Skinhead origins begin in Britain in the mid to late 1960's. Out of a youth cult known as the "Mods," the rougher kids began cutting their hair close, both to aid their fashion and prevent their hair from hindering them in street fights. These working class kidsadopted the name "Skinheads" to separate themselves from the more dainty and less violent Mods. Huge groups of these explosive youths would meet every Saturday at the football grounds to support their local teams. The die hard support for a group's team often lead to skirmishes between opposing supporters, leading to Britain's legendary "football violence." When night swept the island, the skinheads would dress in the finest clothes they could afford, and hit the dance halls. It was here they danced to a new sound that was carried to Britain by Jamaican immigrants. This music went by many names including: the ska, jamacian blues, blue beat, rocksteady, and reggae. At these gatherings the skinheads would dance, drink, and laugh with each other and the Jamaican immigrants whom brought the music to Britian.
During the 1970's, there were many changes in the "typical" skinhead. For some fashion went from looking smooth in the best clothes you could afford with a blue-collar job, to looking like you were at home, even when you were out. For others the disco craze of the seventies hit hard, resulting in feathered hair, frilly pants, and those ugly seventies shoes. By the late 70's the National Front, Britain's National Socialist party, had invaded the skinhead movement. Kids were recruited as street soldiers for NF. Since skinheads were already a violent breed, the NF decided that if their young recruits adopted the skinhead appearance, the might benefit from the reputation. It was at this point that racism permeated the skinhead cult without the consent of its members.
Also by the mid 70's punk had put the rebellion back in rock-and-roll, opening a new avenue for street kids to express their frustrations. The shifting mindset brought kids into the skinhead movement as yet another form of expression. By the late 70's punk had been invaded by the colleges, and record labels, letting down kids who truly believed in its rebellion. From the streets came a new kind of punk rock, a type which was meant to be true to the working class and the kids on the street. This new music was called "Oi!" "Oi!" is short for "Hoi Palloi", latin for "Working Class", and the name stuck. Oi! revived the breath of the working class kids. Because of Oi! music's working class roots, the media scorned its messages unlike they had done with the first wave of punk. With the change in music came a new kinds of skinheads, and the gaps between the different types widened. Aside from the National Front's skinheads, the movement had been simply a working class struggle, rather than a right-left political struggle. With skinheads forming their own bands, political lines began to be drawn on the basis of right-left and even non-political politics. Politically right groups were often associated with the National Front and had distinct racial messages. Leftist groups looked at the working class struggle through labor politics. Non-political groups often shunned both sides simply because they chose to be political. The Oi! movement consumed most of the 1980's and is still alive today.
Skinheads have spread to every part of the globe. Each country supports an independent history of skinhead goals, values, and appearances. The definition of "skinhead" varies from country to country, which doesn't say too much since it also varies from city to city.
Starting in the late 80's, through present day, there has been a large resurgence back to the "traditional" values and appearance of the 1960's skinhead. This has occurred in Britain, America, as well as most of Europe. This has lead to even more tension, this time between "traditional," and "non-traditional" skins.
Influences of punk can be found in the skinhead culture. Skinheads were in existence long before the punk movement came around, and they were in healthy shape. The split in skinhead culture happened about the same time that the skinheads accepted punk. On one side was the traditional skinheads, known as "baldies", and on the other was the racist skinheads, known as "boneheads". Even today there is the negative connotation that skinhead stands for racism, which is hardly the case. But there is also a group that calls itself SHARPs (SkinHeads Against Racial Prejudice; militantly anti-racist skinheads). Skinheads went for a clean-cut look, thus the shaved heads, jeans that fit, plain white t-shirts (sometimes referred to as "wife beaters"), and work boots ("shit kickers"). Tension between the two skinhead cultures exists still today, and an ongoing war is still going on between the white supremacist nazi punk skinheads and the working class anti-racial skinheads.
The names of Oi! bands were sometimes cruel (Dead John Lennons, Millions of Dead Cops).
Main Entry: Goth
Etymology: Middle English Gothes, Gotes (plural), partly from Old English Gotan (plural); partly from Late Latin Gothi (plural)
Date: 14th century
: a member of a Germanic people that overran the Roman Empire in the early centuries of the Christian era
Main Entry: Goth
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Goth emerged in the late 1970's, branching off of the punk scene. A band by the name of Siouxsie and the Banshees are accredited with the starting of the Goths. Gothic music differs from punk to the effect that it eliminated the chainsaw sound of punk and replaced it with a droning sound of guitar, bass, and drums. The Goths also believed that society was too conservative, but they also felt that no one accepted them, so they viewed themselves as outcasts of society. Goths are preoccupied with introspection and melancholia. They are inclined to speak poetically of 'beautiful deaths' and vampiric sympathies. Theatrical as they are, goths are not (or not only) play-acting and self-dramatizing. The Goths wear almost nothing but black, perhaps with a little white or even red. Goth girls have a penchant for nets and lace and complex sinister jewelry; with their long black hair, black dresses and pasty complexions, they look positively Victorian. Boys have long hair and often wear black leather jackets and can at times be mistaken for heshers. Goths dye their hair black and wear black eyeliner and even black lipstick. They usually apply white makeup to the rest of their faces. The music they listen to also carries the name "goth" and seems to have descended from Joy Division, but typically the vocalist uses an especially cheesy 50's Count Dracula enunciation pattern.
Unlikely as it may seem, this