Frequently Asked Questions:
We’ve received a lot of random questions to our club website email, The59ClubLA@yahoo.com, so we thought it would be a good idea to address the more frequent questions we get. Most of the questions we receive can be answered by simply reading our club history from England or the history on this website. A great source of information about the Club is the website for the London section, which is www.The59Club.org.uk, as well as several books written on our subculture, The Ace Café and the Club itself.
We see a wide range of questions being asked; some appear to be from curious folk who really have no idea what our club is all about or even what a café racer is. Other people seem to have a lot of knowledge about motorcycles, American, British or otherwise, and are familiar with being in a bike club. Some people’s questions revolve around why we favor one style over the other, or why we don’t do things the way they see on TV shows. Rest assured that no matter how informed or stupid the questions are, we have no problem answering it here. And although no one here claims to be a ‘sociology sub-culture anthropologist’ in this subject matter, the information and answers below come from people who have been in this scene for 20-30+ years, and have a vast knowledge of and experience with British motorbikes, the Club history, the Café Racer scene, and the numerous music/style subcultures in the US and the UK. Hope the following is helpful.
1. Your club was originally founded by three parish priests, are you guys a religious organization or a Christian MC?
Neither, we are a registered charity that started out as a church-sponsored youth group. We have no church or religious agenda, we are simply a motorcycle club for riders of classic or vintage motorcycles and Café Racers. Our club ‘forefathers’ were Reverend Fathers who rode motorcycles themselves and offered the bikers of 1960s England a clubhouse for them to gather, socialize and have fun at; they also made it clear that if they wanted to join the 59 Club, religion and politics would never be forced upon them. Although the club was never an endorsement of any religion, Christian or otherwise, the priests did offer spiritual guidance to the young bikers if they ever needed it, and to have their bikes blessed if they wanted it.
2. The original members of your club back in England during the 1960s were Ton-Up boys and Rockers; do I have to follow that music/fashion style to join the 59 Club?
It is true that most of the original members of the club back in its heyday were Ton-Up boys, Rockers and Greasers, but dressing a particular way or following a certain fashion is not a requirement for joining our club or our section. We don’t care what you look like or how you dress, as long as you can dress yourself and look like a responsible person. In fact, several of our members are actual Rockers (some from the UK), but it’s not a requirement. Although if you ride up wearing a parka, Clarks desert boots and a Fred Perry, you might get a sneer or two. (Inside joke for all you former Mods)
3. Is your club a traditional brotherhood that only allows males to become members?
No, our club is fully open to male and female bikers alike, and we do not discriminate against gender, race or ethnicity; those are our traditions. We value all of our members equally regardless of sex or that other stuff. We do have core values that we hope all our members will imbue like; honor, integrity, commitment, responsibility, a sense of camaraderie and pride in our club. The one tradition we value the most is the ability to ride and have fun on long rides, and then enjoy a few rounds of beers with your club mates afterwards.
4. Does your club or section have a president or a military-style structure like a lot of other clubs?
No. As is common in British culture, our rules are unwritten and followed by tradition rather than strict adherence to codes, policies or by-laws. In fact we have very few rules at all, and we have no use for a rigid or formal, military-style structure. Even though the California branch has a chief administrator, and each sub-Section has a Section Leader, we don’t need or use typical officer roles like President, Vice President, Sgt. at Arms, Road Captain or Treasurer, but we do have a Council of Management in London that oversees the Club, with Father Scott Anderson being the current leader of the entire 59 Club. These practices worked for our founding members in the 1960s and this works for us today.
5. Does your club have chapters in other cities or countries?
We do have other officially recognized branches in Canada, Europe, and the U.S., but we do not refer to them as “chapters,” we follow British tradition by using the term “Section.” We have sections in Belgium, Canada, Chicago, France, Germany, Italy, Nebraska, California, Spain, Switzerland, and Washington D.C.
6. Is your club sanctioned by the American Motorcycle Association (AMA)?
NO, we are a British club and therefore sanctioned by the British Motorcycle Federation, or the BMF.
