Sunday, 27 November 2011

Where Were You? Garry O'Neill's book comes highly recommended.

Those who like to ponder, or pontificate, on matters of “culture” could do worse than peruse Garry O’Neill’s “Where Were You? Dublin Youth Culture & Street Style 1950-2000”.

I have always had a healthy respect for people living in Dev’s Ireland of the 50s and 60s, who rejected the state-sponsored insularity and anti-modernity of the era, and swapped ideals of poker-arsed comely maidens jigging about at every crossroad in exchange for twisting, jiving and locomotioning to alien influences. Some might call it being defeated by cultural imperialism…. if so, I’m grateful for it.

The book goes beyond that however, and covers the period 1950-2000, right up to punk, the mod revival, and on to the more recent trends that I wouldn’t be so au fait with. You won’t see an Aran sweater anywhere, thankfully.

What you will see, is young Dubliners bucking the local trend by donning drapes, drainpipes, tonic suits, parkas, leather jackets, safety pins and other apparel that Dev and the Irish powers-that-be would have condemned. I’m sure brave souls outside the capital did so too – and they deserve even greater respect.

Anyway, have a look. You never know who you might see.





Back to Gombeen Nation main page

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for myself, I can remember the mods and their parkas, the punks, skinheads etc. They looked like a bunch of lost idiots. I wonder how many are now part of the establishment.

I sometimes think that these fads are created to keep people occupied and divided into groups. Otherwise they might get their heads out of their asses and see the world as it actually is, and who is really in charge and calling the shots.

Youth is wasted on the young.

The Gombeen Man said...

I can't imagine Enda Kenny or Micheal Martin ever having stalked the streets on their Vespas, foxtails blowing in the breeze, Anon. And sure wasn't I a lost idiot myself? Still am, come to think of it...

Seriously though, I'd agree that a lot of the aggression that went with, and between, the various youth cults wasn't very constructive. Punks v mods v rockers v Teds, and all that (I had even had some idiot throw a half brick at me in Bray, back in the day, but luckily I had my crash helmet on).

Some of these movements were quite constructive though, and were fairly politicised back then... Two-Tone, for instance, with its anti-racism message.

Ella said...

Hi GM

Got my copy at the weekend, brilliant.

Yeah, a few heads in it alright that I know and many others whom I recognise.

Mods, punks, rude boys/girls, were they fads? I doubt it. My choice of music is the same now as it was more than 30 years ago.

Am I part of the establishment? I'm not a politician but I do vote. I go out to work and pay my taxes like a lot of other people.

@ Anonymous 22h25 - I don't agree at all that these "fads" are created to keep people occupied and divided into groups. Isn't that what the fantasy world of religion is all about?

Ella said...

Hi GM, in case any of your visitors might like to purchase the book, here are the details:

http://wherewereyou.ie/where-were-you-book/

Crange said...

Born in the late 40's, I was brought up in 'Taliban' rural Ireland. You blame DeValera. He was no more than an adult alter boy for the real rulers of Ireland...the vatican. Every time a piece of legislation was needed to be introduced, he had to ask McQuaid. Some independence!

John said...

I grew up in the 1960's and such youth culture was referred as corner boys. When you look at it now it was all so innocent.Looks like a good read, another one to looks out for. The Teddy boys were the rough ones as I recall, the old flick knife was their weapon of choice. Glad the skin heads never really took off here as conpared to across the water.

Anonymous said...

Hi GM.
I'm worried.

You have a great blog here, the subjects are often ones I agree should be exposed and trashed. But I notice you get limited feedback and often from the same suspects, myself included.

Does this mean only a minority of people see the Irish Language, Cardiff and all the rest of the BS as an issue at all. I notice the same thing on other forums, plenty there justifying and defending all this crap. Is it resignation, stupidity, vested interests, what?

The Gombeen Man said...

@ Ella. Thanks for that.. And no, I'm not Garry O'Neill!!!

@ Crange. We were no more than an outpost of the Vatican. Sounds OTT, but true...

@ John. Yes, worth a look alright. Scary as the Teds were, I'll take them over Dev all the same ;-)

@ Anon. Sadly, I think we are still a minority interest, unfortunately..

Carole Furlong said...

@ Anonymous: How brave of you to post you very 70s/80/s style comments about Mods Skinheads Punks etc ...
"ANONYMOUSLY"
Clearly its you who needs to extract your head from your arse or you wouldn't have lumped such a diverse group of people all together. I remember attitudes like yours luckily nower days they are very much in the minority "Youth is wasted on the young" I doubt you were ever young! You made my daughters laugh! I have told them about dinosaurs, Now thanks to you, they believe they really exist "Not extinct after all"

The Gombeen Man said...

You don't mince your words, Carole, do you?

paysan said...

I flicked through the book yesterday, did you spot Richie Smyth on page 174? Captured behind a group of New Romantics in Stephen's Green around 1980...

The Gombeen Man said...

No, I hadn't spotted him... Just had a look now and, yes, it is the inimitable Richie alright. Nice fella too.

And what about that handsome chap on page 199?

bohs gerry said...

got the book,thought i'd see a lot more original photos of teds,skinheads,mods from the 60's to be honest.have all the pictures now been put to bed or are there other ones that weren't used that we might get a chance to see.as for the idiot anony mouse,what a load of sociapatic bull.while you were trying to shove a rubic cube up yr rear end singing "i'm a yuppie" we were out enjoying ourselves,trying to change peoples perceptions and trying furtively to get out of the tedium that was ireland.punks,skins and teds knew well who was calling the shots you dope,tha's why they stood apart and outside the living room that you obviously never crawled out of.gobshite!!!!

The Gombeen Man said...

Hiya Bohs Gerry. Yes, I know what you mean - would have been nice to have a few more pics from that period. I suppose Garry was only working with what pics he could gather - maybe there was a bit of a shortage in that regard I wonder?

I know there's a load of pics that weren't used (think theres a figure there somewhere in the intro), and certainly there were a few heads I would have known to see from the time that aren't in it.

Good book though. Nice to see some kind of record of Dublin's youth culture.