When We Were Mods – Part II

Part II – Orange County Mods 1982/83

Above: Mods with scooters parked outside Pizza Pete’s on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach. Mine is the red and white one in the middle…

Our group of mods in 1982 wasn’t the first group of mods from Orange County, the first wave arrived a couple years before we did.

Our mod season began around the time of the last tour of The Jam in May of 1982.

Early in the summer of 1982 me and my friends Mark, Rodney, Dana and a few others started hanging out on Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach at a place called Pizza Pete’s. We would park our scooters right in front for hours, smoking cigarettes, drinking, listening to music and watching the people go by.

Soon we started to attract a number of other mod kids as word got out that a group of mods were hanging out at Pizza Pete’s every night, getting into all kinds of trouble.

The Garden Grove mods joined us as did the Huntington Beach mods, and the Costa Mesa mods and the Santa Ana mods, and then more and more…

Above: Richard “Sparky” Sihilling, one of the leaders of the Orange County scooter club called The 100 Klub

Some nights we had 30-40 scooters and 40 to 60 kids hanging out and going for late night scooter rides.

By the late summer a mod girl (whose name eludes me) who lived on Balboa Island had joined our nightly group. She had Quadrophenia on video tape and a very lenient mom – many nights we would all crash there and watch the movie until daybreak.

From 1982 through 1983 the mod scene exploded.

Soon we had several clubs like The Concert Factory, Circle City and Radio City to go to, listen to bands, hear DJs spin cool mod and ska tunes and dance. By the summer of 1983 there were hundreds of mod kids in Orange County, many with new Vespa scooters.

That spring and summer we had several scooter rallies which each had a couple hundred scooters riding together down Pacific Coast Highway.

Above: Zoot Scoot Rally II rolling down Pacific Coast Highway – Spring 1983 – Photo from The Register Newspaper.

From all corners of Orange County there were new bands forming, lots of parties to go to and various scooter or mod related things going on all the time. Or, at least that’s how it seemed to me… but then again, this was practically all I was doing.


Part III – Clubs, Bands and Music
Part IV – The Untouchables and the LA Mods
Part V – Fliers, Buttons and Other Memorabilia


Part I – My Scooter


Gallery of Images – Orange County Mods 1982/83

18 thoughts on “When We Were Mods – Part II

  1. I remember you, Jon. I knew you through Angela and used to come down from LA to visit. I also spent quite a few summer nights hanging out on Balboa Island. One of the girls you and Angela are talking to in the photo of you two sitting on your scooter is named Tiffanie. I wonder where all those gals are now.

    • After Angela and I split up and I left the mod scene I never kept up with anyone, but I remember you – you were very cool. I remember Tiffanie too (though I had forgotten her name) – I remember she had a nice laugh and was also good to talk too…

  2. Aw, flatterer! You were a terribly smart fellow yourself! I distinctly remember going down to visit Angela one particular weekend and the three of us going out to some infamous burger stand. I think that was the weekend Angela had a big New Years Eve party. Anyhoo, I’m glad to hear you are well and it’s so lovely to see your mementos from a very fun time.

  3. No way, I remember Sparky. Used to hang with him at Circle City, then on to Quadrophenia at the City for a midnight showing. Good memories! Thanks for the post bro!!

  4. Hey Jon, It’s Jim DeLozier. The picture of the scooter rally is actually taken on Placentia Ave just south of the Concert Factory. In the picture at Pizza Pete’s, my scooter is other red and white one next to yours. It was my new P200e so it must have been around October 1983. Man, I miss all you guys. I was sooo young then! I look even younger.

    • Jim D.. its Eric Fraide…found this page..saw in a few pics..wow talk about a flash from the past! Remember.. Bruce, Cathy, Richard Rise, and the rest…hope all is well Jim!

  5. Jon,
    You’ve got me pictured in some of your shots.
    I was in The Modbeats. It was Bill and I that originally put the band together.
    I’m Ed, the dark haired guitarist.
    The band continued to play until the first part of 1988, but by 1984 we had left the Mod scene and begun to play at regular bars, restaurants and nightclubs, with college and convention work, too. By that time we were doing strictly covers of sixties songs for an older crowd.
    Reading your post has brought back a lot of good memories about those fun times in the early 80’s. Could you possibly e-mail your Modbeat photos to me. I would appreciate it. I’ve got some photos you might like to see posted on MySpace.com. Just look up The Modbeats in the music category.

  6. There was Thumper,meat and woody out of santa ana ,costa mesa I remember loosing bruce and his brother in 83 , they died on their scooter, I also was hit by a drunk driver in 82. we had 2-3 hundred strong ,we were the crew at south coast plaza, and Addams plaza in costa mesa. we all hung out at the circle in orange I was a rockabilly/punk but most of my friends were Mods.
    I miss my old friends!

    • Hey Woody – Circle City Mods! That was a strong crew of Mods. Addams Plaza? Is that at Harbor and Adams? There was a great record store there… What was Bruce’s last name, do you remember? I had a friend who I worked with at the Mesa Theater on Newport Blvd. whose younger brother (a Costa Mesa Mod I barely knew) died by being hit by a car while riding their scooter. Jon

  7. I posted a few photos from one of the meet ups back in the days of the Concert Factory. Looking at the images Jon, I remember your face for sure. You had the red scooter with the union jacks. Do you remember British mod Bruce?

  8. Good stuff. In the Pizza Pete’s photo, there are a few San Gabriel Valley people who I guess rode down together.

  9. My boyfriend and I were on the fringe in OC hanging out at the Concert Factory, the circle in Orange, shopping vintage, going to Old World and Kingdom of the Dancing Stallions… during this time. I never had a scooter but always wanted one; now having a mid-life crisis and bought a Vespa… that’s what got me looking for these pictures. Thank you! Those were some truly fun times!

  10. Jon,
    Great work my friend! had some great times!! I have been thinking of getting me a P200e just for old time sake!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *