Mod is a subculture that began in London and spread throughout Great Britain and elsewhere, eventually influencing fashions and trends in other countries, and continues today on a smaller scale. Focused on music and fashion, the subculture has its roots in a small group of stylish London-based young men in the late 1950s who were termed modernists because they listened to modern jazz. Elements of the mod subculture include fashion (often tailor-made suits); music (including soul, rhythm and blues, ska, jazz, and later splintering off into freakbeat); and motor scooters (usually Lambretta or Vespa). In the mid-1960s, the subculture listened to power pop rock groups with mod following, such as The Who and The Small Faces, after the peak Mod era. The original mod scene was associated with amphetamine-fuelled all-night dancing at clubs.
During the early to mid-1960s, as mod grew and spread throughout the UK, certain elements of the mod scene became engaged in well-publicised clashes with members of a rival subculture: rockers. The mods and rockers conflict led sociologist Stanley Cohen to use the term "moral panic" in his study about the two youth subcultures, which examined media coverage of the mod and rocker riots in the 1960s.
By 1965, conflicts between mods and rockers began to subside and mods increasingly gravitated towards pop art and psychedelia. London became synonymous with fashion, music, and pop culture in these years, a period often referred to as "Swinging London". During this time, mod fashions spread to other countries and became popular in the United States and elsewhere—with mod now viewed less as an isolated subculture, but emblematic of the larger youth culture of the era.
As mod became more cosmopolitan during the "Swinging London" period, some working class "street mods" splintered off, forming other groups such as what eventually became known as skinheads. There was a mod revival in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s, which attempted to replicate the "scooter" period look and styles of the early to mid-1960s. It was followed by a similar mod revival in North America in the early 1980s, particularly in southern California.
Etymology and usage
The term mod derives from modernist, a term used in the 1950s to describe modern jazz musicians and fans. This usage contrasted with the term trad, which described traditional jazz players and fans. The 1959 novel Absolute Beginners describes modernists as young modern jazz fans who dress in sharp modern Italian clothes. The novel may be one of the earliest examples of the term being written to describe young British style-conscious modern jazz fans. This usage of the word modernist should not be confused with modernism in the context of literature, art, design and architecture. From the mid-to-late 1960s onwards, the mass media often used the term mod in a wider sense to describe anything that was believed to be popular, fashionable or modern.
Paul Jobling and David Crowley argued that the definition of mod can be difficult to pin down, because throughout the subculture's original era, it was "prone to continuous reinvention." They claimed that since the mod scene was so pluralist, the word mod was an umbrella term that covered several distinct sub-scenes. Terry Rawlings argued that mods are difficult to define because the subculture started out as a "mysterious semi-secret world", which the Who's manager Peter Meaden summarised as "clean living under difficult circumstances."
George Melly wrote that mods were initially a small group of clothes-focused English working class young men insisting on clothes and shoes tailored to their style, who emerged during the modern jazz boom of the late 1950s. Early mods watched French and Italian art films and read Italian magazines to look for style ideas. They usually held semi-skilled manual jobs or low grade white-collar positions such as a clerk, messenger or office boy. According to Dick Hebdige, mods created a parody of the consumer society that they lived in.
According to Hebdige, by around 1963, the mod subculture had gradually accumulated the identifying symbols that later came to be associated with the scene, such as scooters, amphetamine pills and R&B music. While clothes were still important at that time, they could be ready-made. Dick Hebdige wrote the term mod covered a number of styles including the emergence of Swinging London, though to him it defined Melly's working class clothes-conscious teenagers living in London and south England in the early to mid-1960s.
Mary Anne Long argued that "first hand accounts and contemporary theorists point to the Jewish upper-working or middle-class of London’s East End and suburbs." Simon Frith asserted that the mod subculture had its roots in the 1950s beatnik coffee bar culture, which catered to art school students in the radical Bohemian scene in London. Steve Sparks, whose claim is to be one of the original mods, agrees that before mod became commercialised, it was essentially an extension of the beatnik culture: "It comes from ‘modernist’, it was to do with modern jazz and to do with Sartre" and existentialism. Sparks argued that "Mod has been much misunderstood ... as this working-class, scooter-riding precursor of skinheads."
Coffee bars were attractive to British youth because, in contrast to typical pubs, which closed at about 11pm, they were open until the early hours of the morning. Coffee bars had jukeboxes, which in some cases reserved space in the machines for the customers' own records. In the late 1950s, coffee bars were associated with jazz and blues, but in the early 1960s, they began playing more R&B music. Frith noted that although coffee bars were originally aimed at middle-class art school students, they began to facilitate an intermixing of youth from different backgrounds and classes. At these venues, which Frith called the "first sign of the youth movement", young people met collectors of R&B and blues records, who introduced them to new types of African-American music, which the teens were attracted to for its rawness and authenticity.
