Britain’s Aging Rebels

Father and son, Runcorn

The Rebels Without a Pause series by British photographer Muir Vidler’s series was born when he was working for a gay scene magazine and met this guy in his 60’s dancing alone at a club wearing leather pants and harness. Instead of sitting at home in front of the TV like most men at his age would likely be doing, that guy was out, enjoying life, on his own terms. The scene sparked an idea: reach out tho those people out there who don’t let their age define who they are, what they wear or how they act. This portrait series by Vidler celebrates their life and vitality.


Mick and Peggy Warner, Mick: “We was all in the Isle of Wight when we saw a Ted with two girls in a cafe. I pointed him out to my son and said, ‘that’s what you want to be my boy’. So he did didn’t he. We didn’t force him like. He liked it and started bopping. But he don’t no more though. Even though we always got our hair in and wear all the gear we’re too old to bop now. I used to do the smooch with Peg but I can’t even do that anymore now. It makes my blooming back ache. So that put the Kibosh on that.”


John G. Byrne: “I’m an original skinhead from 1969, however like most gay skins I still see myself as being young. I like to knock around with younger people and get used to the new things. All the young guys I know now are always talking about ‘poonani’. It makes me feel up to date and younger to keep up with new slang. I suppose in 10 or 20 years people will stop saying ‘poonani’.”


Sid Ellis: “In my spare time I either go to fetish clubs or do needlepoint. I like medieval tapestries.”


Isobel Varley: “I first got tattooed when I was 48. I liked it so much I just kept going for it. I’ve also got piercings. I’ve pierced my ears, nose, nipples, bellybutton, clitoris and everywhere else. I’ve done some wild things in my life but I’ve no regrets. I love my tattoos and I’m really glad I’ve had them done.”


Steve ‘Bell Boy’ Bell – The Odd Mod Squad: “Every few years they talk of a Mod revival. That means nothing to us. We’ve never gone away.”


Frankie ‘Knuckles’ Lacy: “I’ve been a Ted since 1958. Rock and Roll gets in your blood and you can’t just get rid of it. I’ve been rockin’ since the 50’s and I’m still rockin’ through my 50’s.”


Ray Cook and Steve Howard, Steve: “They call me Jurassic Mod ’cause I’m the oldest one in the club now.”


Adrian Delgoffe: “For me it’s fantastic to be in the company of younger people. I find my contemporaries dreadfully boring. Sometimes they shout at me to grow up but I think they’re just jealous. I didn’t have much of a youth. I was always either ill or with old people. I think I’m reverting back to a childhood I didn’t have.”


Ruairidh Clarke, Member of the Freedom to be Yourself Campaign; a group of naked protesters campaigning for legalized non–sexual public nudity.


Paul Elvis Chan: “When I sing I feel the spirit of Elvis flowing through me. What I do is very serious.”


Danny Lynch – the Great Stromboli: “I’m 45 plus VAT now and I’ll be breathing fire even after they bury me, the bastards.”

via Feature Shoot