Jayne Thomas – The 1980s Mod Years Part 1

The 1980s Mod Girl - Prequel - Secret Affair, The Lambrettas, The Small Faces, Quadrophenia

The 1980s Mod Years Part 1 – The Prequel To The Mod Girl Years 1980

People over the years often ask me “how did you get into Mod Jayne?” To be perfectly honest I don’t recollect any major factor that pushed me towards entering and participating in the Mod scene. It was a combination of factors really. A natural progression, looking back really now 40 years ago. However one factor that I attribute to the back of  the late 1970s / early 1980s  Mod Revival. 

Those influences were my parents, my social environment, my friends, the Mod Revival music at the time and the media. But most importantly I think it was the timing.

Neither do I remember any specific date in particular. Mod is’nt something, well it certainly was’nt for, me that I woke up one morning and decided to follow. Of course there were turning points that would push me towards participating, but no one major specific major date as such. It was a combination of certain memorable dates.

Many of my Aunts and Uncles at that time were in their 30s / early 40s, growing up as teenagers in the 1960s.  Heavily influenced by the clothing and the varying music choices from that era spanning from general 60s pop to Soul to Folk to some R&B.


The Small Faces 1966
The Small Faces – Photo, public domain. Credit to VirreFriberg https://commons.wikimedia.org/


This of course included The Small Faces, whose music was to make up some of my personal music soundtrack to those early formative Mod years back in the 1980s, but a bit further down the line after my Mod Revival introduction. Which I will discuss further in future articles as I chronicle my Mod years. As I grew up, as most of us 80s Mods did with some theme or backdrop of the 1960s, of course, I believe that this was a large predisposing factors.

The Influence Of  Ray Charles, Sam Cooke & Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield
Dusty Springfield – Photo, public domain. Credit to Bradford Timeline www.flickr.com


From a very young age my ears, were well oiled with the music that my parents listened to. Ones that set the ball rolling, so to speak for my ongoing love of 60s Soul and early R&B. I was brought up on a staple music diet of Ray Charles, Sam Cooke as well as Dusty Springfield.

Sam Cooke
Sam Cooke – Photo, public domain. Credit to Bradford Timeline www.flickr.com – Photo, public domain.

Of course my favourite listens from my Mam and Dad’s music collection. No music would compare to the sweet and soulful voice of Sam Cooke, the captivating and dreamy voice of Dusty Springfield or  the Jazzy and  the spunky voice of Ray Charles. Coupled with the fact that these lyrics from all three of these artists have such deep meaning, even more-so as being a sensitive teenage I leant, and even now still do towards listening to them.

Ray Charles
Ray Charles – Photo, public domain. Credit to Bradford Timeline www.flickr.com



The 1979 Mod Revival

My cousin Joanne who is a few years older than me was in to Mod Revival in those formative years during the very early 1980s.

I vaguely remember her dress of that time and her music choices.  Also at that time Quadrophenia had’nt long been released  and whilst I was very young  at this time, I do remember the film (which I was later to watch) and the album (which I still own now) .. But that was to be a couple of years down the line.

Mod Revival Music – Secret Affair & The Lambrettas

I was a little too young to participate in the Mod Revival of the late 1970s and very early 1980s, however I started to become aware of the music that the Mod revivalists listened to. In comparison to hearing early Soul, it was in the early 1980s that I was introduced to some of the early Mod Revival music. Some of  my earliest recollections beginning in 1980. Two of those very early Mod Revival tracks that stand out most to me, an early precursor if you like and I attach a great deal of happy nostalgia to both these songs nearly forty one years on.

Secret Affair – My World Promo Video 1980

This song always jolts my memory to a return trip from Blackpool, with many members of my extended family. It was a great day, a regular & annual jaunt for my extended family and always reminds me of that day trip. The first time I heard it was Easter Monday 1980. If my memory serves me correctly, it was played on the chart rundown. It mesmerised me as a young 11 year old and sparked my listening in later years to Mod Revival. The arrangement alone of this song is one which I believe speaks volumes of why it continues to be one of the most profound Mod Revival anthems today.

traceymod 2008
Dec 23, 2008

The Lambrettas – Da-a-a-ance

A track that every time I hear transports me back to time when my cousin Joanne, bought the album Beat Boys In The Jet Age, by The Lambrettas. Vivid memories of her in her Mod Revival days, playing that LP & hearing Da-a-a-ance for the first time. Incidentally one which became part of my Mod soundtrack when I was later to form friendships with the Barnsley Mods a few years later. An up tempo and such a happy feelgood track, which brings back countless happy memories for me personally.

Pablo Guerrero Alberola
Jun 9, 2009


1982 – Finding My Feet Musically

As a sensitive teenager with all the angst that comes with it and the morphing of that transition from a child to an adult, nothing was to compare to that prerequisite music of my childhood. However like all teenagers, I was trying to find my feet and subconsciously trying to determine the musical path I was to take.

As I am entering the 54th year of my life and we are fast approaching late October 2022, it’s now 40 years virtually to the week that one of those turning points were to take place. Tuesday 26th October 1982, a day in my life that I won’t forget.  One which was to catapult me 180 degrees in to the periphery of the Mod sphere.

The 1980s Mod Years  – The Mod Girl Years 1982

It’s strange is’nt it? How certain dates stay as constant reminders, the bookmarks within chapters of our life that we never, ever forget. Tuesday October 26th 1982 was certainly one of mine. It was after that night, that I was to dip my toe in the water, so to speak, listening on and off to some New Wave and  Post Punk music, mainly that being by The Jam and my very, very early introduction to the music of Joy Division. To this day, Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division still being in my top 10 all time favourite albums. At the age of thirteen, as with all teenagers, I was finding my feet musically.

Discovering The Jam – Autumn 1982

Mod Subculture - The1980s Mod Girl Years 1982 - The Jam
Mod Subculture – The 1980s Mod Girl Years 1982 – Settings Sons & Snap vinyl – The Jam. – Copyright Jayne Thomas

I remember attending the Halloween Party at the local Youth Club that night, as if it were yesterday.  Whilst some of the music that was played was Post Punk and New Wave, the music consisted very much of mainstream chart music.

However the first real time I heard a plethora of Mod Revival music that night at the local youth club. It was something different, appealing & unique to the ears of an impressionable thirteen year old. And whilst I never personally think of The Jam as a Mod band, however New Wave / Post Punk. They in actual fact were part of that basic foundation of music listening for so many of us that were attracted to the Mod scene in the 1980s.

This track was my catalyst that sparked my listening to The Jam. I was utterly captivated by this track and every time I hear it now, it leaves me with a beaming smile, but yet a little tinge of a feeling of sadness.

The Jam – The Bitterest Pill (I Ever Had To Swallow)

Mar 7, 2012

Beat Surrender – As 1982 Draws To A Close

Within a month The Jam announced their split & I remember seeing Beat Surrender screened on Top Of The Pops, which I thought was brilliant. Even on hearing it now, it still gives me goose bumps 40 years on. Most of all, it never fails to make me smile with so much nostalgic fondness.

The Jam – Beat Surrender

Oct 8, 2009

Concluding the winter of 1982, a time firm that was to etch in my memory was to be an important time in my life’s music calendar. Over the upcoming years and as a result,  one that was to take me on a musical path beginning from listening to Mod Revival progressing to Tamla Motown, 60s Soul, Latin Soul, Boogaloo with some Acid Jazz through to Northern Soul & early R&B. A journey that would shape the person I was to become. Certainly a journey that would last a lifetime.

© 2022, Jayne Thomas. All rights reserved.

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