As the mod subculture grew in London during the early-to-mid-1960s, tensions could arise between the mods, often riding highly decorated motor scooters, and their main rivals, the rockers, a British subculture who favoured rockabilly, early rock'n'roll, motorcycles and leather jackets, and considered the mods effeminate, because of their interest in fashion. Violent clashes could ensue between the two groups. This period was later immortalised by songwriter Pete Townshend, in the Who's 1973 concept album, Quadrophenia.
However, after 1964, clashes between the two groups largely subsided, as mod expanded and came to be accepted by the larger youth generation throughout the UK as a symbol of all that was new. During this time London became a mecca for rock music, with popular bands such as The Who and The Small Faces appealing to a largely mod audience, as well as the preponderance of hip fashions, in a period often referred to as Swinging London.
As numerous British rock bands of the mid-1960s began to adopt a mod look and following, the scope of the subculture grew beyond its original confines and the focus began to change. By 1966, proletarian aspects of the scene in London had waned as fashion and pop-culture elements continued to grow, not only in England, but elsewhere.
This period, portrayed by Alberto Sordi's film in Thank you very much, and in Michelangelo Antonioni's 1966 film Blowup, was typified by pop art, Carnaby Street boutiques, live music, and discothèques. Many associate this era with fashion model Twiggy, miniskirts, and bold geometrical patterns on brightly coloured clothes. During these years, it exerted a considerable influence on the worldwide spread of mod.
United States and elsewhere
As mod was going through transformation in England, it became all the rage in the United States and around the world, as many young people adopted its look. However, the worldwide experience differed from that of the early scene in London in that it was based mainly on the pop culture aspect, influenced by British rock musicians. By now, mod was thought of more as a general youth-culture style rather than as a separate subgroup amongst different contentious factions.
American musicians, in the wake of the British Invasion, adopted the look of mod clothes, longer hairstyles, and Beatle boots. The exploitation documentary Mondo Mod provides a glimpse at mod's influence on the Sunset Strip and West Hollywood scene of late 1966. Mod increasingly became associated with psychedelic rock and the early hippie movement, and by 1967 more exotic looks, such as Nehru jackets and love beads came into vogue. Its trappings were reflected on popular American TV shows such as Laugh-In and The Mod Squad.
Dick Hebdige argued that the subculture lost its vitality when it became commercialised and stylised to the point that mod clothing styles were being created "from above" by clothing companies and by TV shows like Ready Steady Go!, rather than being developed by young people customising their clothes and combining different fashions.
As psychedelic rock and the hippie subculture grew more popular in the United Kingdom, much of mod, for a time, seemed intertwined with those movements. However, after 1968 it dissipated, as tastes began to favor a less style-conscious, denim and tie-dyed look, along with a decreased interest in nightlife. Bands such as The Who and Small Faces began to change and, by the end of the decade, moved away from mod. Additionally, the original mods of the early 1960s were coming to the age of marriage and child-rearing, which meant many of them no longer had the time or money for their youthful pastimes of club-going, record-shopping, and buying clothes.
Later developments 1969–present
Some street-orientated mods, usually of lesser means, sometimes referred to as hard mods, remained active well into the late 1960s, but tended to become increasingly detached from the Swinging London scene and the burgeoning hippie movement. By 1967, they considered most of the people in the Swinging London scene to be "soft mods" or "peacock mods", as styles, there, became increasingly extravagant, often featuring highly ruffled, brocaded, or laced fabrics in Day-Glo colours.
Many of the hard mods lived in the same economically depressed areas of South London as West Indian immigrants, so these mods favoured a different kind of attire, that emulated the rude boy look of Trilby hats and too-short trousers. These "aspiring 'white negros'" listened to Jamaican ska and mingled with black rude boys at West Indian nightclubs like Ram Jam, A-Train and Sloopy's. Hebdige claimed that the hard mods were drawn to black culture and ska music in part because the educated, middle-class hippie movement's drug-orientated and intellectual music did not have any relevance for them. He argued that the hard mods were attracted to ska because it was a secret, underground, non-commercialised music that was disseminated through informal channels such as house parties and clubs.
By the end of the 1960s, the hard mods had become known as skinheads, who, in their early days, would be known for the same love of soul, rocksteady and early reggae. Because of their fascination with black culture, the early skinheads were, except in isolated situations, largely devoid of the overt racism and fascism that would later become associated with whole wings of the movement in the mid to late 1970s. The early skinheads retained basic elements of mod fashion—such as Fred Perry and Ben Sherman shirts, Sta-Prest trousers and Levi's jeans—but mixed them with working class-orientated accessories such as braces and Dr. Martens work boots. Hebdige claimed that as early as the Margate and Brighton brawls between mods and rockers, some mods were seen wearing boots and braces and sporting close cropped haircuts (for practical reasons, as long hair was a liability in industrial jobs and street fights).
