REGGAE, ROMEO and RECOLLECTIONS OF A SKA BOY

Posted: February 18, 2015 in K=DU HIZTORY, K=DU LEGENDS, KUDO'S
Tags: , , , , , ,

ReGgAE, RoMEo AnD RECoLLeCTIonS of A SKa BoY … Etc. Etc. Etc.

ThE SkA LibRArY – buT wAs IT sKA, RoCksTEadY oR rEGGAE, REggAe, ReggAe ?…

My SkINHeaD BrOguES – CoSt me 3 WeEkS wAGes +++

The BEn SHERrmAN sHOp wAs oPPOsiTE nAtiONal GAllERY

USed To BE iN thE BEN SHERMAN sHop > 10 dOOrS AwaY FrOM WheRE I wORKED in ThE ChaRInG + RoAd

In MY m0D sUIt aT aGe 18 : 1969

So maNY gREAt ReGGae TuNES wERE aRouND tHEN

ALthOUGh iT Was MosTlY cALLEd SKA

i GOt HoLD oF aN eARLy BoB MaRLEy rECOrd wHEN hE wAS oNLY 21!

boUghT iT iN aN aMazINg ReGGaE sHOp nEXt tO bALHam StaTIon

– 7/8 yEArs BefORe hIS fAMe StaRTeD 

“He WHo kNowS it – FEelS iT! ….

My BEauTifUL FoRD CONsUL MK.II ConVErtIBLe

“StrEET cRUISER”

SkiNheAD sTreEt CruISerS

nnn

Watched BBC FOURS Reggae Special tonight …

and realized again, how good is that SKA beat sound ?…

Reminded me of the old daze

Me, the BOSS and me old mate Scottie …

we toured Croydon in my white convertible Ford Consul

with the Wine Red leather upholstery

picking up the skirt at the old haunts

dressed in my made-to-measure and £70 hand made brogues … This in 1970 ! …

… Or dressed in my Levis, braces, Docs and original Ben Shermans.

CROYDON SUITE and the TUESDAY and FRIDAY  DISCO Nights,

CRYSTAL PALACE HOTEL, the BULL at Esher,

the PINEAPPLE at Old Kent Road, the amazing TELEGRAPH at Brixton,

tHe TElEGraPH Inn At BRixTOn

WhoSe iNTerioR wAS mODEllED oN the INsidE of A tRAnSisTOr RAdio – wIth VaLVes As TabLeS aNd oTher COmpONenTS aS chAIRS, thE bAr, dAnCEfLoor ANd oTheR  tHinGsS – All Set On DiffERent LeVEls – WonDerfUL pLAce !!!

There wasThe SHIP at Croydon where I got my nose broken,

Streatham LOCARNO where I took my first real girl friend

and the PURLEY ORCHID which was a bit dated really but had

some very different ladies …

ggg

ggg

… Shame they couldnt find some of the real

skinhead classics on the Reggae Special ~

Max Romeo’s WET DREAM, THEM A LAUGH AND A KI KI KI,

Phillis Dyllon, Toots and the Maytals ~ WATER MELON

– my own personal favourite.

Used to play my 7″ Reggae vinyls till they had holes in, 

on a portable slot record player I bought in London  

near Tottenham Court Road … I never ever saw another

one before or since … Used to visit all the reggae record

shops and listen to the soundz in the booths …

…  One next to CROYDON Station and a brilliant

Reggae shop near BALHAM Station which had nothing

but black customers but was owned by an old white guy

… So many great reggae

songs and so many girls in their

cute mohair suits and their cool cropped hair

with the pull over fringe …

… Themz were the dayze ….

I forgive you Theresa Green, I knew that wasn’t really your name

and Stephanie who slapped my face by the main bar at the Suite …

… I wasn’t three-timing you honest, I think it might have been 4! … 

READ >>> Suedehead_(subculture)

PicTurES oF ‘THE ‘b0SS’ anD ‘sCottIe’ iN oUR bACkYarD … mY mAte Ian PeACoCK … Still TryiNg tO fInd thAt lITTle DiaMonD … I trEAteD hiM BaDLy 

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Comments
  1. Sonia says:

    That’s a really lovely post, such sweet nostalgia.

  2. Will says:

    Great post – would love to hear more.
    What year did ye have that suit made?
    hand made brogues – you must have been earing well!
    Any other pics / comments / memories?
    Cheers
    Will

    • edenbray says:

      Hi

      Reckon had that deep metallic blue suit was made in sixty eight in a jewish tailors near Holborn and bought my brogues in a classy little shoe shop in Soho if I remember cost me £70. There was a Ben Sherman shirt shop round the corner from Leicester Square, spent a fortune there.
      The following year I went back to the same tailors and ordered a silver grey mohair suit which cost me around £130 which was a lot of pennies then. I had 3 fittings, thought I was the bizzo, it was 3 piece and real pucker.
      i loved that suit. I remember one night me and my mate turned up at Crystal Palace Hotel and we were the only white guys there. Plenty of white girls of course and my mate who was pure blonde was suddenly on the other side of the hall surrounded. My mate wasnt tall and this big male whispered in his ear hey whitey we dont want to see you or your friend here again, he could feel a blade in the small of his back. Never had a problem with black guys before that, needless to say we never returned and we really loved that place. It played only real ska and raw reggae. Used to travel down to Brighton every other Sunday at one time after the mods/rockers thing finished there was hundreds of skinheads down there, only a few bike boys not a lot of trouble by then really. Hope thats interesting keep in touch.
      Originally in Croydon, skinheads were actually known as ‘peanuts’ which was like more of ‘smooth’ boys skins title whereas I think North/east london skinheads had a more violent tradition. There were a lot of fights in Croydon on a Saturday night. We used to regularly drink 10/12 pints and drive home 15 miles. Once I was driving through green lights when another young guy took the front of my car off driving through red light he was paralytic and begged me not to get police involved I didnt. Girl in my passenger seat hit the dashboard so hard there were teethmarks a 1/4″ deep in the dash . I managed to get car repaired cost me as much as my beautiful consul and i always treasured those teethmarks. The girl was hysterical for some while often wonder where she is now! The Telegraph at Brixton was beautiful pub looked like the inside of a transmitter all on different levels with lots of small stairs up and down and small dance floor. Seats and tables were shaped like condensers and valves amazing place. We used to go there to chill on Sunday nights with the girls we picked up on the saturday night. Got loads of memories – I had parting shaved into my head which i never had seen before – Aaron Lennon Spurs winger has it done now.Anyway thanks for interest

