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A to Z of Mod

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Written by Paolo Hewitt and Mark Baxter, who also penned together my favourite novel of the year – The Mumper (now on screens as Outside Bet), The A to Z of Mod will tell how to be a Mod.

Any definition of ‘Mod’ will include ‘P for Parka’, ‘B for The Blues’ and, inevitably, ‘S for The Scooter’.

Are there American Mods? Is it possible for Mods to be anything but British? Whether they’re the originals from the 1960s or the revivalists of the 1980s (sparked by the 1979 release of ‘Q for Quadrophenia’), there’s something about their clothes and their style which is unbeatably and unbearably British.

Sitting in Soho’s coolest Italian coffee bar, right opposite that haven of ‘J for Jazz Style’, Ronnie Scott’s, Paolo talks about this, the latest in a stream of books on music, football and fashion.

“Mark and I worked together on the book and he did most of the research. We were keen to include elements of Mod from the 60s and also from more recent times, so the books spans a massive period.

“Mod is one of those terms that applies to different things at different times. It defies all categorisation and we’ve tried to include as many elements that could be classed as Mod, from influential people to clothes and music.”

One of the most stylish collection of mostly men took place at that haven of Mod – Fred Perry’s gorgeous store in London’s Seven Dials. It’s rare to see so many cool, well-dressed men in one place and they were all there to celebrate this, the latest venture in the Paolo/Mark publishing empire.

Mark said: “It was great to research the things that have made up my life. I’ve got two great big cardboards boxes of Mod archive material, cuttings, photos etc which I have been adding to since the late 1970s. It was lovely to put all that great source material to good use and all of it came in really handy. The best bit for me on the whole project was going through the Getty Photo archive. Three days I spent doing that, such a joy and a privilege.”

So, if you want to find out all there is to know about being a mod, get your copy now

A lifetime spent juggling words and music. At University in London, I studied music and English and ever since have combined the two in my professional and leisure activities. Long may it continue!