Mods and ex-mods were also part of the early northern soul scene, a subculture based on obscure 1960s and 1970s American soul records. Some mods evolved into, or merged with, subcultures such as individualists, stylists, and scooterboys.
Revivals and later influences
A mod revival started in the late 1970s in the United Kingdom, with thousands of mod revivalists attending scooter rallies in locations such as Scarborough and the Isle of Wight. This revival was partly inspired by the 1979 film Quadrophenia, which explores the original 1960s movement, and by mod-influenced bands such as The Jam, Secret Affair, The Lambrettas, Purple Hearts, The Specials and The Chords, who drew on the energy of new wave music.
The British mod revival was followed by a revival in North America in the early 1980s, particularly in Southern California, led by bands such as The Untouchables. The mod scene in Los Angeles and Orange County was partly influenced by the 2 Tone ska revival in England, and was unique in its racial diversity, with black, white, Hispanic and Asian participants. The 1990s Britpop scene featured noticeable mod influences on bands such as Oasis, Blur, Ocean Colour Scene and The Bluetones. Popular 21st century musicians Miles Kane and Jake Bugg are also followers of the mod subculture.
Dick Hebdige argued that when trying to understand 1960s mod culture, one has to try and "penetrate and decipher the mythology of the mods". Terry Rawlings argued that the mod scene developed when British teenagers began to reject the "dull, timid, old-fashioned, and uninspired" British culture around them, with its repressed and class-obsessed mentality and its "naffness". Mods rejected the "faulty pap" of 1950s pop music and sappy love songs. They aimed at being "cool, neat, sharp, hip, and smart" by embracing "all things sexy and streamlined", especially when they were new, exciting, controversial or modern. Hebdige claimed that the mod subculture came about as part of the participants' desire to understand the "mysterious complexity of the metropolis" and to get close to black culture of the Jamaican rude boy, because mods felt that black culture "ruled the night hours" and that it had more streetwise "savoir faire". Shari Benstock and Suzanne Ferriss argued that at the "core of the British Mod rebellion was a blatant fetishising of the American consumer culture" that had "eroded the moral fiber of England." In doing so, the mods "mocked the class system that had gotten their fathers nowhere" and created a "rebellion based on consuming pleasures".
The influence of British newspapers on creating the public perception of mods as having a leisure-filled club-going lifestyle can be seen in a 1964 article in the Sunday Times. The paper interviewed a 17-year-old mod who went out clubbing seven nights a week and spent Saturday afternoons shopping for clothes and records. However, few British teens and young adults would have had the time and money to spend this much time going to nightclubs. Paul Jobling and David Crowley argued that most young mods worked 9 to 5 at semi-skilled jobs, which meant that they had much less leisure time and only a modest income to spend during their time off.
Paul Jobling and David Crowley called the mod subculture a "fashion-obsessed and hedonistic cult of the hyper-cool" young adults who lived in metropolitan London or the new towns of the south. Due to the increasing affluence of post-war Britain, the youths of the early 1960s were one of the first generations that did not have to contribute their money from after-school jobs to the family finances. As mod teens and young adults began using their disposable income to buy stylish clothes, the first youth-targeted boutique clothing stores opened in London in the Carnaby Street and King's Road districts. The streets' names became symbols of, one magazine later stated, "an endless frieze of mini-skirted, booted, fair-haired angular angels". Newspaper accounts from the mid-1960s focussed on the mod obsession with clothes, often detailing the prices of the expensive suits worn by young mods, and seeking out extreme cases such as a young mod who claimed that he would "go without food to buy clothes".
Two youth subcultures helped pave the way for mod fashion by breaking new ground: the beatniks, with their Bohemian image of berets and black turtlenecks, and the Teddy Boys, from whom mod fashion inherited its "narcissistic and fastidious [fashion] tendencies" and the immaculate dandy look. The Teddy Boys paved the way for making male interest in fashion socially acceptable, because prior to the Teddy Boys, male interest in fashion in Britain was mostly associated with the underground homosexual subculture's flamboyant dressing style.
Jobling and Crowley argued that for working class mods, the subculture's focus on fashion and music was a release from the "humdrum of daily existence" at their jobs. Jobling and Crowley noted that while the subculture had strong elements of consumerism and shopping, mods were not passive consumers; instead they were very self-conscious and critical, customising "existing styles, symbols and artefacts" such as the Union flag and the Royal Air Force roundel, and putting them on their jackets in a pop art-style, and putting their personal signatures on their style. Mods adopted new Italian and French styles in part as a reaction to the rural and small-town rockers, with their 1950s-style leather motorcycle clothes and American greaser look.
