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Karens Story

Name: Karen Westbrook
Born: Barking
Grew up in Hornchurch
Became a skinhead in 1979

The photo was Jay featherstone behind me, Karl Hayes is the little one and Dominic Attard is at the front. We were all friends and they all lived in Manor Park. We were all 14 at the time. It was at the back of the Last Resort, which was a clothes shop which sold skinhead, mod and punk clothing, down the East End near Brick Lane market.

The day it was taken was a normal Sunday down the shop, loads of skins, and if i remember rightly Nick was a skinhead too. He just asked people if he could take their pictures for a book he was doing. We did it for a laugh, never thought about it until a neighbour, years later said she had seen the pic of me in it!! Then my son bought it home from school!

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Like any old American city, Philadelphia is full of famous sights and tourist traps, but with a little guidance from a local, you can discover some great underground bars, people, and events.

One place I can often be found is Tattooed Mom on South Street. Although it’s in a very touristy area, this bar is a diamond in the rough – good food with an ample vegan selection, regular cheap beer specials, and a jukebox that’s always rotating great stuff, including Trojan Reggae compilations, Black Flag, and Cock Sparrer!

If you’re looking for a cheap happy hour bar, The Dive on Passyunk Avenue in South Philly is your best bet. The name says it all – this hole in the wall features happy hour specials and free pizza starting at 5pm, every weekday. Lucky 13 at 13th and Passyunk is another cozy spot that has a friendly staff that DJ everything from indie and classic punk to reggae and 2tone.

The biggest night of the month for me, however, is Moonshot!, at the Barbary in Fishtown, which is just north of Center City. This DJ night features a mix of skinhead reggae, ska, rocksteady, and soul — and best of all, it’s free. This is the one night of the month where all our friends meet up and have some fun with affordable drinks and rare vinyl selections. Another free entry night at the Barbary is Rocks Off! every Sunday night, with DJs spinning a mix of classic punk, rock, power pop, and oi.

But there’s more to Philly than just bars and clubs. The Ritz movie theatres, which are located in Old City, offer a great opportunity to see an indie, foreign, or underground film at a reasonable price. The Wednesday night special knocks the admission price down to only $5.50!

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, visit the Mutter Museum on 22nd street in Center City. It’s a museum of medical oddities, collected from over the years, and features such strange sights as “The Soap Lady” which was a corpse of a woman that had turned itself into a soapy substance.

If you happen to be a scooterist, make sure to catch the annual Independence Day Rally. Every year, on the weekend of July 4th, the Hostile City scooter club – Philadelphia’s overarching scooter association – hosts the Independence Day rally, which obviously coincides with the celebration of 4th of July. The rally includes bar meet-ups, rides through the city, more bar meet-ups, and of course, watching the fireworks that light up the sky over Philadelphia. For the avid brunch fan, they also plan Sunday brunches in various places throughout the city. It would include meeting at brunch, and after there will be a lengthy but informal group ride in the city.

All in all, Philadelphia has many exciting opportunities to get into, even if it is a small city. We have all the fine accommodations any other place would have along with our famous cheese steaks, the liberty bell, many arts murals, and so much more! If any of the events mentioned in the beginning seems to peak your interest, you should definitely visit us in Philadelphia!

Submitted by Sara Heinio

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LA Reggae

It all started with punk rock fever throughout Los Angeles.

I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, and I was influenced at an early age, by the Punk Rock and Oi! Movement. I was introduced to the skinhead scene during the summer before I entered high school, that was my introduction to a brilliant well-respected culture.

The skinhead scene in L..A  is large and widely diverse, not all are united, but share the same passion for their culture and music. Before I was introduced by the older skinheads in my city, to the reggae and ska allnighters, I was drawn to the heavy reggae sounds and ska beats. The scene is, and was, very active, everyone dressed in their button-down Ben Sherman shirts and their freshly polished loafers or Doc Martens.

The heavy sounds of Reggae and Ska bursting through the sound system, caused a wave of euphoria through the crowd of sharply dressed youth. There is a variety of styles and cultures at our L.A. Reggae clubs ranging from Mods, to Rudeboys, and on occasions punk rockers. Our monthly clubs range from Reggae, Ska, Northern Soul, Rocksteady, and 60’s sounds. Some of the most popular clubs that have been around for many years are; Hotshot Sound system, Angel City Soul Club, Soulside, Trojan Lounge, The Long beach Sound Society, and Intensified.

We also have our weekly club. The Rocksteady Lounge known for its early Rocksteady beats and its young and well dressed crowd. Soulside hoste the Soul Invasion rally every year. The rally consist of rides , reggae , soul, ska and a friendly atmosphere , making it a place to meet new and old friends and create unforgettable memories. So if you are ever in mycity, come and check out our reggae clubs.

Everyone is welcome, leave your politics at home and bring you dancing shoes! Since the advent of ebay clothing has become a little easier to get hold of, we like to wear the British styles, like Fred Perry, Ben Sherman and take the more traditional look, rather than the American Hardcore version, popular among some USA Skinheads. The only shop we have here selling the stuff off the peg. is a shop called posers, which sponsors some of our events, its been around for over 20 years in name, but has changed hands once or twice in that time.
sent in by Mod Moi