|Lobby Loyd and the Coloured Balls|
This group took some but not all, of their inspiration from the British skinhead movement and were so concerned about their image and dress code, they became known as Sharpies - ie; sharp dressers. In the 70s in particular they were a strong and sometimes oppressive presence...they seemed to be everywhere, usually hanging out in large groups.
En masse, hardcore Sharpies could be intimidating in a Clockwork Orange kind of way and with the impetus of group bravado, possessed a deliberately posed, tough, defensive attitude. Their band of choice was Lobby Loyd and the Coloured Balls and in the dance halls, where they would form insular clusters, they had a peculiar, distinctive way of dancing...clenching their fists and pushing their head and arms up and down in jerking movements.
The Sharpie visual code was rigid. Male or female, you couldn't be a Sharpie if you didn't have short hair, often with a few rats tails and ideally, pierced ears. Typically, they wore braces, high-waisted pants, striped cardigans, tight tees and ankle boots for boys/platform shoes for girls. Significantly, Sharpies had a powerful sense of belonging and thus an us and them mentality which tended to encourage aggressive feelings toward those outside the clan...especially those long haired, Neil Young-loving alternative types. Disenfranchised youth seeking identity and a sense of family? Probably.
For a fascinating look at the emerging Sharpie culture of the 60s, take a look this 1966 YouTube video which features a vintage report from the ABC show Four Corners. The Sharpies look more like clean cut refugees from the 1920s than aggressive skinheads, though according to the report, there were 'dangerous brawls' between the Sharpies and Mods, usually instigated by the former. Sharpies, who had homophobic prejudices (as did many people back then), viewed the Mods as way too effeminate for their liking. It's also interesting to see the differences between the 60s and the 70s Sharpie scene just a few years later. These were the seeds of the movement: