Having recently looked through a lot of Derek Ridgers photography work on Subcultures, I thought about buying his new book, Skinheads 1979 – 1984. Thankfully I went into the loft and dusted down my other books and it turns out that I had already bought it some time ago.
I didn’t realise that this was a second pressing and to be honest I don’t know if there are any updates in the new book. I brought all the books out anyway, took a few pictures and thought I’d share them on here. I will be doing the same with all my Subculture related books in a wee while so if there are any you aren’t aware of you can check them out and if there is any you would recommend please get in touch on here, Facebook or Twitter.
If I miss any info out or get mixed up give me a shout, it has been a few years since I have been through these and as I already mentioned, the memory isn’t as good as it used to be.
SKINHEADS 1979 – 1984 by Derek Ridgers
As I’ve already said, I couldn’t remember buying the book but I must have had it for a couple of years now as it’s dated at 2009. Looking through again I realised why I’ve been looking at so much of Ridgers work recently. Well worth checking out if you have an interest in Skinhead culture or even just photography as he captures London Skinheads from 79 to 84.
Skins by Gavin Watson
Skinhead by Nick Knight
Skinhead Nation by George Marshall
Spirit of ’69 – A Skinhead Bible by George Marshall
I have to say that I am a big fan of this book. Having grown up in the 90′s there wasn’t a big Skinhead movement in the way that the 60′s, late 70′s and 80′s would have seen and most of what you could find out was the usual lazy journalism and scaremongering, remember this was pre-internet. I managed to order a copy of this at Waterstones in Glasgow and had to wait a while for it to come through but I am glad I did. It is a cracking read which covers pretty much all aspects of Skinhead history, the good and the bad. While any book covering a Subculture will come under criticism for some reason or other, for me this is up there with the best.
The Paint House – Words From an East End Gang
One of, if not the oldest account documenting skinhead life and of boys running in an East End Gang. Published in 1972 this is an important book not only for Skinhead culture but also from a social point of view.
Boss Sounds – Classic Skinhead Reggae by Marc Griffiths
Brilliant book for anyone that wants to know more about some of the greatest music ever recorded with artist and label discographies opening up a world of forgotten gems.
The History of Skinhead Reggae 1968-1972 by John Bailey
Another book that falls into the category of “When did I buy this?”. I remember it coming through the door and being pleasantly surprised but I genuinely had never heard of it. Anyway, another cracking read if you are into your reggae and alongside ‘Boss Sounds’ pretty much covers the era.
A Boy’s Story by Martin King
An autobiographical book by author Martin King covering his early skinhead years and an enjoyable years. I really enjoyed this and where some Skinhead books covering different eras may be more academic, this is told as a story and I would recommend it.
Hoolies by Garry Bushell
This book tells the more violent side of the British subculture history and as you can imagine, Skinheads do pop up every now and again. Cracking book covering everything from Mods and Rockers on the beach to Casuals on the terraces.
Booted and Suited by Chris Brown
Like ‘Hoolies’, Booted and Suited covers the violence that surrounded the scene and focuses on the 70′s. Another really interesting read for someone that wasn’t even born then so I can only imagine it will be better for those that were.
Skinheads by John King
This book by the author of The Football Factory is a story about an older generation of Skinheads and, for me, is up there with The Football Factory. A good read that doesn’t try to be something it’s not definitely worth checking out.
The Story of Oi by Garry Jonhson
Tiny book only about 100 pages so you can batter through it in no time. Garry Johnsons look at the world of Oi is an interesting look at a movement that has had its fair share of criticism over the years. I wouldn’t mind seeing something a bit more in depth but worth a read.
Richard Allen for many young Skinheads was the king of pulp fiction. Allen or James Moffat as he was actually called wrote a series of books in the early seventies featuring Joe Hawkins who has been described as an anti hero but still proved popular among the young readers who couldn’t get enough of his violent adventures. In an era when rude reggae was also popular the exploits of Hawkins sexual activities were also, undoubtedly one of the reasons they proved to be so popular. Maybe not literary classics but enjoyable reads nonetheless.
As I mentioned before, I will cover other books in the future but would really appreciate hearing your opinions on these books or others that you feel should be getting a mention.
You can find a selection of books as well as great Skinhead clothing at the Dead End St British subcultures shop.