Part III – Clubs, Bands and Music
Above: The Concert Factory on Mod Night in the Fall of 1982 when The Untouchables played – Photo by David Shelton
Orange County Clubs and Bands
In Orange County we had 3 places that had “Mod Nights” with bands and DJs on a regular basis – The Concert Factory, Circle City and Radio City.
Both The Concert Factory and Circle City had their own mod scenes, while Radio City was just a place to go see shows.
The Concert Factory was in Costa Mesa and was the place where we moved our center of action after the summer at Pizza Pete‘s.
The place used to be called The Cuckoo’s Nest, a legendary Orange County punk rock club. My brother David (the one who took many photos included with this story) got his nose broken there several years before defending the bass player from Jodie Foster’s Army.
One of the earliest mod bands in OC was The Jetz, and they played often at The Concert Factory. Other band that played there were The Modbeats, The Question, Sidewalk Society, The Targets, The Torries, The Shapes, Manual Scan, The Fixation, The Howling Men, I-Spy, The Three O’Clock, and The Underground.
Above: A group of mods from Corona Del Mar at The Concert Factory – Photo by David Shelton
Every month or so, The Untouchables from LA played, who were, hands down, the most popular band. They sold the place out every time they played.
From Orange County To LA
During late 1982 and into 1983 I started spending a lot more of my time up in LA and Hollywood, going to The Club Lhasa every Wednesday night for The Bullet.
Above: Flier for The Bullet at The Club Lhasa
This was THE mod club to go to at the time. Bryan Fox was the DJ and spun tunes you loved and ones you hadn’t heard of yet. There was plenty of dance floor, a big side room to hang out in, and it felt like we had the run of the place.
At the same time as The Bullet was happening, The Untouchables were playing regular gigs at The Roxy and a new mod magazine came out called Twist – it was a great time to be a mod…
Music and dancing were the center around which we orbited…
For me, the music was even more important than the scooters. I was fortunate enough to have had some good friends with great tastes in music who taught me how to find the music I was looking for – the best soul song on a 7″ single that nobody else had heard yet…
Bryan Fox, the DJ from The Bullet had a really good record collection. DJ John “Rudy” Wright not only danced better than anyone and dressed extremely sharp, but also had excellent taste in music.
There was a Northern Soul guy from England named Gabby who would show up sometimes at The Bullet. He always had the most amazing singles with him in his little black bag along with baby powder for the dance floor and dancing shoes. I got a number of nice records from Gabby.
In my opinion, If there hadn’t been The Jam or The Who, if there hadn’t been Two Tone Records or if a lot of old soul singles hadn’t been waiting to be discovered, there wouldn’t have been mods.
We listened to a range of music, from newer (at the time) Power Pop bands like The Jam, The Purple Hearts, Squire, Merton Parkas and Secret Affair to old 60’s bands like The Who, Small Faces, The Animals and The Yardbirds. We also listened and danced to a lot of 60’s soul, from Motown classics to Northern Soul rarities and Ska music from bands like The Specials, Madness, The Selector, Bad Manners and The English Beat.
Mixtape: Scratchin’ Soul Singles
I collected records and sometimes I would DJ at The Concert Factory. Some of my old soul singles are rather worn now, and some are a bit scratched up, but here is a mixtape of some great songs from my collection for your enjoyment. I call this mixtape Scratchin’ Soul Singles…
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- Agent Double O-Soul by Edwin Starr
- Roadrunner by Jr. Walker and the All Stars
- The In Crowd by Dobie Gray
- Boogaloo Down Broadway by The Fantastic Johnny C
- Sock It To Me Baby by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
- C’mon and Swim by Bobby Freeman
- Dancing Fast, Dancing Slow by The Intentions
- The Dog by Rufus Thomas
- Grove and Move by Jr. Walker and the All Stars
- Last Night by The Mar-Keys
- My Aching Back by Lowell Fulsom
- Did You Ever Love A Woman by Rufus Thomas
- Gimme, Gimme by ZZ Hill
- I’ve Been Takin’ For A Ride by The Saints
- But It’s Alright by JJ Jackson
- Night Before by The Mar-Keys
- Shoot Your Shot by Jr. Walker and the All Stars
- I Never Had It Better by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
- We Ain’t Got Nothing Yet by The Blues Magoos
Gallery of Images – Clubs, Bands and Music