1.Why did you establish the shop?
I worked in an office for 25 years and so spent a lot of time day dreaming ; dreaming of doing a job that I enjoy rather than just trundle through the day doing. I’ve always loved scooters and done the scooter rallies and I loved the clothes. When I’ve got made redundant they all just seemed to come together. I’ve always fancied opening a shop so I might as well connect them together and here we are. That’s how the shop come about, its something I wanted to do rather than being told what to do.
That’s how the shop come about.
2.What were the brands you wanted for the shop?
Obviously Fred Perry was the main brand I wanted. And then they’re quite tough criterias to get. The brand has to sit well with other brands and the shop has to be to a certain criteria as well. It wasn’t easy. I knew someone and I took him out for dinner and then next thing I knew we had Fred Perry so that was okay. Ben Sherman was a brand that I wanted but we don’t actually sell it anymore for various reasons. Pretty green got them. That was the hardest, they took a few years but got them in the end. Gabici, Merc which had been in Carnaby street and one of the shops I used to go when I was young so it was quite nice to get them don’t sell a lot of it, but there all pretty much to do with the lifestyle that I lead, be it scooters, or music. Just the mod scene in general, so yeah, quite happy with all the names.
3.Why do you like scooters?
I had my first one when I was about sixteen, seventeen. I was a little mod then in a parka with all the stuff, the partner, the culture, the lifestyle in the 60s, and cheap transport came over from Italy. After the war, the recession and the hard times, kids had a bit of money and they could afford little run around bikes or scooters. I bought my first vespa when I was seventeen and I had hundreds since, well not a hundred but a load since. I just had a lot, different vespas and lambrettas.
4.Can you talk about the Fred Perry collar story?
The Fred Perry was the first sport fashion wear when after we won the tennis back in the 50s, 60s. It was first a plain one polo shirt with a logo and then the story goes that lads used to take their plain polo shirt to tailors down in Brick Lane in the Eastend and some WestHam fans took theirs there and ask them to put the claret and the blue on the collar. That’s how Fred Perry, apparently, got the tipping on their polo shirts come about because of people asking for their football colours to get on it.
5.Can you tell us a little bit about small faces?
There were a mod band in the 60s. A proper mod band in the sense of they were mods and they became a band because there were a few of them in them days obviously when the mod scene evolved some bands were created or manufactured to go with the scene. The “Small Faces” is sort of mates who came together and I’ve just always loved their music. As I was looking for a name for the shop, I was reading a ‘Small Faces’ book and just looking for something that was a bit nice to call the shop after you know, your first true music love and they used to play in a club called King Mojo in Sheffield which was a Peter Stringfellow’s first club apparently. The story goes they went to play a gig in Sheffield and when they got there it was full of rockers so they know that King Mojo was a mod club they turned up and said look we’ll play for nothing, which they did and were loved and they got their first residency in the King Mojo, so that’s how the shop came about; I just flipped the name and got Mojo King, so yeah. Nice little story.
6.Would you recommend Quadrophenia?
Yeah, that’s a great film, sort of set a part for a lot of youth back in the late 70s, early 80s. You know my brother became a mod after watching Quadrophenia and listening to the jam and I could remember watching it for the first time and it was like a light appeared. This is for me you know, I think I bought my first Fred Perry and Parka and dreamt of owning my first scooter at seventeen. Its got it all for a youngster, farting and swearing, it was all there.
7.Where did the memorabilia in the shop come from?
To be honest, the pictures were done by friends, Clare and Joe, and presented them to me on my opening day which was really nice. I have bit and bobs in Cardiff City thing I pinched from the grounds but don’t tell anyone. The picture up there, were brought in by a customer, of Tommy Young, they were a soul singer so got it signed when they were at a gig so that was really nice. A few have been given to me which was really nice. Oh and the picture out there is an eBay jobby and other bits and bobs from the scooter rallies really that I picked up along the way.
8.What is the future of the shop?
Not in this arcade. I’ve made it quite clear recently that I need to move from this position. Because the footfall in the arcade isn’t here and I’ve been here for nine years so I feel it’s ready for a change. I’d love to get in the city centre but the rent is too dear so I’m actively looking for somewhere to go. But shop-wise, where I’d like it to be, just the online presence that I haven’t really got, that can make a huge difference. I’m quite content with life and ticking over. But yeah, obviously I’d like to sell a few more bits it’s getting a bit packed in here.