposites.Mr.Hyde,wasevilandbloodthirsty,Dr.JekyllwasquaintQuantpaisleydaisies,moptopsandpopmusic!Thetimeswere"fab"and"birds"were"gear"buttherewasanundercurrent,anoceanicundertowoffearthatStanleyKubrickwouldencapsulateinthefuturistichorrornoir(ifthereissuchaterm,andifnot,thereisnow)film"ClockworkOrange.Themaincharacter,AlexandhisDroogies,werethedirectoffspringandbastardchildrenthathadcreptfromtheafterbirthoftheModsandRockersoftheBritishSixties,andtheTeddyBoysoftheBritishFifties.Thefilm,ClockworkOrange,likethebookbyAnthonyBurgess,wasrampantwithrapeandbeatingsasagangofKubrick-BurgessDroogiesbreakintoacoupleshome,kickandbeatthehusbandneartodeathashiswifeisheldhelplessintheclutchesofagangofDroogieyouthhellbentonpenetratingheroneaftertheotherasherhusbandisforcedtowatchthemacabresceneunfoldbeforehim.Sheisrapedrepeatedlyandforcedtocommitsexualactsonallthemembersofthegangwithwithaplethoraofpenispenetrationineveryorifice,herbodybruisedandbeaten,hervaginanumbtotheongoingassault.Theroomisfilledwiththescentofanimalsexandisawashinbruisedbreastsandthighs,damagedpsyche'sandanoverflowingvaginaofsexuallavaleftdepositedbyagangofbelligerents,thatnowdripsandpoolsonthefloorbetweenhermiddleclass,middleagedoutstretchedlegsglisteningwithliquidsdepositedinsideofheringreatvolcanicvolumesofteenageorgasms.
 
Thewholeeffectofthefilmwasviolenceforthesakeofviolence,tomakeuscringe,aswe,theaudiencewerecinematicallylayeredwithgangrapesandbeatings.Theviewer,ashelplessonlooker(andvoyeur),becomesuncomfortablynumbandisoverwhelmedbyit'sbasicbasetheme,yet,excited,emotionallyandsexually,placestouchedincornershiddeninusinadeepwellthatwedidn'tknowexisted...theviolencebecomesamerebackdropaswewiggleinourtheaterseatduringtherapescene,excited..theJekyll/HydethingagainIsuppose.Thebook-Thefilmwassupposedtoreflectthefuture..insteaditwasamirrorreflectionofthepast,thepastoftheModandRockerSixties,nottomentionTeddyBoyviolenceoftheFifties.Thepastwaspresentedinafuturisticalmostexpressioniststylethatmadethepastveryreal,veryviolent,andohsoBritish.TheRockersontheonehand,andtheTed'sontheother,werejunkiesaddictedtotheheroinofHaleyandtheComets,andthecocaineofCochran,Eddiethatis.Otherinfluencesincludedthefilmthathelpdefineddelinquencyforthetimes,"TheBlackboardJungle,"alongwiththemusicandfashionstyleof..gasp!BillyfuckingEkstine!Noshit..BillyEkstine,notOzzieOsbourne,notCharlesManson,butBillyEkstine!Whatthefuck?TheTed'sfirst,andtheRockersandMod'slater,wereapartoftheyouthculturethatignitedaviolentexplosionandclashofculturesinBritainforovertwooverlappingdecades.ThedemarcationlineofBeatandHipwereblurredinaslurry,andfromtheanthropologicalchemistryemergedthreegroupsthatwereasdifferentasdayandnight,wherethestreetwhoreandtheVirginMaryhadalotincommonasblackleatherhoodsonMarlonBrandomotorcyclesandEdwardianDandiesonscootersmixedituptoaBritishbeatreinforcedwithriots,bicyclechains,woodenclubsandrazorbladesandknives..sliceanddicetime,...Yeah,Yeah,Yeah!GivePeaceaChanceforChristsakes.ModsandRockerswereatcompleteoppositeendsoftheyouthsub-cultureuniverseintheSixties.Modshadtheirrootsinthebeatnikeraofthe1950's.Morebohemianatfirst,withartandpoetryastheiraestheticgravity.ThetermModwasderivedfromtheterm"modernist"withheavydosesofjazzinfusedwithexistentialism.ThecoffeebarswereattractivetheModsforavarietyofreasons,butprimarily,thetraditionalBritishpubsclosedat11p.m.whilethecoffeebarswereopenwellintotheweesmallhoursofthemorningwithliveentertainmentofjazzandblues,allinfluencedbyAmericanpopculture.TheModswerealsoaproductofLondonatthetime,whiletheRockersweremoreaproductofthenorthofthecounty,Liverpoolinparticular.TheRockershadtheirrootsinAmericanRockabilly,andwhiletheModspreferredtoscootaroundonscooters(Vespa),theRockerspreferredmotorcycles,rolledupLevi's,pegpants,blackleatherjacketsandsportedtoweringEmpireStateBuildingpompadourhighrockabillyhair-do'sinimitationthejuveniledelinquentlookandfashionofthe1950's..insteadofjazz,theRockerspreferredrockandroll.Mod'sontheotherhandlivedalifestylecenteredaroundfashionandmusic,woresuitsandpreferredsoulandrhythmandblues.Itwasonlyamatteroftimewhenthesub-cultureatomwouldsplitignitinganearatomicreactionofcrossculturalviolenceinbrawlsandfightswithavarietyofweaponsdesignedforonepurposetomaimorkill.Switchbladesandchains,brassknucklesandrazorbladeswereusedtodrawcopiousamountsofbloodandtoinflictbrokenbonesandfaces.Atfirstthemeleeswerescatteredandamongsmallgroupsprotectingtheirsupposedturf.Mostoftheseoccurredatseasideresortsandofcourse,intrueBritishlagerheadfashion,afterfootballgames!Mediacoverageonlyaddedgasolinetothefireoftensionthatwasbuildingamongthetwogroups.SomeoftheseoutbreaksmaketheHellsAngelsrampageinHollisterappeartobeasocialteabycomparison.Britishworkingclasspeopleenjoytheirtimeoffanditwascustomarytoheadtothecoastforlongholidayweekends.Ononesuchweekend,duringEasterof1964theconflictcametoaheadintwotowns,ClactonandBrightonasthousandsofBritons,aswellaslegionsofModsandRockersarrivedfortheholiday.Soonfightingbrokeoutandmodsandrockerswereusingeveryavailableweaponinsight.TheworstviolenceoccurredinBrightonwherethebattlingragedforovertwo
 
