British Rocker Jackets c.1956-1969

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by Edward, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    I never could get along with the fringed ones (one day I'll still put together the Frank'n'Furter jacket, though strictly for costume.... I have about half the correct patches and pins somewhere....), but yeah, they're all cool.

    Nick, you're right about a lot of the pvnk jackets. The likes of Sid's Lewis Dominator, which I posted on the Mascot thread, could easily have been worn by a rocker fifteen years earlier.
     
  2. rocketeer

    rocketeer Call Me a Cab

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    I was a teenage biker in the 1970s and most kids bought FS1E's and the Honda SS mopeds. My dad gave me a bit towards a real motorbike, a BSA 250 Starfire. It looked great but was knackered though it did get me to Santa Pod drag racing and back from Basildon in 1976. I did not have a leather jacket, but did when I bought a 650cc Matchless and sidecar(as I was a learner still). I just had a good quality leather jacket, straight zip, 1 badge only, the Matchless winged 'M' though I was legally entitled to wear a BSA pin badge as well.
    No one ever said anything like 'I must get a Lewis' or any other jacket name such as now. We just wore what we bought second hand, got given by our elders or bought new if we had money. I still have my original Stadium MK8 goggles that I bought in 1976, they are en exact copy of the WWII standard RAF issue except made from a plasticised vinyl rather than leather. But considering them today we would only wear these to look 'right' as basically they are rubbish as bike wear.
    Today I ride a 'Saki burner' Suzuki Hayabusa and dress like a Power Ranger, by that comment I mean no disrespect to our Japanese friends, it's the right gear for this bike. it's the best bike I have ever had but dont regret my 'Rocker/greaser' days one bit.

    My Matchless and Swallow Jet 80 with a couple of friends Simon and Carol on the outfit, around 1981

    [​IMG]

    Me, July 2014 at the 'Valle de los Caidos' or Vally of the Fallen(Franco's tomb)

    [​IMG]

    Anyone got any 1960s pics of themselves, relations or friends?
     
  3. Monitor

    Monitor

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    Edward, thank you for bringing up the Highwayman brand! I was wondering what's the story behind these jackets for some time now. Occasionally I would see these really cool jackets pop up on eBay, but up until recently I took them for LL copies. Turns out it just might be another way around, huh. First I've heard of the brand was when I saw the Aero Highwayman tag - which is exactly the same as the original tag, belonging to the brand - that I really liked, but figured they've just made a custom, exclusive tag for their Highwayman jacket. I've actually requested it to be put on my new HWM... Had no clue it used to be a brand. lol

    The Highwayman jackets are suspiciously similar to LL, namely the (Star) Lightning, Corsair and Dominator models, sharing not just the style but also nearly all of the design features as you pointed out, such as the double stitching on the collar, exact same hardware, placement of snaps, etc. There's one on eBay right now, with a very interesting tag: http://www.ebay.com/itm/121661515923

    Did Rin Tanaka also cover British leather jackets in his books, or just the American ones?

    Rocketeer, thanks for sharing your story! It's really cool reading all this. Post up some more photos, if you got more of course. So few pictures of the Rockers online...
     
  4. Monitor

    Monitor

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    By the by, there appears to be a Japanese manufacturer specialized in making LL / Rivets / Highwayman jacket repros, from what I can tell. I think they're called 666 or something?

    Their official webpage, I think? http://www.666jp.com/shopbrand/003/X/page1/recommend/
    Few Rakuten links: http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/bootsman/item/666-ljm-17/
    http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/shamita/item/666_ljm9t/?s-id=borderless_browsehist_en
    http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/shamita/item/666_ljm_4/?s-id=borderless_recommend_item_en

    In any case, these 666 jackets look really nice, and what's good is that they're selling for nearly half a price of a new LL.
     
  5. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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    I love the "Johnny Thunders" edition. Apparently the one he wore was swapped around and worn by different people at the time.

    http://www.666jp.com/shopdetail/000000006984/003/X/page1/recommend/
     
  6. Benny Holiday

    Benny Holiday My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Fascinating info Edward, thanks! The bodgie/rocker scene here was big on their leather jackets back in the 50s and 60s too, although I gather many of their jackets would be locally made Stagg models (my first leather jacket I bought when I was 16 was a Stagg). I don't know much about Stagg, except it started in 1929.

    Anyway, cool pics and great info!
     
  7. IXL

    IXL One Too Many

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    Janes Addiction; Jane Says: "Jane goes"
    "To the store at eight"
    "She walks up on St. Andrew's"
    I can hum that one for a week at a time.
     
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  8. pawineguy

    pawineguy One Too Many

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    +1, man, when they were good they were very very good.
     
  9. pawineguy

    pawineguy One Too Many

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    Great pics Rocketeer, thanks for sharing your story. (great bike too)
     
  10. Sloan1874

    Sloan1874 I'll Lock Up

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    Jane's at Glasgow Barrowlands in 1991 stands as my all-time best gig.
     
  11. handymike

    handymike I'll Lock Up

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    I remember a show with Jesus and the Mary Chain opening for Nine inch Nails, followed by Ministry....
    Now that was a great show!
     
  12. winterland1

    winterland1 Practically Family

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    It's about time some good rock bands were mentioned in the Lounge.
     
  13. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

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    The Wild One

    Lets not forget the man and movie that started the Rocker tuff guy look! He even rode Brit Iron in the movie. Something that makes my fellow Harley riders furious when I pull out my phone to prove it! [​IMG]
     
  14. rocketeer

    rocketeer Call Me a Cab

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    It's Outerware mate :) so unless there is a pic with some cool jackets, boots or trousers they don't count.

