A message to you, Rudi.
Updated: Jul 26, 2022
Rudi is my Scooter, a Royal Alloy TG300s. A surprise gift from my Partner, beloved Kerry.
Where to start?
Growing up, I found my first likes in music, in the somewhat banal. So much so that I won’t mention names. In the very late 70s though, into the 80’s my taste was shaped loosely as Mod to Ska to Reggae then onto other things like R&B and ultimately a broad selection of anything really. As long as I like it, I don’t give a shit about genre. I like not giving a shit more and more these days. One common theme however is clothes. My music tastes have fashioned my fashion choices largely, along with a desire to be different but not so much as to be too conspicuous (if that makes sense in any way). For me…. Mod = The Who, The Kinks, The Jam. Ska = The Beat, Madness, The Specials, Selector and Bad Manners; all pretty much in that order. Reggae = UB40, Bob Marley, Black Uhuru and Aswad as well as UB40, UB4O and more UB40, all in that order (the UB40 stories are wide and varied). There are common threads (see what I did) of fashion. Polo shirts, straight pants, ‘smarter’ clothes and slightly left-field combos. Sta-prest trousers, Fred Perry, Cardigans and Bomber jackets all transcended the genres. I was too young for the Mod Revival really but always wanted to be one. I lived in an area where if you wanted to be something, you’d better do it with conviction because the other cohorts would have a crack. I coveted a Fishtail parka probably with a Who or Jam logo. I wanted to wear it over a Boating Blazer with a Fred Perry and Sta-prest and Loafers. I never did except for once when I borrowed both a blazer and a Parka for an afternoon in Sunny Princes Street Gardens in '81 say, maybe ‘82 who knows. Part of that was also the Scooter scene. I desperately wanted one. But not with enough conviction to do so. I wanted the whole Quadrophenia look. But never did.
I only ever Rode Andrew Butterworth’s a few times up and down the school driveway at Royal High School. A Vespa Px maybe. All through the 80s, I also followed my beloved Heart of Midlothian Football Club. Never a scarf-wearer really but neither a Casual. I did admire and to some extent mirror some aspects of their garb. I never got into football trouble, never looked for it and rarely got caught in the fringes. I’ve only ever been ejected from a football ground once for swinging at a Police Officer who was trying to eject me for standing on a seat. My fanaticism for the team was complete and I followed them through thick and thin. The 80s were GRIM for a Hearts fan. The 90s were better with a rare Cup win in ‘98. A season ticket holder for most of the decade, I went to most home games with my Brother and my Dad would tag along occasionally. My Dad was born in the Street of the club’s home-ground, Tynecastle Park. Tynecastle Park is in McLeod Street in Edinburgh. My Dad followed them all the way through the 40s, 50s right up until I joined him and ultimately until he passed away in late 2013. We saw many good and bad times together supporting them. Sadly, when my dad passed and was cremated in early 2014 he was a great loss to our family. Upon reaching the decision point about what to do with his ashes, on the spur of the moment I called the football club and asked and they agreed; a little plot was prepared and his ashes were put underneath the playing surface at Tynecastle Park. He rests now 100 metres from where he was born and whenever I see hearts play on TV, I can see where he is. Stages in life come and go. Focus changes and things get forgotten. Weight piles on, clothing gets shitter and baggier and no one really cares.
I moved to Australia in 2000 and focussed on my career and starting a family. Distance, time zones and other excuses make following a club so fanatically, quite difficult. Hearts went through phases, some good, some bad, some MENTAL with Mad Vlad.
Also, for context, it has to be mentioned, that Hearts have a bitter city rivalry with Hibernian FC. ‘Hibs’ play in Green and White; my beloved team play in Maroon and White. My team has many nicknames, The Jamtarts, the Jambos, the Boys in Maroon and many that Hibs fans bestow upon them, I won't mention them of course. They are the Hibs (they make us spew up), The Cabbage (and Ribs), the Wee team, and the Vermin. Already you can see the bias, no?
