A Conversation for Skinheads

THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 1

Jagged Jack

As an Ex-Skinhead, who wore his boots and braces with pride for many years, i would like to congratulate you on an excellent guide entry. This is a very good attempt to explain Skinhead roots and the divisions that have developed over the years between racist and anti racist Skinheads.

Before i pick up on a few points, could i just ask - are you an American or a Canadian? This is of no concern but it would explain the basis of your research. I don't want to be too critical, i really do think you have done a great job, BUT (don't you just hate it when people do that!)you seem to rehash material that has been kicking about on US Skinhead sites for years. Much of it is second, third and fourth hand information.

For instance,up until very recently, there was no such concept as a 'Traditional' Skinhead in Britain. Back in the 70's and 80's we we're just Skinheads. You were either a skinhead or you weren't. Any divisions were entirely political, between racist and none racist Skinheads. We all pretty much looked the same. 'Trad' Skin is an entirely american idea based on the misconception that somewhere way back in the day, their was some perfect model of a non racist, apolitical, clothes peg Skinhead. If there was, i never met him and none of the hundreds of Boot Boys i knew all over the country ever met him. I could go on forever here but rather than do that, can i direct you to two pages that fit my view. These are -http://www.geocities.com/skboot_2000/sfas.htm and http://www.geocities.com/skboot_2000/skinhead_voices.htm.

My final point (I could go on forever on this subject, it brings back so many good memories!) is this idea that the original Skinheads were not racists. This is based on the idea that skinheads listened to black music, therefore they can't possibly be racist. This is a downright ludicrous notion. In 1969, the vast majority of British working class people held racist ideas. The vast majority of working class youths listened to one form of black music or another. Skinheads were no different. That is not say they acted on these ideas or belonged to facist organisations. Most of the Skinheads i grew up with and met in the early years, held some racist beliefs. That's a fact. Skinheads were a mass of contradictions and for the most part their racism turned out be be superficial. During the 70's, when the Nazi National front began recruiting Skinheads, it was easy to argue against racist beliefs. The music we lstened to was just one factor in that.

There's so much more i want to say but i've gone on for too long again. Thanks for your time.

Jagged Jack.


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 2

Jagged Jack

Sorry about the subject heading, it's a bit misleading.

Jagged Jack.


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 3

Researcher 247792

jagged jack
totally agree with your comments, nice to read something from someone who knows what there talking about.I was a skinhead from 1970 to 1978 living in romford. I agree with you that most skinheads were a bit rascist, but i think 99.9% of whites were at that time.We were'nt really into having to wear the skinhead uniform all the time either not to say we did'nt wear ben shermans ,levi's,sta-prest,etc,etc.We wore apair of polished boots ,jeans t-shirt, braces and jacket or coat,it was probaly because we were all poor that we could'nt afford all the pukka gear,as long as we backed each other everything was alright.stopped a skinhead when oi skins came because i could'nt stand the punky music.We used to be fighting the punks in romford.I'll go before i bore you to much
flip


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 4

Researcher 247792

jagged jack
totally agree with your comments, nice to read something from someone who knows what there talking about.I was a skinhead from 1970 to 1978 living in romford. I agree with you that most skinheads were a bit rascist, but i think 99.9% of whites were at that time.We were'nt really into having to wear the skinhead uniform all the time either not to say we did'nt wear ben shermans ,levi's,sta-prest,etc,etc.We wore apair of polished boots ,jeans t-shirt, braces and jacket or coat,it was probaly because we were all poor that we could'nt afford all the pukka gear,as long as we backed each other everything was alright.stopped being a skinhead when oi skins came because i could'nt stand the punky music.We used to be fighting the punks in romford.I'll go before i bore you to much
flip


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 5

Jagged Jack

Hi Flip

Nice to get a few replies from people who lived it way back in the day! I didn't mind Oi! There were a couple of good bands like The Oppressed who were Skins rather than punks but we weren't keen on Punks either. They always seemed to be middle class kiddies rebelling against mummy and daddy (Someone will probably take offence at that!).

Most of the Skins in my area didn't know what a Ben Sherman was, let alone own one. I think outside of London, all that came later. The boots we used to wear were Tuff T's work boots. They were cheap and you could buy them anywhere.