Male mods adopted a smooth, sophisticated look that included tailor-made suits with narrow lapels (sometimes made of mohair), thin ties, button-down collar shirts, wool or cashmere jumpers (crewneck or V-neck), Chelsea or Beatle boots, loafers, Clarks desert boots, bowling shoes, and hairstyles that imitated the look of French Nouvelle Vague film actors. A few male mods went against gender norms by using eye shadow, eye-pencil or even lipstick. Mods chose scooters over motorbikes partly because they were a symbol of Italian style and because their body panels concealed moving parts and made them less likely to stain clothes with oil or road dust. Many mods wore ex-military parkas while driving scooters in order to keep their clothes clean.
Many female mods dressed androgynously, with short haircuts, men's trousers or shirts, flat shoes, and little makeup — often just pale foundation, brown eye shadow, white or pale lipstick and false eyelashes. Miniskirts became progressively shorter between the early and mid-1960s. As female mod fashion became more mainstream, slender models like Jean Shrimpton and Twiggy began to exemplify the mod look. Maverick fashion designers emerged, such as Mary Quant, who was known for her miniskirt designs, and John Stephen, who sold a line named "His Clothes" and whose clients included bands such as Small Faces. The television programme Ready Steady Go! helped spread awareness of mod fashions to a larger audience. Mod-culture continues to influence fashion, with the ongoing trend for mod-inspired styles such as 3-button suits, Chelsea boots and mini dresses. The Mod Revival of the 1980s and 1990s led to a new era of mod-inspired fashion, driven by bands such as Madness, The Specials and Oasis. The popularity of the This Is England film and TV series also kept mod fashion in the public eye. Today's mod icons include Miles Kane (frontman of the Last Shadow Puppets), cyclist Bradley Wiggins and Paul Weller, 'The ModFather'.
The early mods listened to the "sophisticated smoother modern jazz" of musicians such as Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Dave Brubeck and the Modern Jazz Quartet, as well as the American rhythm and blues (R&B) of artists such as Bo Diddley and Muddy Waters. The music scene of the Mods was a mix of modern jazz, R&B, psychedelic rock and soul. Terry Rawlings wrote that mods became "dedicated to R&B and their own dances." Black American servicemen, stationed in Britain during the early part of the Cold War, brought over R&B and soul records that were unavailable in Britain, and they often sold these to young people in London. Starting around 1960, mods embraced the off-beat, Jamaican ska music of artists such as the Skatalites, Owen Gray, Derrick Morgan and Prince Buster on record labels such as Melodisc, Starlite and Bluebeat.
The original mods gathered at all-night clubs such as The Flamingo and The Marquee in London to hear the latest records and show off their dance moves. As the mod subculture spread across the United Kingdom, other clubs became popular, including Twisted Wheel Club in Manchester.
The British R&B/rock bands The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds and The Kinks all had mod followings, and other bands emerged that were specifically mod-orientated. These included The Who, Small Faces, The Creation, The Action, The Smoke and John's Children. The Who's early promotional material tagged them as playing "maximum rhythm and blues", and a name change in 1964 from The Who to The High Numbers was an attempt to cater even more to the mod market. After the commercial failure of the single "Zoot Suit/I'm the Face", the band changed its name back to The Who. Although The Beatles dressed like mods for a while (after dressing like rockers earlier), their beat music was not as popular as British R&B among mods.
The late 1970s saw an explosive mod revival in England due to the popularity of new wave mod band The Jam and the success of the film Quadrophenia in 1979. The Jam were fronted by Paul Weller who became known as 'The Modfather'. Other mod revival bands that emerged at this time were Secret Affair, The Merton Parkas and The Lambrettas.
A notable part of the mod subculture was recreational amphetamine use, which was used to fuel all-night dances at clubs. Newspaper reports described dancers emerging from clubs at 5 a.m. with dilated pupils. Some mods consumed a combined amphetamine/barbiturate called Drinamyl, nicknamed "purple hearts". Due to this association with amphetamines, Pete Meaden's "clean living" aphorism about the mod subculture may seem contradictory, but the drug was still legal in Britain in the early 1960s, and mods used the drug for stimulation and alertness, which they viewed as different from the intoxication caused by alcohol and other drugs. Andrew Wilson argued that for a significant minority, "amphetamines symbolised the smart, on-the-ball, cool image" and that they sought "stimulation not intoxication ... greater awareness, not escape" and "confidence and articulacy" rather than the "drunken rowdiness of previous generations."
Wilson argued that the significance of amphetamines to the mod culture was similar to that of LSD and cannabis within the subsequent hippie counterculture. Dick Hebdige argued that mods used amphetamines to extend their leisure time into the early hours of the morning and as a way of bridging the gap between their hostile and daunting everyday work lives and the "inner world" of dancing and dressing up in their off-hours.
Many mods drove motor scooters, usually Vespas or Lambrettas. Scooters were a practical and affordable form of transportation for 1960s teens, since until the early 1970s, public transport stopped relatively early in the night. For teens with low-paying jobs, scooters were cheaper and easier to park than cars, and they could be bought through newly available hire purchase plans.
