It was the long hot summer of 1976, and a 15-year-old Noel Smith, testosterone jangling, was among many south London kids keen to stamp their mark on the world and find an identity and a sense of belonging. Rock 'n' roll music of the '50s had gripped his imagination and, adopting the dress, hairstyle and dance moves, a Teddy boy was born. Many of his peers followed suit and soon the Balham Wildkatz were born - mob-handed, arrogant and spoiling for a ruck at every opportunity.Life was all about flying your colours, cultivating both a personal and gang reputation, claiming new turf and protecting your own patch against the enemy: the other teen subcultures based around the music scene - mods, rockers, soul boys, punks, skinheads, smoothies, rockabillies - that formed a volatile melting pot of juvenile angst waiting to explode. Clubbing, drinking, thieving and fighting became the norm and a wave of increasingly reckless and violent behaviour ensued, resulting ultimately in internecine warfare.'Razor' Smith, as a veteran of that scene and former gang leader of the Wildkatz, looks back with warts 'n' all honesty, humour and vivid clarity on the days of his youth, allowing the reader to witness the horror, savagery and futility of the battles waged and get into the minds of the teenagers to whom this way of life meant everything.

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