I think the reason a lot of the new Skins say the originals weren't racist is because they're sick of being labelled as racist thugs themselves. The problem is, they've put two and two together and come up with five. What they don't understand is how different society was back in the 60's and 70's. In the last 20 years people have become more tolerant. I remember going to reggae dances in Leeds with black kids and everyone got on fine. We were all into the same music but people still used racist language. I just think the whole things not as straight forward as some people make out. But it's important to be honest about these things if you're ever going to convince anyone you are what you say you are...

There i go again, waffling on again! Nice to meet you Flip.

JJ


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 6

adumb76

original skins were not members of any racist organisations, just working class lads whose points of views reflected that of working class society of their day. Nazi skins, to my point of view have little to do with being a skinhead, other than a passing resemblance in clobber.


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 7

Jagged Jack

I agree.

If the primary music of Skinhead is Ska and Ska is part and parcel of being a Skinhead, then how is it possible to be a Nazi and a Skinhead? Ska is essentialy a musical form with black Jamaican roots. It was brought to Britain by immigrants from Jamaica but Fascists believe that all immigrants (and descendants of immigrants) should be repatriated. They also believe in the superiority of the white race and 'White Culture'. These were (and still are) the fundamentals of European Fascist politics. Take these factors into account and a Nazi Skinhead becomes a contradiction in terms because if the Nazis had their way, what we currently call a Skinhead would never have existed.

However the Facists try to twist and distort Skinhead, there is no getting away from the fact that the original Skins listened to black music. The music is the only true constant, the one thing that united us and gave us our identity. As you correctly pointed out, the beliefs held by Skinheads simply reflect the society in which we lived. As working class kids we held the same ideas as other working class people.


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 8

camlin

OK
Well, I grew up in Ireland in the sixties and seventies, and I can tell you great guys it wasn't nearly as cosy as you'd have it. There wasn't a big difference between what was happening in the UK and my town right then, and skinheads presented about the same deal. In short, we kids lived in fear (kids with hair), and for good reason. Amuse yourselves, you're fooling no-one else.


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 9

Jagged Jack

I'm not sure what your point is Camlin but I wasn't trying to fool anyone. I would be quite happy to concede that Skinheads could be a violent bunch. I certainly wouldn't describe that part of my life as 'cosy'. As a young skinhead, i frequently recieved good hidings from kids who had more hair than me. There were always lots of fights between Skins from different towns. Sometimes it felt like violence was a way of life. But there was (and still is) more to being a Skinhead than beating people up or getting beaten up. For most of us, it was about taking pride in the way we dressed and the music we listened to.


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 10

chelsea2302

i was a skinhead from 79 to 85 ,the way i remember it we were very violent and to me and the mob i was with not to mention all the other firms we knew were into aggro more than music in fact the whole point of the skinhead movement was to cause trouble and fight and im glad to say me and my mates did plenty of that. we fouht each other , mods ,punks ,blacks and later on the main enemy was the casuals. as for the politics ithink most skins i knew were a bit racist but that was the thing in the early 80s it was almost a thug fashion specialy for those of us that went to football. but it was union jacks not swastikas for me but i must admit a lot of my mates were into the nazi thing and when skrewdriver reformed and the early oi bands broke up it was more a case of geezers in black shirts and combat trousers that knew nothing about skinheads and lots about hitler that took the culture and ruined it forgetting the working class origins and tradition of wild youth getting pissed and haveing punch ups for a laugh not a cause


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 11

Jagged Jack

Ask three ex Skinheads from three different places what being a Skinhead was all about and you'll get three different answers. Maybe you're right, maybe we were all just mindless thugs who were in it for the violence.


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 12

pussinbootscwntx

what up. this is ruthie in cc. i def agree with your points but some shit you say may mislead or confuse. the race issue, i get what you're saying. i can say n****r or spic and know the type i'm talking about. not that race is an issue with skins (traditional, sharp,or whatever you'd like to call yourself cwo..) i think they just hate stereo types in general. just have a different outlook on life. like a hippie who is a pushover because of love, i have issues with hate, so i fight, and i won't stop being violent. it's a way of life. but mad props on explaining the politics of it all. i just had a conversation about this last night when i was getting drunk. i got a little loud because i hate the look on people's faces when i say skin "oh my heavens" grab your kids it's a racist. silly f***s. anyway take care drink a beer or 2 or 3 ..smiley - alesmiley - alesmiley - alesmiley - alesmiley - alesmiley - alesmiley - alesmiley - alesmiley - ale