7. I noticed that your club jackets have a small ‘Los Angeles’ patch on them, does this mean your club claims territory?
NO, we do not “claim” any city, state, region, territory or colors, we are not an “MC” and have never been a 1% or outlaw club. Our club jackets are not gang colors or biker cuts (in fact they are Dickies work jackets). The patch on the front of our jackets only signifies that we are members of the 59 Club of England and attached to the specific Section located in that town or county; this helps differentiate us from members in other countries or Sections. Furthermore we do not wear an MC patch or use a 3-piece top & bottom rocker design.
8. If I want to join your club, do I have to be a prospect before I am considered membership? How do you screen for the appropriate kind of person into your club?
No, we do not use the lengthy ‘prospect’ system of recruitment into our club, anyone can join the 59 Club of England as long as you pay your membership and annual club dues to London. The members who run the club in London are unpaid volunteers and use your fees to keep the club running; provide us with registered ID cards; club patches; news letters; and other merchandise. To join the California Section there is a small amount of hazing like record racing from café to café, cracking the Ton, long-distance endurance rides, etc., but we do not use the ‘prospect’ system of initiation either.
The vetting system we use for new members in the California Section is self-regulating and relies solely on your understanding of and agreeing with what our club represents, as well as having a likeminded passion for the kind of bikes we ride. We are fairly exclusive as our standards are high in the California Section, and the kinship you may feel with what we represent is enough of a filter to weed out people who would be happier in other kinds of clubs. Important to know is in order to join the California Section you have to consistently participate in club rides and events, showing up occasionally doesn’t cut it. You also have to get to know the other members before you can join the California section, and more importantly we have to get to know you. Bottom line is we have zero tolerance for personal drama, egos, attitudes, drugs, violence or criminal activity.
9. I own a Harley-Davidson and a custom chopper, can I join?
Anyone can join the 59 Club of England. Important to remember is this is a British club founded in the UK, so our primary focus has traditionally been British, European, Japanese, and Cafe bikes, so naturally the people who will feel most at home in the California section are people who share our passion for these kind of bikes. We do welcome all motorcyclists that are supportive of our traditions and customs, hope that answers your question. We also have no requirement that your bike be a specific engine size to join our club; there are members with 500cc Hondas and Royal Enfield’s, and members with 865cc Triumph Thruxtons and a 1,000cc Thunderbird.
10. Does the club demand a lot of personal time, even over your family or job? Or will I get kicked out if I don’t make a meeting or a ride?
We all have significant others, but the club never comes before family, our personal lives or career, and we never have meetings just for the sake of having meetings. It is also not a secondary source of income, we are a non-profit club, although we do occasionally raise money for charitable causes. Once you have joined the 59 Club with an ID card registered in London, you are a member for life as long as you pay your annual dues.
We don’t ‘kick people out’ for missing a ride or a club event, there are more important things than the club as mentioned before, but ‘flakiness’ or continued unreliablility could be viewed as having lost interest in the club. Also, any ‘conduct unbecoming’ of a club member or a violation of our basic “zero-tolerance” rules, and a California member will be asked to leave the Section. But the only authority that can remove you from actual registered membership resides in London. Really though folks, if you’re just looking for a ‘cool jacket’ with patches so you can brag to your non-biker buddies about ‘being in a motorcycle club’, then please look elsewhere. We want members who actually ride, believe in our club and want to be friends. Bottom line is we ride whenever we feel like it and get together whenever we can, but it’s not mandatory.
11. What are your views on law enforcement, and does the club have any problems with the police?
As mentioned in question #7, we are not a 1% or outlaw club, so we have no problems with cops or the law in general. We support the police the same way we support the military that bravely serves our country, in fact a few of our members work in law enforcement, and we have former military in our section. So if you have a problem with police or the law, we’re probably not what you’re looking for.
12. Do you guys have a club house in Los Angeles or San Diego that you meet up and party at?
Although the 59 Club in London does have a clubhouse that hosts bands, has a room for billiards, and a dance floor, in Los Angeles and San Diego we currently do not. We don’t see the need, plus it costs money to rent or lease a property, and there isn’t anything we would do in a clubhouse that we couldn’t do in a pub or dive bar.