Mods also treated scooters as a fashion accessory. Italian scooters were preferred due to their clean-lined, curving shapes and gleaming chrome, with sales driven by close associations between dealerships and clubs, such as the Ace of Herts.
For young mods, Italian scooters were the "embodiment of continental style and a way to escape the working-class row houses of their upbringing". Mods customised their scooters by painting them in "two-tone and candyflake and overaccessorized [them] with luggage racks, crash bars, and scores of mirrors and fog lights". Some mods added four, ten, or as many as 30 mirrors to their scooters. They often put their names on the small windscreen. They sometimes took their engine side panels and front bumpers to electroplating shops to get them covered in highly reflective chrome.
Hard mods (who later evolved into the skinheads) began riding scooters more for practical reasons. Their scooters were either unmodified or cutdown, which was nicknamed a "skelly". Lambrettas were cutdown to the bare frame, and the unibody (monocoque)-design Vespas had their body panels slimmed down or reshaped.
After the seaside resort brawls, the media began to associate Italian scooters with violent mods. Much later, writers described groups of mods riding scooters together as a "menacing symbol of group solidarity" that was "converted into a weapon". With events like the 6 November 1966, "scooter charge" on Buckingham Palace, the scooter, along with the mods' short hair and suits, began to be seen as a symbol of subversion.
Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson argued in 1993 that compared to other youth subcultures, the mod scene gave young women high visibility and relative autonomy. They wrote that this status may have been related both to the attitudes of the mod young men, who accepted the idea that a young woman did not have to be attached to a man, and to the development of new occupations for young women, which gave them an income and made them more independent. Hall and Jefferson noted the increasing number of jobs in boutiques and women's clothing stores, which, while poorly paid and lacking opportunities for advancement, gave young women disposable income, status and a glamorous sense of dressing up and going into town to work.
Hall and Jefferson argued that the presentable image of female mod fashions meant it was easier for young mod women to integrate with the non-subculture aspects of their lives (home, school and work) than for members of other subcultures. The emphasis on clothing and a stylised look for women demonstrated the "same fussiness for detail in clothes" as their male mod counterparts.
Shari Benstock and Suzanne Ferriss claimed that the emphasis in the mod subculture on consumerism and shopping was the "ultimate affront to male working-class traditions" in the United Kingdom, because in the working-class tradition, shopping was usually done by women. They argued that British mods were "worshipping leisure and money ... scorning the masculine world of hard work and honest labour" by spending their time listening to music, collecting records, socialising, and dancing at all-night clubs.
Conflicts with rockers
In early-1960s Britain, the two main youth subcultures were mods and rockers. Mods were described in 2012 as "effeminate, stuck-up, emulating the middle classes, aspiring to a competitive sophistication, snobbish, [and] phony", and rockers as "hopelessly naive, loutish, [and] scruffy", emulating the motorcycle gang members in the film The Wild One, by wearing leather jackets and riding motorcycles. Dick Hebdige claimed in 2006 that the "mods rejected the rocker's crude conception of masculinity, the transparency of his motivations, his clumsiness"; the rockers viewed the vanity and obsession with clothes of the mods as immasculine.
Scholars debate how much contact the two subcultures had during the 1960s. Hebdige argued that mods and rockers had little contact with each other because they tended to come from different regions of England (mods from London and rockers from rural areas), and because they had "totally disparate goals and lifestyles". Mark Gilman, however, claimed that both mods and rockers could be seen at football matches.
John Covach wrote that in the United Kingdom, rockers were often engaged in brawls with mods. BBC News stories from May 1964 stated that mods and rockers were jailed after riots in seaside resort towns on the south and east coasts of England, such as Margate, Brighton, Bournemouth and Clacton. The "mods and rockers" conflict was explored as an instance of "moral panic" by sociologist Stanley Cohen in his study Folk Devils and Moral Panics, which examined media coverage of the mod and rocker riots in the 1960s. Although Cohen acknowledged that mods and rockers had some fights in the mid-1960s, he argued that they were no different from the evening brawls that occurred between non-mod and non-rocker youths throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, both at seaside resorts and after football games.
Newspapers of the time were eager to describe the mod and rocker clashes as being of "disastrous proportions", and labelled mods and rockers as "sawdust Caesars", "vermin" and "louts". Newspaper editorials fanned the flames of hysteria, such as a Birmingham Post editorial in May 1964 which warned that mods and rockers were "internal enemies" in the United Kingdom who would "bring about disintegration of a nation's character". The magazine Police Review argued that the mods and rockers' purported lack of respect for law and order could cause violence to "surge and flame like a forest fire". As a result of this media coverage, two British Members of Parliament travelled to the seaside areas to survey the damage, and MP Harold Gurden called for a resolution for intensified measures to control youth hooliganism. One of the prosecutors in the trial of some of the Clacton brawlers argued that mods and rockers were youths with no serious views, who lacked respect for law and order.