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 13

chelsea2302

u stupid mugsmiley - wah


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 14

uthbelfast

I hate to generalize, but a lot of people who aren't skinheads who are my friends tend to generalize as well. I made friends with this girl last year, and she found out I was a skinhead, and then it was like the whole skinhead thing was important to talk about. She'd say things like "I told my friend last night that I was friends with a skinhead and he almost DIED. Can you believe it?
I was polishing my boots and my mate and her friend were over, and the friend asked me why I was polishing my boots. {I was polishing them because they are my pride and joy and I want them to look good} My mate piped in with, "Well, he's a skinhead, and skinheads have to have really shiny boots." It seems that everything anyone else does normally, we only do because we're skinheads.
Before I claimed I was a skinhead I was something of a rebel without a cause. In school, I was always looking for some way of life to relate to because all the crap I had seen previous to that had got me nowhere... one religion or system of beliefs seemed as empty and stupid as another.
I knew what shitheads most of the world is comprised of and I wanted to separate myself from it, but I didn't know how. I don't think I could have at the time either; I was pretty clueless in high school. Be that as it may, I guess it follows that when I met some skinheads and realized what they were about, I came to know what I was meant to be.
My take on the reason anyone ought to be a skinhead is a matter of attitude. Basically it's losing the juvenile bullshit that most of the world partakes in daily, and getting serious about your life. Of course that means getting serious about having fun too... I guess that's why I have such discriminating taste.
It was the image, look, and lifestyle. The look that suits me and I find appealing in others. Hardness tempered with a brain. I can talk myself out of a fight but I'll stand my ground when I have to
The clothes look f*****g brilliant. A feeling of belonging to something that I believe is worthwhile. Life can be impersonal enough even in Ireland and the recognition between skins is relief from this. The music =though I also like Techno I also feel it's important to correct the idea that all skins aren’t boneheads as we're not. I'm not a kid anymore but at 37 much of the angst and relative insecurity of youth has gone to be replaced with even stronger conviction. I remember the skins in '69 and the 2nd wave and hope the movement never dies. A right wing "robotic army" plays no part in all this. Skinheads, regardless of their political, sexual, or religious persuasion, or lack of, do have lives which, while they may differ from your own principles and ideals, are no less valid then those of any other member of society at large. While you may not agree with their lifestyle, keep in mind that there's bound to be someone who doesn't approve of yours either. While the popular media enjoys its love/hate relationship with Skinheads, almost consistently =portraying them as sub-literate, unemployed racists with a fondness for hiring themselves out as bodyguards/storm troopers for the Neo-Nazis, this is a gross distortion of the truth…………………………………….


Beginning of the skinhead movement
While there are many theories about the origins of skinheads, one thing most Skinheads agree upon is the skinhead movement did not begin with racism. Nor has it taken completely over, Skinhead behaviour was meant to symbolize tough, patriotic, anti-immigrant, working-class attitudes. But slowly racist and Neo-Nazi beliefs also started to become popular among many of the Skinheads. This racist and chauvinist attitude that prevailed at the time amongst some Skinheads later evolved into a crude form of Nazism.
Skinheads drew public notice for their bigotry and taste for violence and by their frequent assaults on Asian immigrants. Attacks which came to be known as "Paki-bashing."
The Skinhead movement in England began in the mid-'60s as an anti-hero movement against the "soft'' mod and hippie scenes. There were loads of, tattooed teenagers in docs {doctor martins} starting to hang out in the streets.
Skinheads felt mod-rock groups such as The Paul Revere and the Raiders and Herman's Hermits, previously shared a closeness that did not exist in rock and roll, but by the late '60s, skinheads felt the music world was "ripe for change."
The English skinheads hailed from the same area that previously saw the rise of the mods. As the mod rockers saw walls rise between themselves and the pop stars they imitating.
Enlisting music lovers with a harder edge than "soft'' mods, whose stars had adopted more pompous images. The point of reference between skinheads and mod rockers are different.
The mods were tied up with pop music. The skins are linked with more aggressive music {oi} and soccer. Rock and roll was not the only musical influence of the skinhead movement.
Many Jamaicans immigrated to England during the mid- to late '60s. Jamaican music such as rocksteady, ska and reggae became popular with already angry working-class youths. As this was also during the high tide of the first wave of skinheads in England, the reggae of this time came to be known as "skinhead reggae." Jamaican bands were singing about the skinheads long before the term was associated with racism.
“Noah Wildman,” label manager of the New York-based Moon Ska Records. Said “the Jamaican influence was huge, the skinhead movement wasn't just limited to” young, angry white men.”
It wasn't unusual to have a few black skinheads in the late '60s. In fact, some skinheads became so associated with Jamaican music the name was added to "reggae" to make the music sell better during the late '60s and early '70s.
Tracks like ……………………………………………………………………
SKINHEAD MOONSTOMP~ SYMARIP
SKINHEAD TRAIN ~ THE CHAMERS
SKINHEADS A BASH THEM ~ CLAUDETTE & THE CORPORTATION
SKINHEAD SPEAKS HIS MIND ~ THE HOT ROD ALL STARS

