Blackburn Sth Sharps!

A Skins ‘n’ Sharps Exhibition will be held from Sunday 4th of July 2010 @ The Kustom Lane Gallery, 8 Luton Lane, Hawthorn.

Googled “Blackburn South Sharps” and found this grouse site!

Larry Jenkins, aka ESOTERIC, is the photographer responsible for the now infamous “Sharpie” photos recently [sic] exhibited at ACMI / Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia.

Larry was the leader of the notorious street gang the “BLACKBURN SOUTH SHARPS” from 1972-1977 when the Sharpie sub-culture was at its peak and the working class suburbs of Melbourne were a tough and violent place to grow up. These photographs represent a period from 1975-1976 in Australian sub-cultural history and are one of the few photographic records of that time. Larry began taking photos at the age of 16 using a pocket camera, when he started working as an apprentice motor mechanic and spent his weekly wage developing his shots…

See also :

::: Sharpies – A Unique Australian Subculture

“The recent fascination with Sharpies leaves you wondering – when did a spotted past in suburban Australia become an object of fascination rather than derision?”

::: The Sharpies – Cult Gangs of the Sixties and Seventies

In the 60’s and 70’s the streets of Melbourne were full of gangs but it was the Sharpies, enemies of the Hippies and Mods that held the power on the street. For a mean bunch of kids they were extremely fashion conscious with their crest-knit black shirts and personally designed cardigans. But as Saturday night fever exploded the Sharpies started to conform until the gang slowly faded away.

::: Blackburn South Sharps on Wikipedia :

The Blackburn South Sharps were the most prominent of the 1972-1977 Melbourne ‘sharpie’ gangs. The Sharpies were unique [?] to Melbourne and are an important element of Melbourne’s history in that their clothes were not a copy of US or UK fashion and they listened to Melbourne rock bands. Sharpies were an early precursor to the Australian phenomenon of bogans.

[On ‘bogans’, see also Michelle Griffin, ‘Bogansville: meet the new in-crowd’, The Age, July 16, 2002. NB. The lexicographers at the ANU claim that the earliest trace they can find for the term is 1985, but I can recall its use in 1983.]

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  1. thanks noel, my dad will be missed in his family and com one good man has left, noel i will be around ur way on the week end like 2 catch up with u and need 2 talk 2 chriso, let u know where the name sharps come from, and its not about whot iv see on sight, mate see if u can get on 2 chris have a meet in box hill or were ever, thanks again noel

  2. i will get it right, i will be back monday till tuesday, the best time 4 me would be monday night some time, cant miss me, big gold ring with $ on my left hand well every finger on my left has a ring, i just like the bling.

  3. h1 noel i no whot u mean, u will never find the brotherhood that u and i grew up with noel, take boy out melbourne, but thay carnt take melbourne out of the boy, thay can try haharr. if ever ur this way let me know, & thanks again noel.

  4. JP, Brotherhood is spot on, as a kick around wayward teenager in the mid to late 60’s I will never forget the times we all had and the bonds of trust and help we all shared.
    I had the time of my life brother. I hope all went as well as could be expected with the passing of your Dad.

  5. hi m8; yer noel, all went well, i got 2 say goodbye and spent the day in springvale, it was ok, 8000 km in 2 days took it out of me. the place has changed went 4 a walk up high street thornbury were i was growing up, wog shop not there and the conie shop not there, yer its changed, but it still got sole; later bro 2 the hood.

  6. JP sorry to hear about your dad. Take care of yourself over the Christmas period.

    Merry Christmas to all the Sharpie family.

    Will be in touch in the New Year to continue collecting stories of our exploits.

  7. Mate, thanks for thinking of us, we are safe, one hell of a lot of water but we are fine, my baby girl (26) is in Toowoomba and that was more scary than being chased by 6 coppers on a saturday night. Thank god she is dry and fine
    Take care JP

  8. hi mate, yer its all good, so far its just hot every day, i think its mother nature telling us all we have fucked up in a big way Noel, anyway hope things r good 4 u m8 2 the hood.

  9. hi Noel every thing ok this end,hows things with u bro, hope things r 2 know whot jako on about.we all know about blacky boys, and how wrong thay r thinking that thay were the crew,but as chris would say forget the bullshit.Sharps good 2 the hood.

