October 16, 2016 3:50 PM   Subscribe

"The Story of Skinhead" is a Don Letts documentary detailing the origins of the Skinhead movement as a fusion of West Indian Black Reggae culture with Working Class white London culture, and how it then changed to become part of football hooliganism, the NF, punk, and Oi. Warning: this video contains strong language, violence, and Gary Bushell. Originally shown on BBC 4.
posted by marienbad (10 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Don Letts previously.
posted by Mike Mongo at 4:16 PM on October 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

I'm only about ten minutes in to this, but so far I'm really liking it.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:26 PM on October 16, 2016

I remember going to see Desmond Dekker years ago with a small group of friends. When we got there, at least half of the audience were skinheads. Though none of them appeared to be boneheads, I remember worrying a bit until Desmond came on and we were all too busy dancing to think of anything else. Happily the night went off without a hitch.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 6:10 PM on October 16, 2016 [3 favorites]

Thank you.
posted by humboldt32 at 6:55 PM on October 16, 2016

I love this.

I was a teenager at the end of the Two-tone second wave ska revival, and I was always entranced by the skinhead aesthetic. Never could bring myself to fully commit though, as even by that state the scene in Australia had already become taken over by the neo-nazi right wing. I wasn't much of a fighter - then or now - and the thought of going to see local ska bands and being beaten up by the nazi skins because I wasn't part of their scene, and by the everybody else because they thought I was a nazi... yeah nah, I'll pass.

Such a damn shame though that a musical and fashion movement that began in the conscious celebration of racial harmony could end up so horribly perverted.
posted by tim_in_oz at 1:29 AM on October 17, 2016 [3 favorites]

I've been wanting to watch this for yonks but never got around to it until now. Scheduled to view it this evening. Thanks for reminding me.
posted by james33 at 4:43 AM on October 17, 2016

It was only when I got to "Gary Bushell" in the trigger warnings that I thought "oh well, better not"
posted by Molesome at 5:43 AM on October 17, 2016 [1 favorite]

To be fair, Bushell isn't too bad and he isn't in it much at all. Well worth watching as he isn't on long enough to piss you off.

I also remember the late 70s/early 80s skinheads. It was strange, as there were the NF skins and the ska skins around at the same time. It was only when I was older that I read about the actual origins of the subculture.

Some of the footage in this is stunning, even the scenes of violence look so 70s.
posted by marienbad at 9:36 AM on October 17, 2016

Thanks for this - I saw about 10 minutes of it the other night on TV round a friend's house but he changed the channel to some crap film. I remember when I was about 11 or 12 we used to go up the city centre on a Saturday afternoon, and if we saw any skinheads we used to shout 'Go boil your heads!', and they would chase us through the shops...
posted by Monkeymoo at 11:03 AM on October 18, 2016

posted by Bob Regular at 11:18 AM on October 18, 2016

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