13. Do the black & white colors of your patch have any significance, why those colors?
The original colors in 1959, were black & silver, but later changed to the more popular black & white by 1962. These colors were chosen by our founding reverend fathers because the checkered racing-flags of the day were black & white and racing motorcycles was a popular sport that members were involved in. There are other historical patches with the colors of blue & white; maroon, black & silver; gold, red, and green, that at one time signified roles in the Council of Management, but these are no longer used.
14. Does the name of your club, “The Fifty Nine Club” have any special meaning?
Again no, the year that the church-sponsored youth club was formed in London was 1959, hence the name The 59 Club. Some have theorized that the name 59 is a salute to the original 1950s Ton-Up boys and to 1950s Rock’n’Roll and Rockabilly music, it makes sense based on the history of the Club, but again it is merely a rumor. It was called the 59 Club before the association with the Rockers and Rock’n’Roll music began.
15. How many members are in the 59 Club worldwide?
That info is readily available on the Wikipage dedicated to the Club. Important to remember is that the club has been around since 1959 and has members who were teenagers back in those crazy days in London. So we have members ranging in age from 25 to 45 and original members living in Europe, Australia and England that are now in their 60s and 70s. It’s quite a broad range of diversity and experience that enriches our club history.
16. Is your chapter sanctioned and recognized by the 59 Club of the UK?
Yes, we were in back and forth conversations with the Council of Management for about a year before we were granted permission to begin this new section here in Southern California. We had to show that we had the amount of members in the area to guarantee a successful start, and that we would closely follow the customs and traditions of the original club in London.
17. Are you familiar with Discovery Channels show Café Racer? And have you ever been on it?
Yes we’re excited about the new season of the Café Racer program series, and think the show brings to light in a positive way a little-known subculture that has been around since the 1950s. In fact 59 Club members from Chicago and Dallas, Texas have been featured on the show a few seasons ago and in the monthly magazine.
18. I’ve been a card-holding 59 Club member for many years here in San Diego, I joined the club when I visited England 16 years ago. Are there other 59 Club members here in San Diego?
Yes, there are numerous individual members of the Club living all over the United States, including San Diego. The key point here is that up until now there was never a unified California Section for members to belong to, we are the newest section in the U.S. behind Chicago. We are proud of our humble beginnings and look forward to representing a piece of British motorcycle history here in Southern California. The California Section currently represents members in San Diego County, Los Angeles County, Bakersfield, Monterey Bay, and Orange County.
19. Do I have to be a member of the club to ride with your club?
No, non-members ride with us all the time, and the only way to join our section, if that’s what you are interested in doing, is to ride with us and hang out.
20. Are there other clubs in Southern California with a similar focus?
Yes, not all of the clubs are exclusively Café Racer or British, but it seems to be a common theme. Because of there being so many clubs with the vintage or classic focus, there are always events and rides to attend in L.A., Orange County, Bakersfield, Monterey Bay, and San Diego.
21. I already belong to a club, can I still join yours?
We have no problem with members belonging to multiple clubs, in fact several of our members are also in Ton-Up, British Iron Association, Brit Iron Rebels, etc., but as a club we have to ask you, do you have the time to commit to more than one club at the same time?
22. Are you guys a motorcycle club or a riding club?
In 1960s England there was no such thing as a ‘riding club’ unless you were referring to an equestrian club where you ride horses. Historically we have always been recognized as a motorcycle club within the British and European motorcycle communities here and abroad, but we are definitely not an “MC” as in the American usage of the term. So yes we are a motorcycle club in the traditional sense that we love and ride motorcycles and that is the main purpose of our club, but we also enjoy the camaraderie and social aspects of belonging to an established British club with a long and proud history. To put it simply, motorcycle clubs have existed for 100 years, so you don’t need an RC or an MC patch on your back to belong to a motorcycle club today.
23. Are you guys a “support club” in any way?
If you mean supporting of outlaw or Harley clubs, then the answer is NO!, we have no association with any 1% clubs. Even though we respect all bikers, we don’t run in the same social circles as Harley riders or outlaw clubs; we have our own motorcycle community. We only ride with and support other Cafe Racer, Classic/Vintage, British, Japanese or European bike clubs.
24. Is your club here run by Americans or foreigners, and if you’re Americans why do you ride foreign bikes and not American bikes?