  10. Yep fine here JP, to be honest I had never heard of the Blackburn boys before this site and I roamed the streets of BoxHill in the mid to late 60s one suburb away, chriso is correct no need for bull shit.

  11. hi Noel, yer blacky sharpies or should i say Larry see the same thing i seen this is our history, and its no good trying 2 try 2 take claim 4 sharps fame. hay i know i carnt spell but il give it a go. and i will say this i know our history better than most i was there. our name sharps came from a certain crew, that whent after smart arses with sharp knifes. and thats were we got our name and our rep from. so there u all go. dressing nice ha, ha, whot a joke, and Larry pull ur head in, sharps united, be good 2 our hood.

  12. Can you do something up for my old soccer team @ndy? I can’t believe it, here i was thinking facebook was the go.

  13. I went to the ZZTop concert at Festival Hall last night. Gotta say it was one of the best gigs ever. I’ve never seen so many smiles at a rock concert in my life. At times we were laughing out loud. My favourite part was the fluffy guitars that were used for ‘Legs’. My least favourite part was arriving half an hour too early and having to endure the end of ‘Rose Tattoo’. As I left, I saw someone wearing the Blackburn South sharpie T-shirt pictured above.

  14. hi noel, its all good bro, all good with u? got me head down making up songs about my life and sum of the magets that have fucked with my life and so far it straight outta compton. later m8

  15. Just wanted to say hi and fill you in on my current projects.

    I have made a good start on a paperback book of recollections and stories from other sharps and a companion book, a full colour coffee table book with photos of sharpie fashion from 1963 to the late 1980s. If everything goes to plan I hope to have them published late next year

    I am also working on a poster, listing the main gangs/year/members superimposed over a vintage Victorian Railways suburban system, of course that will have to be re-issued every year to add new people!

    Let me know if you have any stories/pictures etc that you want included.


  16. yer Noel u have hit it on the head, yerp Johnny here 2 stay like it or not, read between the lines mate. hay Noel good one, later bro. Julie yer let me know when u have goods and hope thing go well 4 u. later. be good 2 ur hood if u can.

  17. yep knew all the dolmans from doveton, maree was one tough chick, ross dolman great friend died more than 2o years ago drugs, mick, bruce aka red and wayne still kicking. yep also remember hippos only place you could get a burger late at nite in the dandenong area, fights there every minute of the nite, me ex dandenong sharpie, pacific poolroom near the station

  18. G’day JP

    back in QLD, my, how the southern state has changed, boxhill, port melb, northcote, preston and richmond
    Time marches on buddy
    Take care and also g’day to Chris OH

  19. Just wondering if any of the 1960s sharpies have any memories/stories of the stand off between the tow truck drivers and the sharpies in Little Lonsdale St in 66?

  20. sorry Julie, I was a wayward sharp in 66 hanging around the Box Hill Bowl, did not gravitate to City till late 67
    Take care and thanks for the hug!

  21. Frankie thanks re the Dolmans from Doveton. Knew them through some mutual friends. Think it may have been the Smart brothers or the McNeils maybe. Maree was a tough girl but had a soft side to her as well. Think it was the brother a bit younger than her that i knew. Went to a few parties in Lyndale with them and always had a good time. Remember the Golden Bowl pool room that was always a good source of entertainment no matter which Friday or Saturday night you went there. Wog shops were always a good one for putting a brick through the window when someone had a quick ute to escape in. How anyone survived those days i will never know.

  22. I was a surfer/skateboarder back in the early- to mid-70s and lived near the Vicki Street shops. Went to Blacky East PS and came across the Blacky South Sharps on a few occasions at the fish & chip shop. I think one of the gang was Steve Formosa. I was 15 in ’75 and tried to keep out of the way of the Sharps. Not healthy otherwise. Any one remember Steve Formosa?


  23. yeah, i remember formosa, he was a 2 bit wannabe, he thought he was tough and i still remember smashing his head into the concrete foot path at those shops. he was a coward and a lowlife. never seen him run so fast with blood still running from his ear that night. funny he never appeared again.