    Just joking about, post what you like, everyone else does:) But there is a music section I believe, though they are probably more Glen Miller and Henry Hall than black leather clad biker type bands from the 70s and 80s:rockon:
     
  15. rocketeer

    rocketeer Call Me a Cab

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    I have seen a couple of Japanese Lewis knock offs, they do look good but are not quite up with the Original, then neither are the modern lewis but hey! Thats only my opinion and at half the price a bargain. I would think it may be best to either buy one on a return basis or find someone who has one you could look at.
    I bought a great looking Japanese replica 'D' pocket jacket off the Bay, the pics were fantastic with a minimum start price. The jacket went to £39 and I won it, but when I got it I put it back on there as I was most disapointed with the quality especially as I was told the Jap jackets were top quality reps :(
     
  16. tropicalbob

    tropicalbob My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    I just noticed on the Aero FB page (see? it's jacket related) that they have a Terry Reid video posted. My favorite singer of all time: a friend once called him "the greatest of the English screamers." In the musical nadir of the very early '70's, there was one LP that every musician I knew had, and it was his greatest hits. Check out his live performance of "Highway 61/Silver White Light."
     
  17. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Yip, Brando is acknowledge in the first post on the thread. He definitely had an impact, even despite the revisions to the look that made it different again than the Hollister vibe. I've aways wondered why the studio chose to put him on a non-American bike... was it just cheaper? Cheaper to run? An insurance thing? Performance led? The better Brit bikes were always much more efficient, to my mind, than the Harleys which had bigger engines and less performance. (No bias here - I'm Irish. ;) ). I think nowadays they'd fall overhemselves backwards to make a thing of him riding an American motorcycle. [huh]

    Yeah. There are the odd copies of the lieks of Lewis here and there - Leather Monkeys are another lot on this too. I'd be wary. While the Perfecto is an undoubted classic, it's been copied so many times as I don't tend to automatically assume a non-Schott version (all other things being equal) is automatically going to be inferior, but when it's something that is still as distinct as a Lewis Lightning, I tend to be wary that it's a cheaper copy because it's just a cheap jacket. Who knows. Funny, though, that where once the assumption would have been "Japanese rubbish", we're now living in an era when it's too easy to assume that if it's Japanese it must be really good....

    Heh. We used to have similar rules about when you were entitled to put a band's name on your schoolbag. As I recall, you had to own at least two albums, "original tapes, not copies".

    Probably much the same these dyas, outwsdie of an obsessive little niche like ours!

    Is the Power Ranger gear purely a safety consideration, or is it also the right aesthetic for the right bike kind of a deal? I'm going through a period again where I'm desprately aching for a bike (it'd be madness for now - no garage, live in central London and can't really afford a bike, but I still desperately want a Royal Enfield C500..... mind you, I'd be very happy to learn on a BSA Bantam....). The big decision for me would be to do the sensible thing and go for a closed-face helmet. Weird, though, how few of those there are with a decent retro look. OPen face that comply with moder safety standard all ove the shop, but no closed...

    Great photo. Such a shame sidecars are so rare these days; I suppose it's because of the success of the small, family car... What was the Rocker scene like in the Eighties? The Ace Cafe closed originally in '69, and I had the impression the Bee up in Watford was gone by then too. Was there anything of a scene, the way we see one clustered round the Ace these days?

    It's not really one I'd seen until I started digging around a few years ago. Used to be loads of British bike leather brands - TT Leathers, Highwayman, Mascott, Lewis, Wolf, BKS and many more. Not all of them still around.

    I'm not sure when the Highwayman Lightningalikes first came out. It does appear that Rivetts were producing Highwayman jackets at least of the shirt collar / straight zip style before Lewis. Can't find nay information out there on when Lewis bought Rivetts, so I don't know the eact relationship between the designs. Can't imagine even then they'd have just let a complete copy slide...

    Good question..... I bought it at Christmas, but not looked in a while. I have a feeling it did cover Lewis, but it's not really comprehensive on the British stuff. I'll have to look it up when I'm back in Blighty.

    Not sure what my best was.... saw BB King several times, which was pretty special, as were the Sex Pistols. Saw Joe Strummer and the Mescaleroes in 99, 00, and 01.... all outstanding gigs. The last one, just a few months after Joey Ramone died, closed with Joe's cover of Blitzkrieg Bop. The most surreal experience I ever had at the Briton Academy was when Bob Dylan opened his encore with a cover of London Calling. Saw Nick Cave once in Belfast, little tiny venue, solo show.... and he pulled out Kylie for a duet, which nobody expected. (She was actually quite good, too, on that one number.) Imelda May is always pretty special, none more so than the night she as near as ****** sold out the Albert Hall, about three years after I'd been going to see her on the toilet circuit round Camden... The Pogues I saw every year from 2004 to 2014 (excepting 2011, when they cancelled Christmas; no December tour last year either, but they played in July 14...). It's not really Christmas til the fake snow starts to fall at the end of Fairytale of New York.

    Appropriately enough for this thread, I was at the Ace Cafe the night the 5678s, touring off the back of the exposure they got in Kill Bill, played at the End of Summer Riot classic bike and hotrod night. Outstanding. Their singer speaks virtually no English, and learns the songs phonetically. Really adds to the primal power of it all.
     
  18. Monitor

    Monitor

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    Anyone knows, what exactly triggered the revival of the British Rocker scene?

    Random photo of the revivalists, I presume: [​IMG]
     
  19. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    It was always sort of around underground, but what gave it the big push was firstly the start of the Reunion events, and then especially the reopening of the Ace itself in 2001. The 59 Club never stopped running though, so there will have been the hardcore there...
     
  20. nick123

    nick123 I'll Lock Up

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