It is funny but I never really thought about it, how long it has been since I started growing my hair and wearing the leather and cut, not until my step-daughter had her 30th. Back then, when I was 17, I was introduced to Rock and Roll/Heavy Metal by a work mate who became a firm friend for many years until he left and moved to London. But by leather jacket I brought for £65 in Chelmsford market, along with the studs, so my jacket is has old has she is, makes you think, well it does me anyway. 2/3 of my life and I am still in that jacket. The studs were added one night a year or two later, after a heavy drinking session, and inspired by several of the top Rockers in music at that time. The artwork, if you can call it that, Lovecraft, was added about ’91 after I saw a five piece all women rock and roll outfit from North London, and I started following them across the country taking pictures both on and off stage until they imploded because of the rhythm guitarist. But I digress.
I have not really changed the way I look over these years, black jeans, usually combat boots, shirt untucked with either a waistcoat or denim cut over the top and the Jacket, unless it is very warm, then just the cut. But I am viewed has a scruff-bucket, especially by mum, who has been trying to get me to dress nice, but what people do not realise is that I am wearing a suit, jacket, waistcoat (cut), shirt, trousers (jeans) and boots, all matching and tied together by the style of being a Rocker. I do not have any additional holes in the jeans which is very fashionable at this time, has well has a denim jacket which is shredded at the back. So by rights I am actually tidy by comparison, which is as funny as hell to me.
But I do wear a suit, business suit that is. A nice 3 button jacket with off the rack in black trousers and a leather fronted waistcoat with a slim black tie and either a white, black, or mid green combat shirt and hair tied back rather than, as usual, loose. Has usual I have combat boots on my feet polished (usually) to a high sheen. But I worked for the NHS for 18 months and I wore that suit every day at work, and I also use it for interviews. But those who know me around here are use to seeing me in the other suit, the “Heavy” or “Scruffy” suit. I am very comfortable in my leather and jeans, but I am also comfortable in the work suit, but Friday just gone I had to go for a mock interview at the job centre, and while some who had to also go turned up in their usual tracksuit (come on even I would not class that even close as a suit) I turned up in my three-piece suit. 4 people commented on the fact that I was dressed up. Mock or real, it was an interview regardless.
The first one to comment was one of my neighbours who asked why I was dressed up, am I going anywhere nice? The second was my advisor at the job centre who said very nice Dave, very smart. To which I thought do not get use to it. One of the guys I have spent the last week on this training course with walked past me and did not even recognise me, come on, same face and beard and glasses. The third one was the advisor who was doing the interviews on that floor who actually thanked me for making an effort. Needless to say I may have got the job were it a real interview, but there you go, if the Gods want me to work then I will get the interview and get the job. All I can do is try to get a job by applying for all which are suitable for me. The forth one who commented was by far the funniest (in the nicest way possible) and had me smiling for the rest of the day and still smiling now thinking about it. I went to pick up a prescription from the Doctors and I was waiting and one of the girls came out from the back, saw it was me and asked if I was picking up, I said yes then she turned round a really looked at me, granted I had my baseball cap on and my Greatcoat due to the fact it was raining but she asked why are you all dolled up, you look gorgeous and she carried on throwing compliments at me while I was standing there laughing because of her reaction, and answering her questions. The rest of the girls came out to see what the fuss was about and were smiling at me, but being has they have seen me suited and booted when I was working for the NHS and for other interviews I have had they know what I look like in a suit. I said I never usually get these compliments when I come in here and she said that is because I usually have my heavy stuff on, meaning my Rocker.
But I am still me, regardless of what I am wearing, still the guy who gives a shit about others, very polite, unless I have been crossed, then not so much. Regardless of if I am suited and booted or scruffy I do not change, still have the beard and hair, still have Girlschool, Judas Priest, Motorhead et al blasting through my earphones. But it was nice that someone cared enough to make a fuss over me, but I fear she will be disappointed next time I see her, has I will be in the leather, unless I have another interview at the time I need to go in to the doctors.
But it springs to mind what do people really see, everyone has a story, where they come from, how they got to where they are now, some have had a better life and a much better journey than I have (Gods but I hope so anyway) and some have had a worse journey than I have, and it is this journey which makes me, you, and everyone what we are now, right this second, as on the morrow we all may be different to what we are today. I remember when Lemmy died, and I was reading posts on a newspaper regarding this, and one woman said “He looks vile, looks like he has fleas” and I thought, but you no nothing about him or his life, how he was both on stage and off it. Regardless of if he had died, what a thing to say about someone who you know nothing about. And then I had a comment from a woman who walked passed me with her daughter who said “He looks scary” WHY, just because I have long hair? A studded leather jacket? Glasses? Beard? I could have asked but I did not want to terrorise them by actually talking to them, that may have given the mum a heart attack had I actually spoke to them.
Granted I do have a set view regarding some, Skinheads are one such group of people who I do not like at all, but considering that most of them are Racist Morons verging on Neo-Nazi, if not beyond that, I can not help it, and Trackies, those who wear matching tracksuit top and bottoms, usually colour co-ordinated like gang colours. If I see a large group walking towards me I am steeling myself for a scrap, but they always pass without incident, but again because I have my music on I do not hear I they pass some derogatory comment once they have passed. But outside that I treat everyone with Respect until I know better. I will talk to people if they want or need to talk, despite the fact that I really am uncomfortable talking to people who I do not know, but if someone is in trouble then I will help if I can.
But how many of my Bothers and Sisters of the Springfield Rockers back in the ’80’s are still Rockers? There was suppose to have been 150 of us all told, and I have come across the 5 year Rocker many times, just a faze I was going through, but for me it is a way of life, it is not fashion, nor religion, nor and excuse and differently not a mid-life crises, not for 30 years. Just a way of life, and I wear it well I think.