SKINHEAD A MESSAGE TO YOU ~ DESMOND RILEY
SKIHEAD REVOLT ~ JOE THE BOSS
SKINHEADS DON’T FEAR ~ THE HOT ROD ALL STARS
At that time, some of the bigger names in skinhead reggae were performers such as “Derrick Morgan,” “Toots and the Maytals” and “Nicky Thomas”. Morgan is known by many as "the king of skinhead reggae." But many of these artists were also labelled as ska, bluebeat or rocksteady acts. There were very few strictly 'skinhead' reggae artists, Most real skinhead artists were pretty obscure.
Other early artists included “Derrick Harriot”, “Lord Creator”, “The Upsetters”, “The Viceroys”, and “Desmond Decker”. But skinhead reggae, at its original inception, proved to be rather short-lived. Black performers never wholly rejected the scene, even when the skinheads were branded as racists.
Skinhead reggae saw its heyday from 1968-71. Similar to all other forms of music, did not remain stagnant. While all skinheads might have been labelled for their racist views, the performers of skinhead reggae knew the truth. At first, it was a pretty well-kept secret and served the underground music scene. When “Trojan Records” and skinheads brought it to the masses, the music changed for the worse. The new Rasta ideologies began to become prevalent in the music.
Skinhead reggae continues to be one of the more obscure scenes in the music world. But there's still an audience that exists.
Once skinhead music became wide spread on major labels such as Trojan Records, the music degenerated. This was the point when the break between skinheads and the reggae scene occurred. Rastafarianism and Hippie ideals such as peace, love and pot-smoking became wide spread themes of reggae much to the annoyance of the skinheads. This inevitably led to the demise of the first wave of skinheads. While some of the original skinheads continued to listen to reggae artists, it’s a small sub-scene that exists within the ska scene.
Politics infested the skinhead cult, and skinheads became associated primarily with racism. The glory days of the first wave of skinheads and its reggae were gone.
“Traditional skins” began a major comeback in the late 1980s, around the time of the waning of the power of Skinheads against Racial Prejudice... In the late 1980's a group of skinheads got together in NYC to form the first chapter of “Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice”. SHARP had three main objectives: to educate the public about true skinhead culture, to expose the bonehead Impostors for what they really are, and to drive the boneheads out of their communities by any means necessary. {Bonehead is a derogatory term used by Traditional and other Skins to denote any Skinhead who holds to racist or White Power beliefs, as well as those Neo-Nazis who have adopted the skinhead "look" in an attempt to hijack the movement.} The New York chapter was quickly successful and soon chapters sprang up elsewhere as news spread. Today SHARP is the most predominant anti-racist skin group around and you can find “SHARP” chapters all over the world, as well as other anti-racist skinhead }. It is important to note “SHARP” did not weaken because of a victory by the forces of racism but rather because SHARP became obsolete, because the number of “Traditional Skins” was on the rise and were not racist, “SHARP” lost popularity.
Even during the time period between the mid-'70s to the late '80s, most skinheads were not racists. That was just a popular image the skinheads were labelled with. Their original style of dress and behaviour was meant to symbolize tough, patriotic, working-class attitudes, the Skinhead look is easily recognizable: a shaved head or very short hair; jeans; thin suspenders {braces}; combat boots or Doc Martens {lace colours- NF white - Anti NF yellow, although this doesn’t matter now but in the 80s it was a very important things in cites in Ireland/England} a bomber jacket, Fred Perry tops, Ben Sherman shirts and sta pressed Levi’s.
Also by the mid 70's and the late 80s punk had put the rebellion back in rock-and-roll, opening a new avenue for street kids to express their frustrations. The shifting mindset brought kids into the skinhead movement as yet another form of expression.
By the late 70's punk had been invaded by the colleges, and record labels, letting down kids who truly believed in its rebellion. From the streets came a new kind of punk rock, a type which was meant to be true to the working class and the kids on the street. This new music was called "Oi!” deriving from cockney slang it is a shortening of the Greek 'oi polloi' or common people.
A major aspect of Skinhead life is their devotion to bands like “4Skins”, “The Oppressed”, “Condemned 84”,”Anti Social”, “The Business”, “Cock Sparrer”.These bands play "oi" music, a hard-driving brand of rock and roll whose lyrics pound home a message of bigotry and violence.
No other means of communication neither the spoken nor written word compares with oi music's influence on their outlook and behaviour. Music is the Skinhead movement's main propaganda weapon and its chief means of attracting young recruits into its ranks. Skins maintain universal ties through their music, distributing recordings internationally and organizing concert tours and music fests that feature both domestic and foreign bands.
Oi! Is a melodic type of punk-rock which originated in Britain around 1980 and has since spread throughout the world. The forefathers of Oi! “Sham 69”, “Menace”, “The Lurkers”, “Slaughter and the Dogs”, “Cockney Rejects”, “Cock Sparrer”, “Angelic Upstarts”, Were playing, what some of the smarter press of the time dubbed, "real-punk" (i.e. punk-rock with a message/theme of "social realism"). A lot of the press, who courted the original wave of punk-rock, wholly ignored or wrote-off what was soon to be called Oi! As a "thug-rock," and thus insured unfair treatment of the genre right from the start.
