Skinhead – Nick Knight

If you haven’t heard of this one, then you must have been living under a rock or something.

Nick Knight followed some East End skins around London for a short time in the early 80′s. The book is divided into sections, and starts with Nick introducing the skinhead in a short 9 part history.

Covering his take on the origins, dress, hair, music, behaviour, authority, decline and revival, the intro to skinhead really is just scratching the surface, and is nothing special.

The next section is ‘This is England! And they don’t live here‘. This was written by Dick Hebridge who chatted to young skin called Harry the Duck in ’81. It’s interesting, but over analysed. Worth the read, as he makes some good points and tries desperately not to tar all skins with the same brush. It’s also interesting to note that this is ’81 – and this was before Skrewdriver made their Last Resort come back and before the introduction of the WNC. A lot of other skinhead literature (especially on the internet) would have you believe that Skrewdriver were solely responsible for creating the far right skinhead, when this couldn’t be further from the truth. The far right had been around a while, and conflicting views on the skinhead’s role within it are presented in this piece.

Jim Ferguson’s fashion notebook makes up the next section of the book. Great little pencil sketches of skins through the ages as he remembers them. Compare this to early photos and stories from books such as Want Some Aggro? and you’ll have a good grasp of how the look developed. This covers just about everything apart from skinhead’s choice of  wristwatch.

Next up is the discography and this is simply a list of the classic skinhead records ’68 to ’71 … nothing special.

Finally we have the photo section, and this is probably the best part of the book. There’s a few familiar faces (if you were there, or have met em at a meet up) and some real gems too, especially the pics taken in skinhead’s homes. There’s a couple of photo booth pics which are really good too, and some snaps taken behind the Last Resort shop.

This is affordable, and must have book for your skinhead bookshelf. You can find it here

 

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