SUIT YOURSELF INTERVIEWS JOE WAKEFIELD.

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Suit Yourself very much welcomes having a chat with owners of beautiful scooters and their love of the Mod scene, here we catch up with Joe Wakefield from Essex who's love of Lambrettas has seen him own many a wonderous machine....Joe, it's over to you...

Hi Joe can you tell us a little about yourself, where you are from and how long have you been part of the Mod/scooter scene.

 

I’m a scrap metal merchant from Romford in Essex, I’ve been into the scene since I was 15 ,I’m now 38 and I truly believe once it bites it never leaves you !

 

Can you tell us about early experiences as part of the scene and give an example of how it changed your life.

 

Nights out down at the cellar bar in Romford were the best early memories, the atmosphere in there was electric this was 94 and the time was right . 

Being handed the all mod cons album and watching Quadrophonia,Watching Paul Weller at the Brixton academy and remember him saying this is something off the new album... Wild wood off the back of into tomorrow.

 

The Richard Barnes mod book really is the bible though !!

 

Tell us about your favourite part of the Mod/scooter scene, scooters, fashion, music, the social scene etc

 

My favourite part of the scene is the people, it brings all walks of life together to a very British movement that’s now spread across the world. That is mod. The classic scooters when done right are iconic in their own right also.

 

Can you tell us about your favourite nightclub venue, style of music, band and rally destination and why they have become your favourites.

 

Fav nightclub was the Ryde theatre with the Untouchables before it split ,1st experiencing northern soul dance competitions and talc!! Absolutely fantastic nights out !!

 

Brighton 17 was a absolutely fantastic rally ,one that’s right up there. The weather makes it as ever.But this one was just special from the moment we set off. I.O.W was always the one ,All year I waited for it, but all good things come to an end.

 

We all love scooters, tell us about yours now and others you have owned in the past. what was the first rally you attended, with who and how it made you feel.

 

It’s a strange thing to love scooters ,they just had a a style that young kids in the 60s wanted to nick from the cool kids of Italy France n Spain.Its all good until its pissing down! normally on your way home from a rally. 

 

My first scooter was a 66 SX 200 I had to have that as that’s what Weller had !!

 

The clothes the shoes ... He’s got it, without him Mod would not be what it is today. It would be in the history books.

I used to have an LD too, I now have a 64 Pacemaker a neat S1 ,I’ve just bought my 1st scooter back the SX,and I’ve recently built the scooter I should have built 20 years ago!

 

This one was my dream and the vision had been in my mind for years my TV 175 totally original with a standard engine and in s traditional 60s mod style.

 

My 1st proper rally was with my brother in law on a GS and some mates on foot to the I.O.W ,Buzzing the whole weekend and the week after, still chasing those highs I guess!!

 

Do you belong to a scooter club? tell us all about it, we want our readers to know about the club and what you do.

 

I was a founder member of Fab in Romford, that was pretty special sitting in the ice bar discussing what to name it .. I think it’s recently disbanded? But great it went for such a long time.

 

With the costs of original Lambretta's and Vespas climbing rapidly what are your views on the cheaper counterparts and new electric models.

 

To be honest they ain’t cutting it !! Not as a mod anyway... a T5 you can get away with but these new Vespa things .. and how they are ripping off the Lambretta brand .Mod is a state of mind, a code .. but riding one of those is just ridiculous.

 

Can you relate a funny story you have had as a scooter enthusiast.

 

A mate falling off on a roundabout after slipping on a pizza box !! 

A blowout x2 up with luggage with my original acs Michelin rear tyre at 55 mph 

Riding home on scooters down the a12 from Chelmsford from a Weller gig in the rain with open face crash helmets no goggles no headlight and a 6 volt red candle on the back (and dark sun glasses?) that was fun !

 

The many many many Lambretta break downs !! 

 

The miles of pushing home ,no money for AA cover those days !!

 

How do you think the scene has changed over the years? and what are your views on today’s scene?

 

What’s changed? The prices !!

The locals at the rally’s now welcome you.

The media are all over it.

It’s very commercial. 

Everybody is looking to earn money from it.

Everything is available.. scooter parts etc. 

 

There is even all these shops n websites where in 6 clicks and a full shopping basket your a mod !! Or a plastic 😉

 

Today’s scene is great as it’s all one it’s not Mods go here 

Skinheads go there. all the preferences can respect each other rather than kicking each other’s heads in !!...

 

And lastly, tell us, if you can what attracts you to do what you do and be part of today’s Mod/scooter culture.

 

It’s all about the people and over the years I’ve met some real characters.With social media now it makes it so much easier to stay in touch rather than having to wait till the next rally which was always a way of escape from the norm.

 

Not being like everyone else,.... it never leaves you .

© Suit Yourself Modernist Culture 2019

EST 2016