Around 1980, bands like the “4-Skins” (East London), “Infa Riot” (North London), “The Last Resort” (Herne Bay), “Red Alert” (Sunderland), “The Business” (South London) and “Blitz” (Manchester) began to pop-up all across Great Britain.
This phenomenon of strikingly similar-minded, yet unrelated bands was quickly clumped together as "Oi!" by Sounds journalist “Gary Bushell” {sun newspaper}, taking the name from the classic “Cockney Rejects” song, "Oi! Oi! Oi!" Bushell not only gave Oi! Its name, he compiled and gave the world the first Oi! Compilation, called "Oi! The Album"(released by EMI injunction with Sounds magazine). "Oi! The Album" set the precedent for the compilation as an important part of the Oi! Movement, as witnessed by the release of countless Oi!-focused compilations world-wide ever since its release.
Musically, Oi!, Is generally distinguished by melodies, terrace-style backing vocals and a pace/tempo more suitable for pogoing and singing along, than slam-dancing and stage-diving. Together with ska and reggae, Oi! Forms the musical focus of the “Traditional Skinhead” subculture, and together with hardcore and classic punk-rock, it forms the musical focus of the punk subculture.
The impact of the early '80s, English Oi! Scene could be felt the world-over, with Oi! bands and scenes popping-up globally, kick-started by bands like “Iron Cross” in the U.S., “Bohse Onkels” in Germany, “Komitern Sect” in France, “Cobra” in Japan, “Nabat” in Italy and so on. This is barely mentioning the huge impact Oi! Had on the U.S. hardcore scene, evidenced by such classic American hardcore bands like “Agnostic Front”, “7 Seconds”, “Youth Brigade” and “Negative Approach” citing Oi as a huge influence.
Oi! Is a coalition of street-skinheads and punks, and emphasizes working-class concerns and themes: fighting, shagging, drinking, pride, self-respect and generally having a laugh -- the "politics of life" or the "politics of the street." Being rooted among the working-class, street kids and the powerless, authentic and traditional Oi rejects the authoritarian and conservative politics of the extreme right as well as the knee-jerk, reactionary politics of the extreme left.
The artwork on the jackets of Skinhead recordings is characteristically devoted to violent images.
During the 1970's, there were many changes in the "typical" skinhead. For some fashion went from looking smooth in the best clothes you could afford with a blue-collar job, to looking like you were out, even when you were at home.
By the late 70's the “National Front”, Britain's National Socialist party, had invaded the skinhead movement. Young lads were recruited very easily, as a lot of them was out of work living in run down council estates, the NF seen an opportunity to get some support here by telling these young people that the reason they were out of work was to do with the amount of foreigners in this country . Since skinheads were already a violent breed, the NF decided that if their young recruits adopted the skinhead appearance, the might benefit from the reputation. It was at this point that racism permeated the skinhead cult without the consent of its members.
Slowly racist and Neo-Nazi beliefs also started to become popular among many of these Skinhead groups. The average neo-Nazi gang ranges in size from fewer than ten to several dozen members. While their look is important to them, being a Skinhead is not just a way to dress - it is an entire way of life. The Neo-Nazi Skinheads glorify “Adolph Hitler” and dedicate themselves to fulfilling his dream of a world run by Aryan, or white, people.
“Neo-Nazis” or White Supremacists Skinheads wear Swastika-emblazoned patches/badges, usually seen with arms outstretched, shouting slogans like “Sieg Heil” and “White Power”. Generally can be recognized by their shaven heads and the Nazi symbols they wear on their clothing and have tattooed on their skin. Their threatening style of dress is just one way in which they express their violent hatred of Blacks, Jews, gays,{which in the 90s the main figures in the NF were gay, and this was frowned on by hardcore members of the NF and they became the “BNP” British National Party}other minority groups. In recent years, Skinheads have become a dangerous force in cities across the United States and Europe. In the U.S., neo-Nazi Skinheads has been responsible for up to 45 murders during the last two decades.
The second wave of the Skinhead movement took shape in the 1980s.This was the period in which Ian Stuart founded the neo-Nazi organization called the British National Front. He became the lead singer in the band called “Skrewdriver”. The music of “Skrewdriver”, whose lead vocalist “Ian Stuart” {now dead}, was instrumental in spreading the neo-Nazi Skinhead message and organizing many youth into gangs. “Skrewdriver” songs, such as “White Power” and “N****r N****r” “F**k The IRA,” made their way to the U.S. in 1986. And other bands that followed, as racism is very much related to feelings, the music can create both feelings and especially attract young people.
The organizational skills, of people like Stuart, contributed to the growth of a distinctive Skinhead subculture in the early 1980s. They identified with the ideology of Nazism and white power. Their shaved heads, T-shirts, boots, tattoos, and aggressiveness comprised a visible and confrontational style. It was this second wave that was to cross the Atlantic to the United States.

