Desert

One of my favourite stories of musical cross cultural pollination is Jamaica giving us ska and reggae and in return Jamaican rude boys taking back multiple pairs of Clarks Desert Boots (and Wallabies and Desert Trek). It’s a story that goes back to at least the early 1970s when they were adopted by various Jamaican musicians. Dillinger’s 1976 hit CB200 describes him getting his Honda CB200 motorbike, riding into Kingston and getting himself a new pair of trousers and some Clarks Desert Boots. During police raids on sound systems in the 70s the police would pull all the rude boys wearing the Somerset shoes, assuming they must be criminals- how else would they be able to afford such expensive footwear? Natty dread and natty footwear.

Like the other mainstays of British street style- Harrington jackets, Fred Perry polo shirts, Dr Martens- the price has sky rocketed in recent years. Gone are the days when you could go shopping in town, buy the above and still have change for the bus home and a bag of chips.

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