Opinion Rockabilly

Invasion of The Rockabilly Body Snatchers!

1:52 PMDollie Simpson

Invasion of The Body Snatchers. You have all seen the movie (I hope). If not, it is a fictional movie made in 1956 and set in California. Alien plant spores have fallen from space and grown into large seed pods, each one capable of reproducing a duplicate replacement copy of each human. As each pod reaches full development, it assimilates the physical characteristics, memories, and personalities of each sleeping person placed near it; these duplicates, however, are devoid of all human emotion. Little by little, a local doctor uncovers this "quiet" invasion and attempts to stop it.

In the last few years I have felt like there is a quiet invasion going on in our little rockabilly community, just like the movie. Everywhere I look, women are wearing the same retro circle dress that is available in a multitude of prints. They are wearing the same brand of 40's reproduction wedges or kitten heels that come in every color. Everyone wears the same bullet bra. Everyone accessorizes with the same novelty lucite brooches. All the ladies have the same glam hairstyle and are rocking the same hip brand of lipstick. It is just like Invasion of The Body Snatchers! Someone gets into this look, gets into the pod, and comes out a clone. It is mad I tell you!

People have felt that rockabilly style has been cloned since its inception, which is sort of the nature of the beast, but lately it seems even more prevalent. This may be due to the rise of the internet and social media in the last decade. Now everyone is following their favorite "stars" and fashionable ladies on Instagram or Facebook (I am so guilty as well!). They see an outfit they like, they want that exact outfit, and they can have it within moments. Now thanks to online shopping everyone has equal access to anything they could ever want. You no longer have to hunt for vintage locally. Anyone can get anything they want if they have enough money, someone else has done the hunting for you. If you don't want vintage there are now endless amounts of vintage reproduction on the market. Your ideal vintage dress get away from you? Now you can have someone custom make it with vintage fabric and deadstock notions!

It is not even limited to the "look." It is happening in music also. Local venues and festivals are booking the same bands and DJ's over and over. Record labels are using the same guitar player, bassist and drummer for ever album. Musicians are recycling the same over played riff and slap bass solo. Bands are releasing albums that sound the exact same as the last one, and exactly like the next one will sound. Performers are pulling the same tricks on stage night after night. DJ's are playing the same songs at every record hop because they know that song is a floor filler. Car shows plan the same events like pinup contests because that is what people expect. The same cars show up time after time, looking exactly the same. It is all very mindless!

Why am I bringing this up? I guess I feel it is important to note because rockabilly has always been about rebellion. It was about wild music, adventurous fashion, and fast cars. It was not about dancing acceptably, drinking malts, and wearing bobby socks. It was not about being in the box. Where did our sense of rebellion go? Rebel against the box that is this modern rockabilly "scene!" Rebel against un-creative music, the mass produced fashions, and the cloned events. If the people stop accepting this pattern, it will stop happening. Always think outside of the box. Don't be a clone.

And to all the people who are fighting against this pattern, I say thank you. Thank you for living and creating outside the box. Thank you for thinking for yourself! It is so important to support all of the musicians, DJ's, designers and promoters who continue to push boundaries and rebel against The Rockabilly Body Snatchers!

*This post is an ambiguous, tongue-and-cheek look at our modern "rockabilly scene". It is in no way directed at or in reference to any specific person, company, band, DJ, or promoter. It is only a entertaining and thought-provoking post. 

Dollie and Zack

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  1. IIt's always been that way. Maybe you've now seen it all and are outgrowing it. Time to expand the horizons!

  2. See, I agree but find it a terribly complicated matter. Although I appreciate rockabilly, I can't speak much about the scene itself because it hardly exists where I live. But taking your viewpoints into consideration, if the rockabilly scene is contrived and boring and you desire something innovative and rebellious, would you be looking for something entirely different than rockabilly?
    I mostly relate to goth scene, and over the years I've watched it evolve. Though parts of it have stayed the same, much has changed. The difference though, I think, is that with the goth scene it's a loose definition of subversive style and tastes in music, it has room to grow. With rockabilly, it's founded in a particular decade, sort of restricting its aesthetic style and musical influence. Does rockabilly have the potential to grow? Is it a lifestyle, a way of thinking, or merely an attraction to a period in time?

    I'm sure that if the music and fashions changed in the rockabilly scene, it would be more like a subgenre breaking off and would become something else in the end.

    1. You are right Ladyfair. But Id' add this: from a fashion point of view rockabillies (especially the guys) can still reject the cliche'd look and be more creative. Within the 50s parameters there's a lot of scope. For example, I love the creativity of the Japanese cats. From a music point of view (the most important consideration) there are a lot of soundalike bands at present, but that creates opportunities for other acts to stand out (eg) Marcel Bontempi and the Bellfuries. As for rebellion, it's our rejection of the mainstream etc...

  3. I've noticed this happening with the vintage scene in general in the UK. I try not to go on about it too much, as not everyone can afford the nicest vintage clothes and the cheaper repro brands are a good route in for a lot of people, but personally, I've sworn to wear more original vintage more often. I honestly don't get why so many people don't take the step of buying more original pieces, though - actual vintage jewellery and bags are more affordable than repro, in some cases.


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