As We See It

Mods for miles: Scooter culture is alive and well at High Rollers Weekend

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You’ve got to love this vintage 1965 VBB Vespa.
Photo: Leslie Ventura

Punks, mods, a scientist and a group of Bay Area techies are all at the Gold Spike for the same reason: scooters. Here on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, the High Rollers Weekend is well underway, and guys and gals from all walks are gathered in the parking lot full of vintage and new Vespas and Lambrettas, everyone geeking out over different parts, makes and models. My eye’s drawn to a Bianchi-green 1965 VBB Vespa—and one with “Mods Are Go!” written in silver duct tape above the muffler. It’s not every day you see a crew like this converge, but something about the culture brings unlikely friends together.

“It’s partly the music, partly the scene,” says Paul Belcher, the aforementioned scientist from Boston (originally from London), who flew to Vegas just for the rally. “A lot of it’s to do with the clothes. It all stems from the 1960s scene back in the U.K. My dad was into it, so I grew up with it.”

At night, the party will move to a different location—yesterday it was all about soul inside the Golden Tiki, and tonight it’s Backstage Bar & Billiards for ska and reggae. Scooter connoisseur Vidur Sahney agrees that it’s more than music—it’s “clean living with a low budget, dressing sharp.” Whatever the reason, I’ll admit, it sounds like a gas.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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