Mods vs Rockers
The mods and rockers were two conflicting British youth subcultures of the early to mid-1960s. Media coverage of mods and rockers fighting in 1964 sparked a moral panic about British youths, and the two groups became labelled as folk devils.
The rocker subculture was centred around motorcycling, and their appearance reflected that. Rockers generally wore protective clothing such as black leather jackets and motorcycle boots (although they sometimes wore brothel creeper shoes). The common rocker hairstyle was a pompadour, which was associated with 1950s rock and roll — the rockers’ music genre of choice. The mod subculture was centred around fashion and music, and many mods rode scooters. Mods wore suits and other cleancut outfits, and preferred 1960s music genres such as soul, rhythm and blues, ska and beat music.
Rockers were a young and rebellious Rock and Roll counterculture who wanted a fast, personalised and distinctive bike to travel between transport cafés along the newly built arterial motorways in and around British towns and cities. The goal of many was to be able to reach 100 miles per hour (160 km/h)—called simply “the ton”—along such a route where the rider would leave from a café, race to a predetermined point and back to the café before a single song could play on the jukebox, called record-racing. They are remembered as being especially fond of Rockabilly music and their image is now embedded in today’s rockabilly culture.
The sub-culture continues to evolve with modern cafe racers taking style elements of the American Greaser, the British Rocker and modern motorcycle rider to create a style all their own. Although slow to catch on, the trend has grown in North America.