The California Section is run by proud Americans and ex-Pats from England. As to why we choose to ride the bikes we do; it’s called ‘freedom of choice’ and ‘personal preference,’ two important universal concepts. We cherish the freedom to choose whatever we want and not having to go along with what’s trendy, popular or mainstream (like choppers, cruisers, and sport bikes), and we value non-conformism. We have absolutely nothing against American motorbikes, we just prefer ‘foreign bikes,’ as you put it, call it personal taste, in fact some of us grew up on these kind of bikes. We also love American hot-rod cars, but the whole ethos of this club is our passion for British motorbikes and Cafe Racers.
25. How often do you guys ride and where do you guys have your rides?
We usually plan our official club rides far in advance, and try to get as many members and non-members together as possible. As far as unofficial rides, we usually get together every weekend, but we don’t plan or schedule these rides. Spontaneity and whim are usually the deciding factors as to when and where we’re gonna ride.
26. Do I have to ride a vintage bike, a café racer or a British bike to join the Los Angeles or San Diego section?
Even though our club roots lay in the British bike scene of the 50s and 60s, we are not exclusively a café racer bike club; we also love Italian, Japanese and German bikes as well, and they don’t have to be vintage or in the café racer style.
27. I’m little confused about the Rocker subculture, they existed in 1960s England and were into 1950s music?? I thought they were into Heavy Metal or Rock music, and I’ve never heard of them being into Café Racers. I looked online for an answer with no help.
I can understand your confusion, so here is a bit of history; in 1950’s England young motorcyclists were known as “Ton-Up boys” and they rode British motorcycles, mostly in the Café Racer style, and they got their name from riding at 100 mph on the motorways (freeways in the U.S.) around North London, hence the term ‘Ton,’ they were also very much into 1950’s American Rock’n’Roll music. Their particular style, was mostly functional; leather trousers or Levi jeans, tall motorcycle boots, seaboot hose socks, goggles over open-faced helmets, black leather jackets, sheepskin flying jackets or wax-cotton jackets, and silk scarves to protect from the cold and rainy elements of England. Most of their chosen style was influenced by the Royal Air Force pilots (RAF) of WWII, but also from the Teddy Boys (another British subculture that existed in the 1950’s) who were also fans of Rock’n’Roll music. Paralleling the whole scene was Rock’n’Roll which originated in the United States and was widely popular, but largely met its decline in America by 1959, and was followed by 60’s Love Ballads, Surf Rock, Garage Rock, Blues Rock, Folk Rock, and British Beat music. Yet in the United Kingdom, many British-born artists carried on the original formula and passion of Rock’n’Roll from the late 1950’s all the way thru to the mid 60’s in England. What has created some confusion is that the term “Rock’n’Roll” has become synonymous with Rock music in general, and people mistakenly refer to many bands from the 60s, 70s and up to today as “Rock’n’Roll bands,” which couldn’t be further from the truth. What is more accurate is that Rock (or “Classic Rock”) and Rock’n’Roll are actually two very distinct and different types of music, each with their own beginnings and cultural impact on society. Other than the original American and British musicians from the 50s and 60s that are still alive today, no one is playing new or mainstream Rock’n’Roll music, although Rockabilly (an offshoot of Rock’n’Roll) is still very popular all over the world.
Overlapping this cultural and music history in the early 1960’s was where the Ton-Up boys style evolved into the Rockers; the term Rocker was originally a term of insult leveled at the Ton-Up boys by yet another British subculture, the Mods. The Mods were a subculture into the idea of ‘Modernism’ and a complete rejection of the past; this is where the conflict arose between the white-collar Mods and the blue-collar Rockers. Mods wore the newest Italian fashions, including Italian-cut suits, rode Italian scooters such as Vespa’s and Lambretta’s, and listened to Jamaican Ska, British Beat music, and the newest American R&B, Soul and Motown sounds. Rockers, with their 50s-era style and music choice, were viewed as an antiquated, lower-class continuation of the 1950’s. In fact the Rockers were not just a continuation of the old, but an evolution in style. The Rockers style evolved carrying with it the original look of the 50s Ton-Up boy, but also taking new influence from the 50s American Greaser subculture (as portrayed in the Marlon Brando film The Wild One). This mixed style developed into a uniquely iconic British look with the adaption of patches (including a 59 Club patch), chains, studs, pin-badges, and painted artwork on their leather jackets. This specific style eventually became a uniform, a rite of passage, and matter of pride among Rockers, and helped distinguish the Rockers style from the Ton-Up boys before them, who generally preferred their leathers clean and undecorated. Even though the Rockers were very much a product of 1960’s England, their roots were still deeply planted in British and American 1950’s biker culture and Rock’n’Roll music. The style of the British Rockers was later copied by several other subcultures that came along almost 2 decades later; both the Punk Rock and Heavy Metal scenes borrowed heavily from the original Rocker style, especially the motorcycle jackets, the Engineer boots and the Creeper shoes that were worn, but in the UK the term ‘Rocker’ would forever be associated with 1950’s Rock’n’Roll music and British Café Racer motorcycles.
