This month, ex-Beta Band renaissance man Steve Mason on his private life as a scooter boy.
“As a mod in Scotland we didn’t quite wear tartan parkas... Up there we would wear boating blazers, Sta-Prest trousers, loafers, smart shirts and Fred Perrys.
I went to a couple of mod rallies before I got my Lambretta. Mod rallies are when all the mods in the country travel to a scabby deserted seaside resort some time in the months between April and September, and take a load of speed all weekend and dance to soul and R&B.
I became a scooter boy when I got my Lambretta and would go on all the scooter boy rallies. The scooter boys were different from the mods - while the mods would make all the fancy additions and put on extra mirrors the scooter boys would take all the adornments off and just tune up the motor. The scooter boys would all wear green flight jackets, DMs and jeans.
I would try and stand out by wearing a parka. This would piss off the scooter boys because I was wearing a parka, which was mod, and the mods because I was still wearing jeans and DMs, which was really un-mod.
There was one thing that the scooter boys did that was called ‘cutting them down’ - when you remove virtually every single panel of the engine apart from the mainframe, the handle bars and the engine. Some people used to call them ‘skeletons’. It’s like rising a piece of scaffolding with an engine on it.
There’s an old joke: if a mod breaks down on his scooter, he’ll call the AA - if a scooter boy breaks down, he’ll get his spanners out and fix the fucker.”
Steve Mason’s new album, ‘Boy Outside’, is out now on Double Six Records.
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