The first, last, & only political post you’ll read on this blog

There’s a phrase that often appears on banners and placards at patriotic marches and demonstrations in Poland: “Stop Totalitaryzmom“. That about sums up my political beliefs as they relate to a scene so often ruined by political beliefs.

In case the numerous references to ska and the 1960s haven’t make it clear, I have zero time of day for boneheads. I have English, Polish, and Jewish blood in my veins. All of my grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought the Nazis in the Second World War. One of my great-grandfathers died fighting them. If you think waving a swastika around is something of which to be proud, maybe one day my steel caps and your teeth can meet.

Having said all that, I have come to detest SHARP types as much as I detest neo-nazis. In my experience they are almost always communists or other radical leftists pushing a political ideology just as repressive and repulsive as that of the boneheads.

Bonehead v. Sharp. Two idiotic sides of the same idiotic ideological coin. Image Copyright: Oscar Hertin 2019.

That’s to say nothing of the insane social justice warrior mentality that seems to have infected parts of the Oi! scene today. I’ve seen these sorts of neo-bolshevik numbskulls claim that bands like Combat 84, Condemned 84, and 4Skins are legitimately racist or fully blown RAC bands. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.

Anyway, the point of all this is that if you want to talk politics then go be a political activist elsewhere. If you want to learn about some great clothes and great music, then you’ve come to the right place.

Welcome, and a few notes on my personal style

This should have probably been the first post on this blog, but oh well.

First, a little bit about myself. I have been fascinated with the skinhead cult and its style since I was first exposed to it when I was around 12 or 13 years old. When I was a wee lad, that bizarre bastard synthesis of two-tone and pop-punk that became known as “third wave ska” was all the rage in my corner of suburban New Jersey. Thankfully it wasn’t all Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake — bands like the Slackers, the Toasters, and the Hub City Stompers pointed me in the direction of the roots ‘n’ real stuff. And in a blended scene that saw skater-punk kids, two-tone wannabes, street punks, and what can only be described as proto-emo kids all stewing in the same shows, the skinheads — slightly menacing and smartly dressed — truly stood out. Around the same time I was getting deep into ska and encountering actual skinheads for the first time, my dad was regaling me with tales of skinhead encounters during his youth in England in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I was sold.

You probably noticed that I refer to myself as a suedehead in the ‘About’ section of this site. This is not only because my hair is longer than a #3, but also due to the fact that I have a white collar job and grew up in the suburbs. I’m fiercely proud of my working class roots (my dad comes from a long line of millworkers in Yorkshire), but it would be dishonest to claim that I myself am working class — other than perhaps a few of my political beliefs.

“Working class pride” rhetoric aside, the skinhead cult (the original one, anyway) was, in my oh so humble opinion, always first and foremost about fashion. The — dare I say — fetishization of working class identity didn’t really solidify until the second wave of skinheads and the rise of Oi! in the late ’70s and early ’80s. Anyway, back to fashion.

As you may have guessed, this blog, and my personal style, pay homage to the original skins, suedes, and boot boys of the mid 1960s through the early 1970s. To that end, here are some of the things you will find discussed and celebrated here: the 1960s Ivy League look, mod and skin-associated clothing brands, sta-prest, button-downs, brogues, sheepskins, crombies, ska, rocksteady, reggae, and maybe, just maybe, even the occasional Oi! band. And here are some of things you will absolutely not find celebrated here, and discussed only with derision: boots higher than 11 eyes (and that’s only because I own a pair of 11 eye Solos), bleached anything, skin-tight trousers or jeans, flight jackets, or Jenny Woo.

Anyway, that’s all for now, folks. And remember: stay booted, suited, and sharp!