Stuart began producing a fanzine entitled “Blood and Honour” which was distributed to white supremacist groups in the United States. Among its influential readers was “Tom Metzger”. Former “KKK” leader, and founder of “White Aryan Resistance” (WAR). Metzger saw this youth movement as the potential front line warriors, of a revolutionary right and began to recruit and support the American groups which were growing.
Racist Skinheads are found today in almost every industrialized country whose majority population is of European people. Germany remains the flashpoint for extreme-right activity in Europe, with its high rate of violent hate crimes and 10,000 skinheads. Europe's other main area of concern is Sweden with 2,000 skinheads and as the centre of production for the continent's hate music.

Far-right parties that represent many of the skinheads' anti-immigrant ideals are also joining mainstream governments, as in Austria with “Joerg Haider's” Freedom party and in Italy - where Premier “Silvio Berlusconi” formed his cabinet this summer including the once-fascist “National Alliance” and the often xenophobic Northern League.

Nazi propaganda is banned in Germany, but skinheads have also expanded their reach to avoid the law. Production for most of the continent's hate music - filled with openly racist lyrics or Nazis glorification - is centred in Scandinavia, made in Sweden for distribution from Finland, according to Danish neo-Nazi watch group “Demos”. The lyrics are in various languages, mostly German and English.
In the years that followed, the Skinhead movement began to spread from England to the rest of Europe and the United States. Today, racist Skinheads are active in 33 countries on 6 continents. The movement is especially strong in countries with high rates of immigration and unemployment. Its members almost always range in age from 13 to 25.
“Skinheads are Neo-Nazis or White Supremacists Hooligans.” This is a typical headline you will read in a newspaper, there are many skinheads who are non- or anti-racist, and who come from a variety of different religious and cultural backgrounds. They are part of the Traditional, Non-Racist Skinhead subculture and are not the perpetrators of hate crimes.
The hooligan bit came from in the 80s there was a lot of trouble on the football terraces between different firms like Chelsea “Head Hunters” who had a massive NF following, West Ham “Inner City Firm”, Stoke “Naughty 40” nearly all the football clubs had a firm of hooligans specially the London teams, but when firms would kick of with each other it was mostly young lads/men who had short hair but weren’t skinheads, yes there was skinheads among them but the press and media headlines would be “Skinhead Hooligans go on rampage”
Skinheads have been active in 40 states. The states with the greatest number of Skinheads are New Jersey, Texas, Oregon, California, Florida, Michigan, and Virginia. Globally, Skinheads are active in 33 countries. These include Germany, Hungary, Czech Republic, United States, Poland, United Kingdom, Brazil, Italy, and Sweden with smaller numbers elsewhere in Europe and Canada
Skinheads are almost uniformly white youths in their teens and twenties, who respond to the movement's seductive sense of strength, group belonging and superiority over others.
Most Skinhead gangs range in size from fewer than 10 to several dozen members. To those devoted to the movement, being a Skinhead is a full-time way of life and not simply adherence to a fashion. Skinhead activities dominate the social life - and the domestic life - of gang members: they often live in communal crash-pads and stick to themselves when out in public.
The Females, called Skinettes, also Shave their heads but leave the bangs and fringes on the back and sides. These haircuts are called buzz fringes or just fringes, Hair seems to range from the Chelsea (which you see a lot more grown out these days) to a bob, Sassoon style, or for longer hair, a flip (which works well with the A line dress).

