Blackhumouristpress's Blog

July 30, 2013

Mod Night- Then and Now

Filed under: Uncategorized — blackhumouristpress @ 5:33 am
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Many people, who knew Matt Luc, knew him as either Matt or Luc but not both. Matt’s father was a fan of Westerns and the fictional character named Matt Dillion on the television show, Gunsmoke. Luc’s mother was a fan of the French Jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. One person, two names.
Luc showed up at the hip little club run by an old Mod friend who was intelligent, smooth, musically talented, physically capable black man, immersed in an urban white wonderland of chic lighting, boutique finger food, alternative music to alternative music among twenty somethings who had defected their mundane, predicable suburban upbringings for something beer commercials are made of. Mike wore a pork-pie hat and smiled at Luc from behind the bar as he entered.
Luc scanned the dim room looking for people he knew when there was a Soviet Union, leaded gasoline, Ronald Reagan and… Joan Rivers. Those that remembered Luc remembered a moody Los Angeles kid prone to fist fights, a transplant that never really was a Mod. He was a former Punk Rocker who was drawn to the energy of Ska. Luc stood in the doorway in the same Florsheim penny loafers he wore thirty years ago, with the same Two-Tone checkerboard socks he wore in high school. He wore a fitted black long sleeved shirt, black pants and a black Porkpie hat. The song, That’s Entertainment by the Jam had just started playing through the speakers in the club. The unmistakable strum of the first chord on guitar and the bass line.

Two lovers kissing amongst the scream of midnight
Two lovers missing the tranquility of solitude
Getting a cab and traveling on buses
Reading the graffiti about slashed seat affairs

A song can bring one back like a scent, a photo or something said that brings on déjà vu. Everyone in the room had the scene in common. The idea of an all-nighter dance party with drugs and alcohol and the hope of casual one time sex was what drew the Mods together on Mod Nights. They had been trying hard to capture something that happened twenty years earlier in England. Thin lapel suits, parka coats, bobbed haircuts, dessert boot shirts, Vespa scooters and toe tapping, finger popping Northern Soul, psychedelic rock with intermittent Ska. Warm summer nights, dancing and eyeing someone who caught your eye. Who are you? Where are you from? How did you get into this scene? Where are you going to go to college? What will the rest of your life look like?
Not many could have imagined aging, shackled down by marriage, careers, offspring and bills. Luc took a sip of his drink and thought about coming of age with his convertible Fiat, his Lambretta Scooter, his sanctuary of living on a quiet tree lined suburban street that he returned to after nights of dancing and romancing. There was peace in the stability of returning home to sleeping grandparents who at that time, had the responsibility of paying bills, working full time and worrying about the world, the country and where the economy might be going. We were going to live forever or at least a really long fucking time. Thirty years is a long time and when you’re eighteen, it might as well be forever.
The scooter girls, the lead singer from the local premier Mod band, the guy who was known for looking Mod, the guy who nobody could ever imagine in anything but a sharp three-button suit, who was the glue that kept it together back then and now. They all listened to music, some danced, some drank, all reminisced on a warm summer night. The way it used to be.
Luc never said goodbye to anyone. He walked out as he walked in. Once in his car, he put the windows down and forwarded the More Specials CD to a song called Enjoy Yourself and drove back to reality.

It’s good to be wise when you’re young
‘Cos you can only be young but the once
Enjoy yourself and have lots of fun
So glad and live life longer than you’ve ever done

Enjoy yourself; it’s later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you’re still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as you wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself,
It’s later than you think.


  1. Is Luc suffering from a ‘failure to communicate’?

    Comment by CFO — August 6, 2013 @ 4:45 pm | Reply

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