In the U.S. the term ‘Rocker’ is used very differently and has an even shorter history. Since the 1970’s the term has been associated with long hair, head-banging, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, and musicians that play Rock music or fans that follow that particular style, but absolutely no association with 50s Rock’n’Roll, greased hair or British motorcycles. So the confusion for most Americans comes from the fact that there are 2 different subcultures in 2 different countries using the same name. But the British usage of the term has had a growing fan-base here in the U.S., and The Fifty Nine Club’s purpose and existence here in America serves as a promotion of this uniquely British subculture which includes the café racer scene and the Rockabilly music that was the backdrop. We feel it is important to know and understand the history behind the café racer scene of today and the people that rode them over 60 years ago in the United Kingdom.
28. Is there a difference between a “Rocker” and a “Café Racer”?
Yes, in the 1950’s and 60s the term ‘café racer’ was not just a style of motorcycle, it was also a nickname for the Ton-Up boys and later on the Rockers, other popular nicknames were ‘leather boys’ or ‘coffee-bar cowboys.’ The term was mostly a derogatory one used sarcastically to make fun of the young motorcyclists because they emulated the Isle of Mann TT racing heroes of the time, but didn’t actually race on the track, only from café to café at 100mph which was known as ‘doing the Ton’.
Today the term is used a bit differently, it refers to the thousands of riders all over the world who prefer to ride café racer bikes, vintage or new, but who do not follow the very specific uniform style of the British Rocker or the love of 50s Rock’n’Roll and Rockabilly music. These ‘new‘ Café Racers have created a look all their own mixing together functional style elements of Punk Rock, 70s Biker, American Greaser, and the modern motorcycle rider. Today there is a very distinct difference between those who follow the rockers subculture and those who merely ride café racer bikes. The bottom line (that most Rockers will tell you) is, “…..just because you wear a motorcycle jacket and ride a Triumph Thruxton on the weekend doesn’t make you a Rocker, that smart British look, that started with the Ton Up boys in the 50s and evolved in the 60s, is a full-time, working-class uniform that has maintained for over 50 years, and like any music & fashion subculture, be it Mod, Punk or Teddy Boy, it’s also a lifestyle that requires strict adherence to its original style elements and details.”
29. What makes a bike a “café racer” bike?
Very simply, changing the stock or factory parts with aftermarket parts to make it go faster and look like a racing bike of that era, which means changing carburetor settings; air-intake settings; changing the petrol tank for a larger, higher capacity one; changing the foot-pegs for rear-sets; removing the restrictive factory silencer for an open silencer (or less restrictive); replacing the stock seat for a single-rider racing seat, and lastly changing out the handle-bars for either clip-ons or a one-piece Ace bar or Club-mans. Modern factory café bikes consist of the new Royal Enfield GT Racer, the new Norton 961, the 750cc Moto Guzzi V7 Classic, and the ubiquitous 865cc Triumph Thruxton, but traditionally meant a stripped down British or Japanese bike from the 50s thru the 70s. Today the most popular café bikes are Japanese bikes from the 70s and 80s because they are cheap and easy to find, but the quintessential café racer bike that most purists aspire to own is the Triton, a hybrid of the Norton Featherbed frame and a Triumph motor. Other bikes that were equally popular during the 1950s and 60s were the Norton Manx, the TriBSA, the Norvin (a Norton Featherbed frame and Vincent v-twin motor), and BSA 646cc Road Rocket. Hope that answers your question Dave.
