When We Were Mods – Part I

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Part I – My Scooter

This is a machine that changed my life…

This is the 1977 Vespa Rally 200 that I bought in April of 1982 for $300 when I was a senior in high school.

Before I bought this scooter I had never heard of mods, but by the time I graduated two months later I was already changing from a punk/rockabilly kid to a clean dressing, soul music loving mod.

Two mods at my high school – Mark Hackworth and Rodney Sheppard (Rodney later went on to be the guitarist for Sugar Ray) – took it upon themselves to instruct me in the proper way to be a mod – dress sharp, stay out all night, listen to the right music, and always go, go, go…


Above: (from left to right) Mark Hackworth with one of my friends at the time, Jeff.
Photo by David Shelton.

I turned 18 the same week I graduated from high school, and the next week I rode my scooter 35 miles (by freeway) from Irvine to Hollywood with a friend of mine named Jeff to go to the On Klub and see The Untouchables.

After The Untouchables played that night I joined a group of scooters headed to a party “just around the corner” and ended up getting a grand scooter tour of Hollywood and LA all they way down to the party in Santa Monica.

The party was still going at close to dawn when I got back on my scooter and rode 30 miles down the 405 freeway to my job in Irvine, just in time for work at 7:00 am.

And so it began, over 30,000 miles (before my speedometer died and I lost track) of scooter riding around Orange County and Los Angeles from the summer of 1982 through the spring of 1984.

Lots of crazy adventures, broken brake cables, blown-out tires, paint jobs, accessories, lights, mirrors, stickers – when my scooter finally died in 1984 I knew everything about that machine – inside and out.

It was because of my scooter I entered a whole sub-culture of sharp dressing, great dancing, scooter riding people that would be my life for the next two very important years of my life….

Next:

Part II – Orange County Mods 1982/83
Part III – Clubs, Bands and Music
Part IV – The Untouchables and the LA Mods
Part V – Fliers, Buttons and Other Memorabilia

Gallery of Images – My Scooter