Re­ally, it all hap­pened

Mojo (UK) - - Theories, Rants, Etc. -

Many thanks for pub­lish­ing David Katz’s ar­ti­cle on 50 years of Tro­jan Records in MOJO 298 – it’s great to see the la­bel get­ting the credit it de­serves for mak­ing so much bril­liant mu­sic avail­able to us. I was sur­prised to see Don Letts being quoted as claim­ing that the orig­i­nal skin­heads of the late-’60s were a “fash­ion” move­ment, in con­trast to the the “fas­cist ver­sion” that would emerge in the mid 1970s. While it is true that skin­heads adopted Ja­maican mu­sic and of­ten mixed with West In­dian teenagers, one of their trade­mark ac­tiv­i­ties, from at least 1969, was at­tack­ing mem­bers of Asian im­mi­grant com­mu­ni­ties. For in­stance, an ar­ti­cle in The Police Jour­nal in 1972 by Al­fred Horobin, a Coven­try police in­spec­tor, de­scribes in de­tail a num­ber of such in­ci­dents which took place in the city as early as 1970. Here, lo­cal skin­heads with a “deep hos­til­ity” towards those of Asian ori­gin sought to copy the racist as­saults which had been car­ried out by Lon­don skin­heads – although they of­ten found that the Asian com­mu­nity was not the easy tar­get that they had imag­ined it to be. If skin­heads started to be linked with fas­cist groups in the mid-’70s, this was partly because many of them had been as­so­ci­ated with racist vi­o­lence from the start. Steve Rigby, Manch­ester

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