- Grossman, Henry; Spencer, Terrance; Saton, Ernest (13 May 1966). "Revolution in Men's Clothes: Mod Fashions from Britain are Making a Smash in the U.S." Life. pp. 82–88.
- Oonagh Jaquest (May 2003). "Jeff Noon on The Modernists". BBC. Archived from the original on 11 January 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
- Dr. Andrew Wilson (2008). "Mixing the Medicine: The Unintended Consequence of Amphetamine Control on the Northern Soul Scene" (PDF). Internet Journal of Criminology. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 July 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
- Covach, John; Flory, Andrew (2012), "Chapter 4: 1964-1966 The Beatles and the british invasion | XII Other important British blues revival groups | E. The Who", in Covach, John; Flory, Andrew (eds.), What's that sound?: an introduction to rock and its history, New York: Norton, ISBN 9780393912043,
6. The Rockers emulated Marlon Brando's motorcycle gang leader character in "The Wild One" film (a) wore leather clothes; (b) rode motorcycles; and (c) often engaged in brawls with the ModsBook preview. Archived 22 April 2016 at the Wayback Machine
- Cohen, Stanley (2002). Folk devils and moral panics: the creation of the Mods and Rockers. Abingdon, England: Routledge. ISBN 9780415267120.
- British Film Commission (BFC) (PDF), Film Education, archived from the original (PDF) on 4 July 2008
- Page, Michael (2006). "A rather disjointed narrative of the California mod scene(s) 1980–1983". california-mod-scene.com. Archived from the original on 20 June 2009. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
- Artavia, Mario (2006). "SoCal Mods". South Bay Scooter Club. Archived from the original on 9 December 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
- Mods!, Richard Barnes. Eel Pie (1979), ISBN 0-85965-173-8; Absolute Beginners, Colin MacInnes
- Jobling, Paul and David Crowley, Graphic Design: Reproduction and Representation Since 1800 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996) ISBN 0-7190-4467-7, ISBN 978-0-7190-4467-0, p. 213
- Rawlings, Terry, Mod: Clean Living Under Very Difficult Circumstances: a Very British Phenomenon (Omnibus Press, 2000) ISBN 0-7119-6813-6
- George Melly (5 April 2012). Revolt into Style: The Pop Arts. Faber & Faber. p. 120. ISBN 9780571281114. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
- Muncie, John (18 March 2009). Youth and Crime. SAGE Publications Ltd. ISBN 9781446246870. Archived from the original on 14 November 2017.
- Dick Hebdige (24 November 2006). "The Meaning of Mod". Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain. Routledge. p. 71. ISBN 9780203357057. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
- Long, Mary Anne, A Cultural History of the Italian Motorscooter, senior thesis presented To Prof. Anne Cook Saunders on 17 December 1998, online at: www.nh-scooters.com/filemanager/download/11/php1C.pdf
- Frith, Simon and Howard Horne, Art into Pop (1987), pp. 86–87
- Frith, Simon and Howard Horne. Art into Pop (1987), pp. 87
- Covach, John; Flory, Andrew (2012), "Chapter 4: 1964-1966 The Beatles and the british invasion | XII Other important British blues revival groups | E. The Who", in Covach, John; Flory, Andrew, What's that sound?: an introduction to rock and its history, New York: Norton, ISBN 9780393912043, "6.
- Quadrophenia (1996 CD remaster) (Media notes). Polydor. pp. 2–4. 531 971-2.
- Brown, Mick. Mods: A Very British Style provides definitive history of the 1960s movement, review. The Telegraph. 19 March 2013
- Weight, Richard (26 March 2013). "How Mod Became the Mainstream". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 1 October 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
- Unterberger, R., "Mod", in V. Bogdanov, C. Woodstra and S. T. Erlewine, All Music Guide to Rock: the Definitive Guide to Rock, Pop, and Soul, 3rd. ed. (Milwaukee, WI: Backbeat Books, 2002), ISBN 0-87930-653-X, pp. 1321–2.
- PDN Legends Online: David Bailey. Archived 14 September 2017 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 28 July 2012.
- Revolution in Men's Clothes: Mod Fashions from Britain are Making a Smash in the U.S., Life Magazine, 13 May 1966; pg. 82-86. Cover story.
- Babiuk, A. The Beatles' Gear. Hal Leonard Corporation. 2001. pr. 136. ISBN 0-87930-662-9
- Mondo Mod. Dir. E. Beatty and P. Perry, orig. 1967. DVD: something Weird Video, rel. 2002 w/ The Hippy Revolt
- "Nehru Jacket". Archived from the original on 12 September 2010.
- "Nehru jacket - Everything2.com". Everything2.com. 27 July 2001. Archived from the original on 23 January 2010. Retrieved 11 January 2010.
- Lobenthal, J. "Psychedelic Fashion." Love to Know. "Psychedelic Fashion". Archived from the original on 17 March 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "Mod Squad: The Ladies of 1960s Fashion" Archived 16 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Need Supply Co. 3 March 2013. Photos of Goldie Hawn, who was member of original cast on Laugh-In.
