Backbeat: Stepping out in Doc Martens - the boots with real 'soul'
Pete Chambers reviews a new book tracing the sub cultural journey of the ultimate iconic brand.
Doc Martens are the subject of a new book Dr Marten, A History of Rebellious Self-Expression
I’m assuming that there can’t be many reading this who hasn’t worn a pair of Doc Martens at some time or other, or had a relation who did.
It’s the ultimate iconic brand, that’s never really had to try too hard, it’s either DM or it isn’t.
The brand has a huge cultural history, and that’s now been captured in a new book by bestselling author Martin Roach, entitled Dr Marten, A History of Rebellious Self-Expression.
It’s the definitive history of the brand, from the people who wear it.
I’m proud to have contributed to the book, and it’s great to see The Rude Boy’s Bedroom from the museum in full colour over two pages.
I even get my quote highlighted in the book: “I think 2-Tone without DMs is a bit like meat with no gravy, it’s great on its own, but a bit of the ole’ brown makes a world of difference.
“In the nicest way DMs are the ultimate Mash Up, a sub-cultural traveller, that crosses genres with ease.
“If it’s good enough for Pete Townsend, Jerry Dammers and Joe Strummer then you bet it’s good enough for us.
“For instance in The Coventry Music Museum, we have purple Docs that belonged to Special bassman Horace Panter, and high strapped yellow Docs as worn by King’s Mike Roberts. Two very different styles but united in music.”
The book traces the sub cultural journey of the boot from the original skinheads of the late 60s, to Pete Townsend’s high flying guitar hero antics, the Clash and the punk adoption of the DM.
Then came 2-Tone, and the brand really found a home, The Specials, Madness, The Selecter and The Beat, pretty well made Docs their official footwear.
Story Link: New exhibitions and new development at Coventry Music Museum
Docs arrived into my life in the early 70s, on the realisation that there was something real to be part of.
So the early 70s saw myself and the gang wearing the finest togs (Crombies, Stapress, Brutus shirts) and of course DMs.
Indeed Doc wearing for me began in the early 70s and hit a spike in the early 80s with the advent of 2-Tone.
We now have two copies of this wonderful glossy colour 250-page book up for grabs (normally selling at £10).
The Music Museum currently has a King Exhibition running, featuring an array of DM boots.
Tell us what King song features the lyric “Get Your Boots On” and send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 11.
Correct entries will go in a hat, and winners will be required to collect their prize from museum.
Lone Pigeon come to The Tin Music and Arts
The Tin Music and Arts are very excited to be teaming up with the fantastic team at Inspire to bring you an awesome night of live music in the shape of Lone Pigeon.
Lone Pigeon is the working name of Gordon Anderson, a Scottish musician and co-founder of The Beta Band (which was formerly known as The Pigeons) and an integral part of the Fence Collective set up with his brother Kenny Anderson (King Creosote).
After The Beta Band came to an end Gordon rejoined his former band mates John Maclean and Robin Jones to create The Aliens and recorded two albums.
This promises to be a real great night and is a coup as Gordon Anderson has not played in England for over six years.
Lone Pigeon tickets for Saturday, August 29, cost £7 and are available here
Nutty Train at 2-Tone Village
The rude boys and girls of The Manchester Ska Foundation visit Coventry's 2-Tone Village
The rude boys and girls of The Manchester Ska Foundation visited the 2-Tone Village on Ball Hill, and set the record for the longest Nutty Train consisting of 18 people.
The Nutty Train was made famous by London Ska band Madness. We’re wondering if anyone out there can beat the record.
Pete Chambers for Coventry Telegraph
Pete Chambers for Coventry Telegraph