Just for Kicks - by GR Boxell
Hastings, England, Easter 1965
Top row: Gurn, Foxy, Gra, Spinx.
Bottom row: GR, Lew, Sue, Viv, Totter, Methanol Pete
"…104 pages of solid gold nostalgia that rings true to the last word." January 1999
This story is semi-auto biographical. The stories I tell are true, but when you compress five years of events (1964-69) into one year of story, distortions occur. If you think I have exaggerated our deeds, think again - if anything I have toned them down as I don't want my parents to really know what I got up to!
Although we were known as Rockers to outsiders, amongst ourselves we were "The Lads".
I got my first motorcycle in March 1964. A couple of weeks later it was Easter so, Lew and I went to Clacton to join in the Mod/Rocker riots. We could only make it on the Sunday, by which time the fun was all over. Just as well really.
In 1964 the Mods were almost all scooter riders. Their machines were all heavily chromed and sported every accessory imaginable in a gross profusion of extravagance that had mirrors attached to mirrors and more than one scooter bursting into flames as the electrics burnt out trying to cope with the huge number of lights fitted. They were the bright macaws of the two-wheeled world. By 1969 the scooter riders had all by but disappeared with those remaining being but dowdy female sparrows; riding stripped machines often sporting more rust than paint. Many had mutated into Bover Boys, and the fighting moved from Mods & Rockers to clashes between soccer supporters.
In 1969 the Rockers were still there; the machines still varied from the bog standard to racers with lights (though not all had lights!), but the clothing had become more conservative. The leather jackets sported less studs, badges and chains. Indeed many now wore the waxed cotton Barbour or Belstaff jackets, making them look more like the 'young motorcyclist' they had frequently scorned in the past. It is not true that I emigrated to NZ as a result of this change, but certainly it was easier than watching 'The Lads' become either tame or extreme (many became first Greasers and then Hells Angels).
I originally wrote this tale for the amusement of my mates in 1972 when the memories were still fresh. I still read it from time to time, especially when one of my three motorcycling sons is in trouble. It is then that I need to remind myself that when I was young I wasn't perfect, in fact life then was, 'Just for Kicks'.
This novel is now only available in E-book format. Smashwords
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1 Searching 2 Strange Movies 3 Walking Back to Happiness 4 Catch us if You Can 5 You Were Made For Me 6 Go Now 7 Day Tripper 8 Shot of Rythm and Blues 9 If You've Got to Make a Fool of Somebody 10 Black is black 11 Come on Back 12 Leader of the Pack 13 Runaway 14 He's in Town 15 I Understand GR & Lyn on their first date, September 1965 Back to Geoff Boxell's Motorcycle Page Back to Geoff Boxell's Home Page