They Could Have Been Mods

Got round to watching the 70s programme from Monday night.


It was certainly an interesting insight into early seventies Britain. There was an in depth look at cultural changes, especially the growth among the lower middle and working class of home ownership and foreign holidays. And plenty on the politics of the time - from Ted Heath, to the miners strike of 1972 and entry into what was then known as the Common Market.

I do wonder, however, whether the changes all had their roots in the seventies. The aspirational and bohemian trends would seem to have started in the sixties, or earlier. The narrator in Colin MacInnes classic 1958 (published 1959) novel Absolute Beginners would have hated the conformity of the new housing estates that were springing up (see Bob and Thelma's home in The Likely Lads from 1973 or Mike Leigh's Abigail's Party from 1979) but he would have recognised the aspirations towards escaping from working class roots and towards a sharp, clean modernity.

It was good to see David Bowie and Marc Bolan covered extensively, as well as their teenage fanbase. Watching the kids, in the latest fashion and with their cutting edge haircuts, made me think that the whole modernist outlook reinvents itself. Constantly. There was a clip of a group of fans walking along when Sandbrook was talking anout Bolan. How they strutted, the way they looked, the attitude. They could have been mods.

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