- Hutchings, David (4 April 1988). "Can You Dig It? the Mod Squad's Peggy Lipton, One Marriage and 15 Years Later, Returns to Acting". People. 29 (13). Archived from the original on 19 June 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
- Debolt, Abbe A.; Baugess, James S., eds. (2011). Encyclopedia of the 1960s: A Decade of Culture and Counterculture [2 volumes]: A Decade of Culture and Counterculture. ABC-CLIO. p. 629. ISBN 9781440801020. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
- Oliver, Dana. Peggy Lipton Style Evolution: The 'Mod Squad' Star Turned Hip Hollywood Mom Archived 16 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine. The Huffington Post. 29 August 2012.
- Hebdige, Dick. "The Meaning of Mod". In Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain. Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson, eds. London. Routledge, 1993. Page 174
- Old Skool Jim. Trojan Skinhead Reggae Box Set liner notes. London: Trojan Records. TJETD169.
- Edwards, Dave. Trojan Mod Reggae Box Set liner notes. London: Trojan Records. TJETD020.
- Hebdige, Dick, "Reggae, Rasta and Rudies" in Writing Black Britain, 1948–1998: An Interdisciplinary Anthology, James Procter, ed. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000)
- Old Skool Jim, Trojan Skinhead Reggae Box Set liner notes (London: Trojan Records) TJETD169
- Marshall, George, Spirit of '69 – A Skinhead Bible (Dunoon, Scotland: S.T. Publishing, 1991) ISBN 1-898927-10-3
- Hebdige, Dick, "Reggae, Rasta and Rudies", p. 163 in Writing Black Britain, 1948–1998: An Interdisciplinary Anthology, James Procter, ed. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000)
- Hebdige, Dick, "Reggae, Rasta and Rudies", p. 162 in Writing Black Britain, 1948–1998: An Interdisciplinary Anthology, James Procter, ed. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000)
- Hebdige, Dick, "Reggae, Rasta and Rudies", pp. 162-163 in Writing Black Britain, 1948–1998: An Interdisciplinary Anthology, James Procter, ed. (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2000)
- Marshall, George (1991). Spirit of '69 - A Skinhead Bible. Dunoon, Scotland: S.T. Publishing. ISBN 978-1-898927-10-5.
- "Street the look Skinheads". British Style Genius. BBC. Archived from the original on 11 December 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- Feldman, Christine J. (2009), "Chapter 1: Whose modern world?: mod culture in Britain", in Feldman, Christine J. (ed.), We are the mods: a transnational history of a youth subculture, New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., p. 41, ISBN 9781433103704,
Skinheads emerged from the Mod scene with a look that countered the majority of Mods' super-stylish appearance. Before they were known as Skinheads (or "Skins"), this group was known as "Hard Mods", implying an unrefined aspect to their look.
- Waters, John (6 September 2011). "Hard mods by John Waters". Modculture website. Archived from the original on 17 July 2014. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
- "REDSKINS — The Interview, 1986". Sozialismus-von-unten.de. Archived from the original on 26 February 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010.
- "Miles Kane: "I don't know if it can get any more bonkers."". Cambridge News. Archived from the original on 23 March 2014.
- "We thought Jake Bugg's new single "What Doesn't Kill You" was a bit rushed. So we slowed it down 39% - Vanyaland". Vanyaland. 24 September 2013. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014.
- Hebdige, Dick. "The Meaning of Mod" in Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson, eds., Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain (London. Routledge, 1993) p. 168
- Benstock, Shari and Suzanne Ferriss, On Fashion (Rutgers University Press, 1994) ISBN 0-8135-2033-9, ISBN 978-0-8135-2033-9
- Jobling, Paul and David Crowley, Graphic Design: Reproduction and Representation Since 1800 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996) ISBN 0-7190-4467-7, ISBN 978-0-7190-4467-0
- Owram, Doug, Born at the Right Time: A History of the Baby-Boom Generation (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996) p. 3
- Seebohm, Caroline (19 July 1971). "English Girls in New York: They Don't Go Home Again". New York. p. 34. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
- Casburn, Melissa M., A Concise History of the British Mod Movement, p. 2.
- Casburn, Melissa M., A Concise History of the British Mod Movement
- Casburn, Melissa M, A Concise History of the British Mod Movement, p. 4.
- "The Best Mod Bands/Artists". Ranker. Archived from the original on 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- Rawlings, Terry and R. Barnes, Mod: Clean Living Under Very Difficult Circumstances: a Very British Phenomenon (Omnibus Press, 2000), p. 89.
- Anderson, Paul "Smiler" (2013). Mods: The New Religion. London: Omnibus Press. pp. 91–98. ISBN 978-1-78038-549-5.