30. Are Rockers part of the Rockabilly music scene, and if so what other groups are part of that scene?
Although lesser known in the United States, yes Rockers are part of the worldwide Rockabilly community; what makes the Rockers unique is that they are not only a music & fashion subculture, but also a British biker subculture. Within the Rockabilly scene there are other subcultures as well, some that originated in the UK, like the Teddy Boys and the Rockers, and others that originated in the USA, like the Rockabillies, Greasers and Psychobillies. For this reason there are lots of similarities in style among the five different subgroups; for example greased hair styles, cuffed Levi 501 jeans and leather motorcycle jackets are common items worn by all five of the groups, yet each group has specific style elements that are unique to their specific sub-culture; for example only Teddy Boys wear Edwardian coats and bolo ties; only Rockabillies wear blue Suede shoes and 50s-style suits with shirt collars worn outside the coat lapel; only Rockers wear silk scarves, sea-boot hose socks under their boots, and heavily decorate their leathers; whereas bandanas, Dickies jackets, and Converse All-Stars are mainly worn by American Greasers, these are just a few examples.
31. What is the difference between Rockers in the USA and Rockers in England?
I am going to do my best to answer this question within the parameters of the subject content in this Q&A forum because Question #27, paragraph 3 answers your question quite accurately, but I will again clarify; the usage of the term ‘rocker’ in this country, the USA, is a completely different scene or subculture than what is talked about on this 59 Club ~ California website or in this Q&A section. The term ‘rocker’ here in the States means a fan of Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Classic Rock or Rock music, and the long-haired fashion associated with that particular scene; other names for that fan-base would be a ‘Headbanger’ or ‘Metalhead.’ The music media in the US also uses the term ‘rocker’ synonymously with the terms ‘rock musician’ or music celebrity; for example: the Rocker Jon bon Jovi, the Rocker Marilyn Manson or the Rockers from The Foo Fighters.
In the United Kingdom the term ‘Rocker’ means something completely different and has a longer history dating back to the 1950’s. In the UK the Rocker subculture is not only a biker subculture revolving around British motorcycles and café racers, it also is a music & fashion subculture revolving around 1950’s Rock’n’Roll and Rockabilly music. The particular style of the British Rocker originated in the UK during the 1950s with the Ton-Up boys, who’s style was influenced by the Spitfire pilots from WWII. RAF pilots at that time were known for their flare with the use of silk scarves, sea-boot hose socks, leather jackets, goggles, and Brylcream in their hair . The Rockers style evolved in the early 60s with influences from the American Greaser subculture (as in the film The Wild One with Marlon Brando), specifically the Levi 501s that were worn cuffed. During the late 60s and early 70s the Rockers style evolved yet again when the passion for café racers was replaced by ‘Western-style’ high-rise handlebars, chopped fenders and stretched front forks, and their look became more scruffy and less sharp, with longer hair and sleeveless denim jackets, as they were now known as Greasers (not the American Greaser style). With the virtual death of the entire British motorcycle industry in the mid-70s, the Rockers subculture all but died out until the mid-80s when Rockabilly music had a revival, and Rocker Reunions hosted by Len Patterson (an original 59 Club member), were initiated to revive the original scene – the Café bikes, the original 50s and 60s sounds, and the best style elements from all three phases (Ton-Up boy, Rocker, Greaser) of the Rocker subculture. Today all three names are used interchangeably in the UK, but primarily referred to as “Rockers,” although some original motorcyclists from the 1950s, who were the proud trailblazers of the subculture before the 59 Club came around, prefer not to be called Rockers, they proudly hold onto the Ton-Up boys title.
So to answer the question I feel you are trying to get at; yes there are several dozens of American motorcycle riders, from Southern California to Chicago, from Texas to Connecticut, who follow the British Rocker subculture and style. Call us purists or revivalists, we all meticulously adhere to the original British style like a uniform, on-or-off the bike, and yes we all love vintage Café Racer bikes, Rockabilly, Rock’n’Roll, tattoos, greased hair, and that original style that originated in England 60 years ago. Hope this finally answers your question Susan, I can always go into more detail.