The Wee Team is a particularly relevant and much-used name. You see, in a city rivalry, in a league that is dominated by 2 teams, neither being Hearts or Hibs, the honours of wins against your rival become of paramount importance. Currently, the Edinburg Derby has seen Hearts have the better record in derbies, with 146 to 86 wins by Hibs in 330 matches played in the three main Scottish competitions. For balance, Hibs have had periods of dominance (none of which I've really witnessed). They crowed about a 0:7 win at our home ground in the 70s, we had to listen to that for fucking decades, nearly 40 years I think that was rammed down my throat. Btw that included a period where hearts were unbeaten 22 games in a row, at that time, that was 7 years. But it was still 0:7, fucking 0:7 is all we heard.
So I hear you saying what's this all got to do with a Scooter…..bear with me. I'll try and hang it together now.
In the 00’s a Legend of Hearts was born. Well, he was born much earlier but his status at Hearts as legendary was fledgling and little did we know. A Marseille player by contract, he was loaned to Hearts in 2005, he played 35 games and scored 16 times, prolific for an attacking midfielder by anyone's standards. I can't say how many he scored against Hibs but there were a few. He came and went mostly unknown to me save for my Dad referring to him, amongst a bevvy of teammates that I couldn’t name nor recall due to the Mad-Vlad years (a story in itself).
In 2012, I was watching Hearts v Celtic late one Sunday evening in April in the Semi-final of the Scottish Cup. A shockingly one-sided affair in the first half, and Celtic prevailed 1:0 at ½ time. A different Hearts team came out, a triumph of tactics by then then-manager Paulo Sergio and Hearts scored shortly after the break and a late penalty awarded in clear-cut circumstances, saw them through to the Final. If any Celtic fan would recall this, they'd say I was so wrong, but the records don’t really record refereeing decisions, they record scores primarily.
Hearts were through to the Final!!!!!
And the last thing I heard as the TV went off was, ‘and that’s an Edinburgh Derby final!!’
What the fucking hell???????
I didn’t even know that Hibs were through. So, an Edinburgh Derby Scottish Cup Final was scheduled for 19th May 2012.
Travel was requested and approved, and I went back for the game, 12,000 miles each way to watch a game of football, jeez. I had 2 tickets booked back; one for the day after and one for 3 weeks after. Such were the stakes that, the result dictated whether I could stomach being around or want to stay to party.
Suffice to say, I came home later rather than the next day and Hearts prevailed in that game 1:5, the greatest game in Hearts’ history, by my reckoning.
The last time the 2 teams had met in a Cup final was over a hundred years previously and (I think) hearts were victorious too back then. My point is, no one in my time will ever see that again, over a hundred-year history before pumping them something chronic, in humiliating style. You can take your 0:7 and ram it up your fucking arses; 1:5 will always prevail in my lifetime!!!!
I could regal pages of stories about that trip but in the interest of getting on with it…….
A star of that day scored 2 goals, the 2nd and 5th. Neither of them was that spectacular in my opinion. He did score against a team that he loved to score against however, this time on full contract to hearts; that man is Sir Rudi Skacel. An absolute Legend of our team.
So, in short………
Kerry bought me my Scooter a few days before my diagnosis. I’d coveted one for decades. We knew deep down that the diagnosis was going to be somewhere between shite and grim. The deal was sealed when we saw it and I test rode one. There was a Maroon and Ivory one in the shop. Picked it up 4 days later.
It had to be named, so Rudi it is. A message to you Rudy is a song by the Specials; yes, I know it is spelt differently. that’s a fuck I don’t give.
And I like the style of the scooter (it's hardly fast) which brings me to the purchase of a MOD Parka, a 1965 M65 version, unissued original, to be worn with straight jeans, Fred Perry tops, Harrington jackets and much ‘Football Clobber’. Brands I won't mention as I'm probably a bit out of touch in true Innes style. But there's plenty of Paisley Pattern and hooded jackets going on.
Safe to say, he is a bit of a cock, but I've always loved his style, I've seen them 3 times play huge arenas and a secret gig to 800 fans, and I believe there is a resurgence; I wanna Live Forever.
Seems like a fitting end to this post 😕