  3. James says:

    Hi Edenbray,

    Very insightful post! I was wondering if you can tell me anything about that skinhead picture titled: SkiNheAD sTreEt CruISerS. When, where and how did it come about? Also, do you have any more pics?

    • edenbray says:

      Hey James,
      The ‘skinhead street cruisers’ pic is one I found, its not personal, for the blog. Unfortunately haven’t got too many pics left from my suede/skinhead days. If I find anymore might put them on with post, if they fit. Thanks for your interest. Anything else I can help with let me know.

    • edenbray says:

      found some more pics and put them on James

  4. Will says:

    Hello again,
    Great stories mate. I knew that blue suit pic must have been ’69.
    The new pics you just posted – what’s your take on the shirts? Same hair cut so assuming its still ’69. Will ask more when I get time. All the best.
    Will

    • Will says:

      Hello again
      Do you remember what the waist coat was like on that blue suit? It appears to be double breasted in the picture. Seems a little unusual for a neat single breasted jacket but I may be missing something.
      When you had your silver grey 3 piece made, how much had changed in the year or two in between? I’m assuming styling had moved on, but fairly subtly? Length of jacket, pocket flaps, cuffs, lapels, waistcoat design, trouser length / width ….?
      Was there a time when you noticed the skinhead fashion dying or was it more a fact of moving on so as not to be like the 14 year old kids? If so was it a clean break or just a more grown up version of the same fashion?
      All the best mate
      Will

      • edenbray says:

        the blue suit definitely had a single breasted waist coat straight cut at the bottom, no points.
        and yes the silver grey 3- piece although very similar was more sophisticated. bit more of a ‘soul brother’ kind of suit – very slightly longer and wider lapels, jacket was slightly longer too with more parallel trousers and the waist coat had slightly extended points. The fabric was sheer, cant remember the mix now but it was beautiful, silver grey with a beautiful soft sheen, it ‘fell’ so sharp and the trouser creases you could cut bread with. It was made for me at a high class jewish tailors near holborn as I remember which I had 3 fits for, just ahame I havent got picture of it to hand. it was a real ‘pick up’ suit let me tell you, although famously got my face slapped one Tuesday night wearing it for three-timing and that spilt beer down it a bit – Had to get it cleaned and change my ways – they were the days, different days. God bless Stephanie from East Grinsted, i forgive you, Barbara from Croydon and Elaine from Thornton Heath wherever they may be.It was while i was wearing that suit i grew my hair out a little as I didn’t like the violence stereotype that publicity was giving ‘skinhead’ thing. Also they were running a ‘disco’ by now at the Suite and getting away from the dance hall sort of arrangement and bit more tamla, soul-based music rather than just reggae/ska.

      • edenbray says:

        Hi Will – you might be interested – I’ve updated my POST you were interested in – Keep in touch!

  5. James says:

    The black lads that pulled the blade on you and your mate, were they Rudies(Rude Boys)?

    • edenbray says:

      Well James yer I think thats about right … the thing was that in that part of south London at that time I think there was definitely a large faction of young black guys who really resented us white guys digging their music etc. My mate and I were so much into the ska music and had no problem with anyone but I used to travel to a Reggae shop just outside Balham Station to get my music cos it was raw, rarer stuff but I was like the only white person in there and to be honest i didn’t feel that welcome. I think at Crystal Palace Hotel well those guys felt that was their ‘patch’. I have to say a lot of the white girls really liked the black lads even though they weren’t always treated very good by them and I cant tell you how many
      white girls I knew who got pregnant by black guys and were dumped. It almost seemed, bit controversial here, that they were like scoring points.
      I just loved Crystal Palace Hotel music nights but white lads were not really welcome . ‘Rude boys’ ? well do groups, gangs ever call themselves by the name that gets ‘out’ there. Not too often – I mean the media tagged ‘the skinhead’ thing with documentaries and newspaper articles but as I’ve said I think especially in North London and East London they owned that ‘tag’ more than we did. I think we were probably more ‘suede heads’ esp later although we didnt call ourselves anything much – too busy enjoying ourselves! … but yer ‘Rude boys’ was another ‘tag’ and they would have been.
      Anything else I can help you with let me know.

  6. James says:

    Got another question for you Edenbray:
    How did you get the idea/influence to adopt the razor parting?

    • edenbray says:

      Hi James, sorry not getting back to you sooner. In answer to your question – My matwe and I just came up with idea, actually as I remember it was my idea pure and simple. i’d never seen anyone with it. We asked our old-style hairdresser – didnt have salons for guys in those days – after he’d used a no.1 razor to carve a straight line with a cut-throat where your parting should go and the guys in the gents hairdressers had a good laugh at us but did it anyway and I reckon it came out fine!

    • edenbray says:

      Hi James – You might be interested – I’ve updated my POST that you have commented on – keep in touch!!!

  7. […] REGGAE, ROMEO and RECOLLECTIONS OF A SKA BOY […]

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