In recent times Old Dog publishing has resurrected the cult fiction genre and in some style. The undisputed emperor and innovator of the genre, Richard Allen, penned a total of 18 books in the 70s. First of these was Demo, it was his second book, Skinhead, that introduced anti-hero Joe Hawkins in the process capturing the attention of a generation. The Joe Hawkins character was a larger than life East End skinhead who embraced and got involved in every element of that youth culture. Subsequent Richard Allen books followed the exploits of Joe Hawkins as the Skinhead culture evolved through the Suedehead era, with Joe as something of a city slicker, and beyond.
First published by paperback company New English Library, (NEL), copies of the entire Richard Allen series, especially those focusing on the skinhead culture and its derivatives, are highly sought after. With sizeable price tags when second hand copies are up for sale.
When Scootering was based in Weston-super-Mare we ran a feature titled The Richard Allen Legacy, which resulted in us not only tracking down Richard Allen for an exclusive interview, also a deal was brokered to reprint the entire Richard Allen back catalogue, in six volumes, each containing three books. Of course, they are long out of print, and collectable in their own right. Now Dean Street Press have acquired the rights to the Richard Allen series, the first trio of books featuring Joe Hawkins are now available in individual volumes, complete with weathered reproductions of the NEL cover art, overlaid with the Lonsdale logo-inspired individual book titles.
Sarge (Scootering, May 2017)