Teddyboy period

By Bert Muller (2014), complemented by Frans en Bully Rebel

Introduction; Teddyboy is a predominantly British subculture that began in the early 1950s among teenagers in London and spread rapidly across the UK and was strongly associated with American rock and roll music. After WWII, Edwardian fashion and its wearers were sometimes called Cosh Boys. The name Teddy Boy was coined when a Daily Express newspaper headline of September 23, 1953 shortened Edwardian to Teddy.

In post-war Britain, rationing continued to influence the fashion industry, and men's tailors in central London devised a style based on Edwardian clothing in the hope of selling it to young officers who were deregistered from the services. The style - with tapered pants, long coats similar to post-war American zoot suits and luxury vests - was not popular with the actual target market, leaving tailors with piles of unsold clothing behind and to recoup their losses, which at cheaper men's clothing stores sold elsewhere in London.

UK teddyboys in the fifties

It was mainly suburban workers who took over and adapted the look ('spiv' and cosh boy associations thereby accelerated the rejection of the middle class) and around 1952 the style of the 'Teddy Boy' began to emerge, gradually spreading over Groot Britain spread.

Teddy Boys were the first youth group in Great Britain to distinguish itself as teenagers, creating a youth market. The American film 'Blackboard Jungle' marked a catchment area in the United Kingdom. When this film was shown in a cinema in Elephant and Castle in South London in 1956, the riots began, cutting chairs and dancing in the aisles of the cinema. Then other riots took place in the country where the film was shown, and even spread to the mainland of Europe, where it survived until the mid-1970s. A final revival was the glamrock with bands such as showaddywaddy, Slade and Mud who then made their appearance but did not get a foothold.

edwardian teddy boys from the UK
The riots is what our generations heard from our parents, uncles and aunts... Frans: "I remember a story that Tiny, the mother of Bert Muller, told in the mid-1970's; When Rock Around The Clock, the film, came out in Eindhoven, SO many greasers and girls showed up, causing the police to panic, and with the "flat cart" driving straight through the Vrijstraat, the crowd got separated with rubber bats and long slats .. And if your surrogate mother tells you that, at the age of 16-17, you will get even more impressed of her, because WE were snottys, but she had experienced that herself, in the 50s ! WOW! "

Bert: 'Itching toe.. couldn't get to sleep and wrote this; In 1975 Frans and I already attended a happening called ''the Rock & Roll meeting'' in a hall called Harmonie in Tilburg. There we saw gentlemen with huge crests in very special clothes. That was something else than our white ties that we wore that day. After some conversations we found out that they called themselves TEDDYBOYS. I found the clothing very special and immediately fell in love with the style. Since the clothing was almost unavailable in the first years, and moreover was very expensive, we had to come up with something else. In those days you didn't have internet but you did have a library, so I was looking for everything I could find about this phenomenon.

The first jacket was a jacket from my father, which I provided myself with a black collar, cuffs and pocket borders. The waistcode was made to fit by my mother using a pillowcase spacers. Frans' s mother adapted a purple jacket with a pink lapel and the rest. They weren't drapes, but we still looked different. Meanwhile I stole a blue drape from the Riot Rockers bassist at the Rock & Roll meeting in the Beekse Bergen (sorry bad example).

1e Rocking Rebels met drapes Bert Muller Frans van Dorst


This 1.5 hr video gives a good impression of the Rockabilly Revival era
recorded in a 1979 at Caister Rock 'n' Roll weekender

Blue Suede Shoes | Curtis Clarck | 20 April 1980 (remastered by Rocking Rebels)

(The video make take a wile to load, so be patient)

When we finished our jackets we went wearing tem one of the first times to the opening of women's fashion store called ''Rock and Roll'' in Eindhoven (1976), which actually did not remain there very long. We were there with Bert van Hout and Johan van Geffen. Long Tall Ernie and the Shakers, Arnie Treffers' band would come to open the shop ..... but they didn't come ... so we are pretty disappointed.

Quite a few people had come and everyone started to look around nervously ..... apparently Long Tall Ernie and his Shakers weren't that well known. They had had a difficult time and some changes in band members that year. Also with music they had a somewhat lesser period with hits such as ''Allright'' and ''Operator operator'', but they usually looked spectacular.

So because of our clothing, people soon thought that it was US !! ha ha .... Well we were not the faintest and played that game along and handed out quite a few signatures .... They were very happy with it and god knows how long they hung above the bed of those fools . DO YOU REMEMBER ....... yes those were ''golden years of Rock & Roll'' people.

Rocking Rebels opening modezaak Rock & Roll Eindhoven

Rocking Rebel Frans in Engeland 1977

March to the BBC - May 15th 1976

In that same year 1976 the singer of the Flying Saucers "Sandy Ford" told us about a meeting in London where as many as 3000 Teddyboys had been; the 'March to the BBC' that took place on May 15th, 1976. Thousands of Teddyboys from all over England had walked to the radio station because there was not enough Rock and Roll to be heard on the radio. (Did deliver a Radio 1 program on Saturday evening) ... So we had to go to London, the mecca for Teddyboy Rock & Roll.

In Oct or Nov 1977 the time had come and we set out on an adventure, three days to paradise, armed with the address of Wild Bob Burgos and the names of some clubs (Black Raven, Adam & Eve, The Black Bull) and a suitcase without handle. We met many people in those days such as 'Rocking Roy Williams', the top DJ of the 'Wild Wax Road show', who would set up “Nervous records” some years later with Whirlwind and Gina and the Rocking Rebels as artists, and The Deltas. We also got to meet THE KING OF TEDDYBOYS “Sunglasses Ron”.

From that trip there were annual trips to England for the Eindhoven Rocking Rebels.

Flying Soucers keep on Comming
Wild Wax Show Poster

Rocking Roy Williams

Rocking Roy Williams

Caister 1979

caister 1979

The Black Raven london

Black Raven

Sunglasses Ron Teddy boy - Ronald Patrick Fahey

Sunglasses Ron

Johan met Sunglasses Ron

Thielen en Amsterdammer in drapes


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