32. What is the difference between Rock, Rockabilly and Rock’n’Roll?
I actually saw this one coming Susan so here goes; Rock’n’Rolls roots lay in the American music of the 1940s, it slowly developed from a lot of different Southern influences, mostly African-American music of that era like the Blues, Jump Blues, Gospel sounds, Jazz, R&B, but also from Western Swing and the Big Band sound of WWII. This music evolved into what became known as Rock’n’Roll in the early 1950s with bands like Bill Haley & the Comets, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Buddy Holly. The saxophone and piano were two of the leading instruments in the music.
Rockabilly originated from a fusion of Rock’n’Roll and Country music, (which was known as ‘Hillbilly’ music at the time), it was the term ‘Rock‘ from Rock’n’Roll, and the term ‘Billy‘ from Hillbilly music that lead to the name Rockabilly. And of course we all know the most important figure in the development of Rockabilly was Elvis Presley, but he was certainly not alone in the rise of this music genre; Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Johnny Cash, Johnny Burnette, Billy Fury, Cliff Richard, Vince Taylor, and Carl Perkins to name a few American and British musicians, played a very strong hand in the evolution of the sound, and with keeping it alive into the mid 60s in the UK after it declined in popularity in America in 1959.
Lastly, Rock music developed in the early 1960’s from the influences of Rock’n’Roll, the Blues, Electric Blues, R&B, Folk, Soul, the Surf Guitar sound, and Country music. The genre of Rock music would lay the foundation for numerous offshoot sounds and movements like Garage Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Glam Rock, Blues Rock, Folk Rock, and much later on Punk Rock. Some of the earliest Rock bands of the 1960’s were the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Animals, Small Faces, the Kinks, and the Yardbirds; this early Rock music had a large Mod fan-base, in fact the Who was exclusively known as a ‘Mod band’ due to their clothing style during the 1960’s.
33. For Susan, David, and Jared, here are some books you might find interesting due to your curiosity about our club and our scene, these are ‘must-reads’ if you really want to learn about this scene:
34. I noticed you guys changed your website from “Los Angeles Section” to “California,” how come?
That is correct, we felt that as our Section has grown in the last 5 years beyond it’s original base with new members in different counties, it was important to recognize where we have grown specifically and acknowledge this by renaming our section. We now have officially recognized sections in Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Monterey Bay, and Bakersfield, with each autonomous sub-Section having its own leadership, rides and events.
35. I was wondering if there were any other motorcycle clubs from England founded by parish Priests or based on what years they were founded?
Yes, there were actually a few others, but only two that I can remember specifically, there was the ’64 Club started by Father Bill Garnall, and there was also a ’69 Club coincidentally also started by Father Bill Shergold. The Sixty Nine Motor Cycle Club still exists today, but even though it was begun by Father Bill Shergold, it never had the popularity or iconic association with the Ace Café, the Rockers, or Rock’n’Roll music that the 59 Club did. Important to note is there are currently two separate clubs in the United Kingdom referring to themselves as the “69 Club,” one that is exclusively a gay/lesbian club started in 1965, and the other started by Bill Shergold, that is not. Here is their URL: http://www.69motorcycleclub.co.uk/
36. What’s this news of the 59 Club being merged with the Ace Café?
For the last year or so the Council of Management of the 59 Club UK has been in talks with the Ace Café management staff to look into the possibility of merging the Administrative duties and functions of the Club with the staff functions of the Ace Café. For many years now the 59 Club has been hampered by an antiquated indexing and membership renewal system that was further affected by the fact that unpaid volunteers from the Club have been trying to handle the insurmountable task of responding to emails, taking-in international money orders, answering subscription and membership requests arriving by regular mail, and filling orders for Club patches and regalia, all on their own without the help of modern computers. Because of the modern business practices of The Ace Café and their computerized Admin system, the decision was made to merge those aforementioned Club functions and duties with the Ace for the betterment of the Club and to lessen the stress and workload on the Clubs’ unpaid volunteers. As of now (February, 2015) Club members can now go to the Ace Café website and use their home computer for all Club-related business; new memberships, renewals, purchase of new patches, etc., and credit cards can now be used for any purchases made by international customers or Club members living in the North America or Europe.