Skinettes usually have Skinhead boyfriends. The Skinettes dress is to be either the Fred Perry, short skirt ,dark colour or plaid is common, ankle socks and loafers look {fishnets and 3 button jackets optional,} a la the usual skinhead girl out on the town look, or the A line dress, usually two tone in colour it seems with nice low heel shoes.. Or the faviourt; Mondrian patterned dress.
Also central to the Skinhead scene are their magazines (commonly called skinzines or zines), usually crudely written newsletters that focus on Skinhead bands and their recordings. The zines promote Skinhead ideology and advertise services popular among Skins such as tattoo parlours, clothing stores that sell Skinhead fashion, and oi music distributors. In addition, they announce concerts and other events of interest to Skinheads everywhere. Zines are published and it is not unusual for some to fold after a few issues and for new ones to crop up.



THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 15

Jagged Jack

Brilliant! Well thought out. Well written. Are those the characteristics of a mindless thug? Great bit about Skinhead Girls at the end there. I seem to recall hearing the term Skinette first in the 80's mainly around the scooter scene. What's this 'Trad Skin' thing all about? I'm having real problems getting to grips with that. Much of the ethos surrounding it seems to be this idea that 'real' Skinheads are 'apolitical' and stand for nothing other than clothes and music. If that's the case, then the average Skinhead is little more than a fashion victim and no different from the average Blue fan. The fact is, Skinhead has been divided by the Nazis and it's no good pretending this doesn't matter because it's not what being a 'traditional' Skinhead is all about. That's the reality of the situation and there's something very UN-Skinhead about trying to ignore it and not taking a stand. The clothes and music aside, Skinhead is ultimately about pride in yourself, pride in your roots and pride in your class. That in itself is a political statement because it goes against everything we're taught to believe by the establishment.


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 16

uthbelfast

f*****g nice one , cheers, took me a while to write it up


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 17

British_Skinhead

i think the whole "trad" consept is diffrent here to world

i suppose in UK its easier to use the terms to see the diffrance in what are now called "trad"-skins and the "Oi/punk influenced"-Skins

im not as old as you guys, but i follow the more Oi/punk style (drainpipe jeans, combat trousers, razored head type look), rather than mod inflenced gear "traditional" gear. (have to watch my back due to ignorant people saying im "ignorant", haha)

ive poken to older skinheads/ex-skins of all types, alot of them hold racist feelings but aint/werent nazis, some hate the "style" influenced (Oi-skin hating "trads" and "trads" hatin Oi-skins calling them bald glue sniffing punks) while some just see it as a diffrent style of skinhead and get along alright

the whole nazi thing came around as i admit, alot of "Oi Skins" were thick and easily led in by it, then it was just adopted by full-on racists as an image


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 18

British_Skinhead

i myself hold nationalistic views(not nazi views)

and all the scraps back in that you talk about seemed like a battering, but still better than today, its all 20 against one who stamp on your head or knife you, seems like fighting now and again isnt a passtime like what me dad describes in the 1970s and early 80s, seems like nowadays it all leads to you being killed in some way by a large group of cowards


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 19

turkey1985

I actualy went through a great deal just to type a few sentences. It was a little bit of a pain in the ass to become a member. ha.