daysandspreadtoHastingsalsoonthecoast.ThemediahadafrenziedfielddayoverthisandreferredtointrueBritishfashioninblazingheadlinesas"TheSecondBattleofHastings.Atonepointwithpolicestandingidlyby,agroupoftrappedRockerswereoverwhelmedandbeatentoabloodypulpbyhordesofMods.OnthelightersideoftheMadModswasthecolorfulclothingastheygravitatedtoCarnabyStreettodrapethemselvesinvelvetjackets,ruffledshirtsthathadapiratepanachetothem,tightfittingpantsandandboots.TotheMod..thewetheadwasindeeddead,andthebushylonghaireddrylookwasin.PerhapsthethreemostprominentModbandsweretheSmallFaces,theKinksandofcourse,theWhowithKeithMoonleadingtheUnionJack"MyGeneration"fashionparade.ItwasLondon,itwastheSixtiesandtheKid'sWereAlright!WhiletheRockersstayedwithRockandRoll,theModswentthroughatransformationinthemidtolateSixties.ThemusicatfirstthatsignifiestheModsoundwasupbeat,drivingdrumsandblastingguitarswithahintofMotown.AstheSixtiesbeganit'sCarabyStreetbeatdescent,theModsbeganrevolvingaroundtheBritishgarage-psychedelicsoundwhichintimewouldbeknownas"freakbeat"whileanotherfactionwenthipasthehippiephenomgrewlikeamagicmushroom.TodaytheModshavecomefullcircleandthereisaModretromovementafootintheUKincludingaresurgenceinvintageshopsschleppingModclothingandsalesareboomingforVespaandLambrettamotorscooters!TheRockershavealwaysbeenafixtureandevenwithmanylayersofsocietalevolution,thereisarockerundergroundthathasre-surfaced,althoughithasnevergoneaway.TheUKhaspaidtributetoit'sRockerRootsofRockandRollwiththeestablishmentoftheRockabillyHallofFamethatincludessuchAmericanpioneerrockstersasNarvelFelts,CarlPerkins,JohnnyCashandJerryLeeLewis.TherearerockabillyfestivalsandfilmsandtheRockandPunkBandsofthe70'sand80'scanclaimrightstotheRockerGenePool.Mostnotably,althoughAmerican,isBrianSetzerandtheStrayCatswhopackthehousesintheUnitedStatesandtheRockabillyGardenofEdenintheUnitedKingdomBut...beforetheMods...beforetheRockers...beforethePunks...thereweretheTed's!RockandRollspawnofthefirstRn'RgenerationtheTeddyBoysemergedintheFifitesinEngland,atfirsttoskiffleandska,andultimatelywithRockandRoll.Oncethefilm"BlackboardJungle"hittheBritishsilverscreenin1955theTed'sbegantheirrisetosubcultureprominenceandthenewdeitieswereElvisPresley,BillHaleyandEddieCochran.TheTed'swerethefashionpre-cursorstotheModsadecadelater.TheydonnedtheEdwardianPeriodDudsoftheEdwardianDandyDudes.Preeningpeacocksininarockandrolllather.Oneofthestrangerfashionfeaturesincludedahigh-neckedloosecollaredwhiteshirtknownasa"Mr.B.becauseitwaswornbyjazzmusicianBillyEckstine,whosemusictheTedsalsolikedamongtheavalancheorRockandRoll..gofigure.Thehairstylesweregreaseduppompadourswiththefamiliarduckassorducktailinbackandcutsquareintheback.Strangelyenough,myhairstyletodayislooselybasedonthatlookthatwasalsopopularinAmericaatthetime.No,myhairisnotSetzerianinheightbutthebackisduckassedandsquaredoffatthenape.Somethingsjustwearwellwithtime,eh?TheTed'sbeganin1950andwereasomewhatquietsubculture,until1955when"BlackboardJungle"wasshowninLondon.Theaudience,primarilyTedsinattendancebegantoriot,ripuptheseatsinthetheater,andthen,holyshit..theybegandancingintheaisles!ThestagewasnowsetandeveryplaceinEnglandthatshowedthefilmexperiencedthesameviolentoutbreak...TheTed'sfoughtwitheachotherastheyformedrivalgangs,andin1958Ted'slaunchedanespeciallyviolentattackonthelocalWestIndiancommunity.IftheTeddyBoyswerebaddass,thentheTeddyGirlswerehardlyDorisDay.Theywerereferredtoas"Judies"andaffectedtherolledupjeanslook,lotsofvelvetclothing,tightassfittingtoreadorpantsandyep,thoseawesomeponytailsthatwiggledandwaggedinthebreeze.TheTed'sbyanlargewereworkingclass,nottomentionhighschooldrop-outs,(ok,anotherthingIhaveincommonwiththem)TheTeddyBoysandTeddyGirlswoulddropoutofschoolbyage14or15(15inmycase)andworkatjobsallweekandpartyhardallweekendlong.

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