I have been thinking a lot recently about scooters and in particular getting my hands on a fully restored Lambretta GP. I realise that the sight of an overweight middle aged man riding one would induce hysterical laughter from most people, the trouble is I really don’t care, as I type this I can smell the 2stroke oil and hear that tinny, some would say rather feeble sounding whine of the engine.
I have the remains of a Vespa P200e rusting away in one of S’s many sheds but the prospect of months of work in a cold draughty garage with my head in a Haynes manual isn’t really that appealing.
JC, inadvertently fuelled this desire last week when he posted Shall We Take A Trip by Northside. After reading his piece, it got me thinking of an article the Face did years ago on the second wave of the Manchester/baggy bands, such as the afore mentioned Northside, Flowered Up, Eusebio and a few other also rans. From this article it wasn’t a giant leap of thought to another article in the magazine, I was an avid reader from early on right up until the end, about the Glasgow Scooter scene, an article I missed out being part of by an hour or so.
From when we all got our scooters, it was a regular occurrence to go into the town of a Saturday, go to Mickey Oats to buy various essential parts for our scooters or if really lucky not need any essentials and therefore spend money on unnecessary shiny accessories. Then it would be off to the Barras, where the mods in our midst would go to the incredibly manky OneUp cafe, while I scoured the record stalls for some bootlegs.
In the late 80’s, the head of one of the more infamous scooter clubs in the area opened up a scooter parts shop not far from the Barras and the meat market and we started to get our spares from there, considerably cheaper than Mickey Oates.
One Saturday we arrived to find lots of scooterists milling about outside the shop all dressed in their best gear and their scooters all clean and shiny. When asked what was going on we were informed that some press photographer was coming to take pictures. We decided to hang about but after an hour or so I got bored and decided to ride home and thought nothing more about it thinking that someone was on the wind up only to find out later that it had been true, the photographer had turned up and done his stuff but nobody could remember what mag it was for.
A couple of months later the piece came out in the Face.
This reminiscing has not quelled my desire one little bit for owning another scooter, I realise it is a ridiculous idea and that scooters are nothing but hassle but I don’t think that you ever get the bug out of your system, once a stupid bastard always a stupid bastard.
Oh, and if anybody has a copy of that article I would greatly appreciate a scanned copy as I got rid of all my old Face’s, Jockey Slut’s and the likes 4 years ago when we moved and hate to admit that they went to the local cowp.
The Jam – When You’re Young