My name is turky, I am currently a U.S Marine serving in Iraq.What that has to do with being a skin is my pride for my self and country. I am twenty two years old and what information I know about my skinhead culture is what I have been taught by thouse befor me and the things that I have read and researched. I am not that old nor have I "been there". That is in the old days. I am, what you might say an American traditional skin. Being a skinhead is some thing I hold true to my heart. I grew up on the streets of my city. I found family where I had none. I found brothers and sisters. I found, that is is posible to become a good honest working man. I do agree with the things you all have writen, well for the most part but that is not why I am typing. My main point is this...


No matter what being a skinhead is pride in all that you are and do, it is standing up for your belifs and never turning your back to the family that have found. It is the pride of nation and more importantly the neiborhood you live in. A skinhead will all ways hold his head up higher than any one else and walk with strength. It is not the uniform or the music as much as it is the mind set and the way of life. It is working to your bloody nuckles for every thing in your life and not complaining. Sure we tend to fight and drink. I know I do, but that is life. These I belive are the core values of a skinhead or if you want to say it a trad. People can think what they want. I know who and what I am. I know where I can from and I will never deny it or give it up. Never hang up the boots because the boots made who you are. The boots made the skin!


THE REAL HISTORY OF SKINHEAD

Post 20

magnificentCFC

As much as some, especially those from over the pond would like to rewrite skinhead history the facts all point one way.

The first skinheads evolved from Mods in 63,64 and were vehmently violent, tribal and racist, skinhead clothing is essentially Mod but with the crop, it is British working class clothing and has little or no connection whatsoever with Jamaicans as they seem to be saying.

The first mention of skinheads on BBC1 newsnight in 1965, describes a new youth culture which is extremly violent and racist but also listened to Reggae; in exclusively white clubs in the East End of London, allthough just as many of the first skinheads followed bands like the Who and other Mod favorites as well, who were seen as very anti system and violent at the time.Fact

The first book on skinheads is "The Paint House" written in the mid sixties with descriptions and interviews with purportedly the first skinhead firm in the East End, it describes a racist skinhead gang who went "paki bashing" and "hunting black immigrants" on a nightly basis in the "rat runs of the East End". Fact.

Remember the first coloured immigrants didnt arrive in the East End of London until 1965 from the Windrush and by no stretch of the imagination could you see, the white local youth then or even now going to the black drinking clubs (shabeens) to listen to reggae or for that matter black people going to white clubs,to say one of the most violent tribal youth cults ever did is ridiculous.

The East Ends history is full of racial intolerence from before the 1940's and even today the Fascist BNP is the second biggest party in local Government in great swathes of the area.

Traditional skinhead or Trad skin in Britain is a style of dress or dress code not a political/anti racist affiliation as some Americans have tried to portray, a quick google search on Skrewdriver Skinheads and their concerts or early National Front/British Movement marches in the Seventies show literally thousands of "Trad skins" marching for racist ideological reasons, some with Trojan t shirts and patches.

Oi! music is just a continuation of the many skinheads who continued to listen to the Who and other guitar based bands rather than reggae and scratch the surface of 99% of so called "non political" Oi! bands from Cock Sparrer to the 4skins to Section5 and the right wing comnnections are there and staring you in the face.

Sharp and all these hippie type variations and rewrites from the USA are fun and a nice fantasy for youngsters to tell their parents to let them dress up but little more.

Skinhead is skinhead; a white working class movement from Britain which has always been violent, right wing and racist from the so called moderates to the neo nazi.

Dont believe me? Ask any coloured person or Asian from the East End who experienced the first skinheads what they think........a non racist skinhead: its as believable as a Holocaust denier!


Key: Complain about this post

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more