About

Ruadhán J McElroy (don’t ask what the J stands for), contrary to The Field Guide to the Urban Hipster‘s section on Mod’s “goth into Mod” flowchart morphed from one scene to the other via neither The Smiths, nor The Clash: It was Roxy Music and then Dexys Midnight Runners (who cite Ferry & Eno as a major influence, which I’m guessing is the reason they came up on the “personalised Internet radio” stream that essentially saved my life —and, of course, The Kinks were a dominant influence on Roxy Music), which naturally led to Secret Affair (due to the connection via drummer Seb Shelton). The rest, as they say, is history. ;-)

Of course, I would have come around, eventually. The Who were always one of my favourite bands, the first DVD I ever bought was a second-hand Rhino restoration of Quadrophenia (purchased around 2001), and the “Goth look” I adopted in high school was very geometric, sported a men’s Claiborne suit jacket, and by my own admission was very Mod-influenced.

Of course, I’ve always been “that weird kid”, and never perfectly fit in with any one fashion-and-music-based subculture perfectly, even though I can wander relatively easily between Mod, Goth, Punk, and Glam.

I’m a classically trained singer (currently in a comfortable tenor range) and have been writing stories and informative pieces pretty much since I was about five (I started reading at the age of two). I had a band the summer of 1997, 13 Chester Street, and I’m in the process of forming a new band with the same name. From 2001-2003, I was the music editor of a short-lived alternative culture magazine that folded due to lack of funding from advertisers. I’ve DJ’d New Wave since 2002 and Mod Revival since 2006 in cities including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Detroit, Salt Lake City, and Ypsilanti, Michigan.

This blog is not a 1960s retrospective and it is not a Mod 101 site. You can check the links in the sidebar for my favourites among those sorts of sites. I figure other people are doing that well enough, and why do yet another blog along those themes when it would just get lost among far better blogs? As André Gide once said: “What another would have done as well as you, do not do it. What another would have said as well as you, do not say it; what another would have written as well, do not write it. Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself — and thus make yourself indispensable.” With this blog, I hope to shine a light on the parts of the Mod scene that can get lost by the 1960s re-enactment party and the misplaced nostalgia, and offer something that looks at music of the years from the mid-1970s to present, the art, the fashions, and even discuss the subculture’s relationships with the “splintered” factions and what came of that; I wish to look at this with the historical knowledge I’ve gathered from years of independent study of the subculture, add my personal opinion when necessary, and even a little bit of humour —because at the end of the day, I can laugh at myself, and I invite the world to join in.

On a more personal note…

I live with my humanoid meat-based housemate in a small house in Lansing, Michigan. I have a young black cat (1 year old in June 2013) named Nigel Prancypants, and after the death of my elder cat, Vermin von Fluffybottom (age 13; cancer of the gums), I’ve inherited the “kitten” I got for her six years ago, a calico named Chunk McBratface. If you don’t give your cats surnames, you are abusive and neglectful!

I’m a liberal / progressive Socialist, and also a Hellenic polytheist honouring the pantheon and festival cycle of ancient Boeotian; I blog about that more at Of Thespiae. I’m also a classical Hedonist synthesising fragments of the Cyrenaic school of Aristippus, the Pluralism of Empedocles, Existentialism, and have taken a philosophical approach to Dandyism.

I’m an androgynous man of FTM history. My sexuality is probably best defined as the incredibly unspecific “queer” —I generally find men and women equally attractive, and I’m sexually interested in men and women who I know or believe to have certain specific traits and can perform certain sexual activities with myself. I’m not “demisexual”, in fact I might be hypersexual, I just have specific types; I’m not “pansexual”, as that tends to imply that I still think about the genders of the people I’m sexually compatible with as being a part of my “sexual orientation”. That said, by sheer numbers, more men fit with my sexual interests than women, but I find women generally more attractive.