- Inglis, I., Performance and Popular Music: History, Place and Time (Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing, 2006), p. 95.
- Inglis, I., The Beatles, Popular Music and Society: a Thousand Voices (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2000), p. 44.
- Dave Haslam, Life After Dark: A History of British Nightclubs & Music Venues, London: Simon & Schuster, 2015, ISBN 9780857206992.
- Hebdige, Dick, "The Meaning of Mod," in Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson, eds., Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain (London: Routledge, 1993) p. 171
- Brown, Mick (19 March 2013). "Mods: A Very British Style provides definitive history of the 1960s movement, review". The Daily Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Archived from the original on 14 November 2017. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- Sarti, Doug, "Vespa Scoots Sexily Back to Vancouver" Archived 22 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine, Straight.com. 3 June 2004
- Long, Mary Anne, A Cultural History of the Italian Motorscooter, senior thesis presented to Prof. Anne Cook Saunders, 17 December 1998, online at: www.nh-scooters.com/filemanager/download/11/php1C.pdf
- Hebdige, Dick. Subculture: The Meaning of Style (London: Methuen, 1979) p. 104
- Hebdige, Dick. "The Meaning of Mod" in Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson, eds., Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain (London: Routledge, 1993) p. 172
- Hebdige, Dick, "The Meaning of Mod" in Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson, eds., Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain (London: Routledge, 1993) pp. 173 and 166
- Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-war Britain. By Stuart Hall, Tony Jefferson. Published by Routledge, 1993. ISBN 0-415-09916-1, ISBN 978-0-415-09916-5, p. 217.
- Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-war Britain. By Stuart Hall, Tony Jefferson. Published by Routledge, 1993. ISBN 0-415-09916-1, ISBN 978-0-415-09916-5
- Outcasts, Dropouts, and Provocateurs: Nonconformists Prepare the Terrain, www.oup.co.uk/pdf/0-19-927666-8.pdf[dead link]
- Gilman, Mark, Football and Drugs: Two Cultures Clash, The International Journal of Drug Policy, vol. 5, no. 1, 1994
- "1964: Mods and Rockers jailed after seaside riots". BBC News. 18 May 1964. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2010.
- Cohen, Stanley. Folk Devils and Moral Panics. page 27
- Anderson, Paul. Mods: The New Religion, Omnibus Press (2014), ISBN 978-1780385495
- Bacon, Tony. London Live, Balafon (1999), ISBN 1-871547-80-6
- Baker, Howard. Sawdust Caesar Mainstream (1999), ISBN 1-84018-223-7
- Baker, Howard. Enlightenment and the Death of Michael Mouse Mainstream (2001), ISBN 1-84018-460-4
- Barnes, Richard.Mods!, Eel Pie (1979), ISBN 0-85965-173-8
- Cohen, S. (1972 ). Folk Devils and Moral Panics: The Creation of Mods and Rockers, Oxford: Martin Robertson.
- Deighton, Len. Len Deighton's London Dossier, (1967)
- Elms, Robert. The Way We Wore,
- Feldman, Christine Jacqueline. "We Are the Mods": A Transnational History of a Youth Subculture. Peter Lang (2009).
- Fletcher, Alan. Mod Crop Series, Chainline (1995), ISBN 978-0-9526105-0-2
- Green, Jonathan. Days In The Life,
- Green, Jonathan. All Dressed Up
- Hamblett, Charles and Jane Deverson. Generation X (1964)
- Hewitt, Paolo. My Favourite Shirt: A History of Ben Sherman Style (Paperback). Ben Sherman (2004), ISBN 0-9548106-0-0
- Hewitt, Paolo. The Sharper Word; A Mod Anthology Helter Skelter Publishing (2007), ISBN 978-1-900924-34-4
- Hewitt, Paolo. The Soul Stylists: Forty Years of Modernism (1st edition). Mainstream (2000), ISBN 1-84018-228-8
- MacInnes, Colin. England, Half English (2nd edition), Penguin (1966, 1961)
- MacInnes, Colin. Absolute Beginners
- Newton, Francis. The Jazz Scene,
- Rawlings, Terry. Mod: A Very British Phenomenon
- Scala, Mim. Diary Of A Teddy Boy. Sitric (2000), ISBN 0-7472-7068-6
- Verguren, Enamel . This Is a Modern Life: The 1980s London Mod Scene, Enamel Verguren. Helter Skelter (2004), ISBN 1-900924-77-3
- Weight, Richard. Mod: A Very British Style. Bodley Head (2013) ISBN 978-0224073912
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mod style scooters.|
- Revolution in Men' s Clothes: Mod Fashions from Britain are Making a Smash in the U.S., Life Magazine, 13 May. 1966, pg. 82-90 - Cover story about mod boom in America
- OnThisDay 4 April 1964 BBC Panorama Reported on Mods and Rockers. Can’t we all just get along
- Mod Subculture at Curlie
- Mods Of Your Generation