Tony Beesley: Sawdust Caesars - Original Mod Voices

The mod scene traced back to the 50s, in the words of its main players.

Why you can trust Louder Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Sometimes, for a writer to tell a story, they just need to shut up.

This ‘in their own words’ oral history of the mod movement restricts the author’s narrative to introductions at the start of each chapter, but the words of the original protagonists give a clearer picture of how history unfolded than most written-through tomes could hope to achieve.

The author knows everyone who was anyone on the mod scenes from the 50s to the noughties and has the photos to further bring their clothes, attitudes and tall tales to life. Light on cultural theory but heavy on eye-witness detail, it busts a lot of myths that have grown up about the scene (the title re-coins a phrase used by a judge to describe mods after the much-misunderstood mods vs rockers 1960s clashes in Brighton), and for anyone interested in the real story of youth culture, as told by people who lived it rather than wrote theses about it, this book is an essential purchase.

Johnny Sharp

Johnny is a regular contributor to Prog and Classic Rock magazines, both online and in print. Johnny is a highly experienced and versatile music writer whose tastes range from prog and hard rock to R’n’B, funk, folk and blues. He has written about music professionally for 30 years, surviving the Britpop wars at the NME in the 90s (under the hard-to-shake teenage nickname Johnny Cigarettes) before branching out to newspapers such as The Guardian and The Independent and magazines such as Uncut, Record Collector and, of course, Prog and Classic Rock