Talking Heads

TOGA x Boy's Own: In Conversation with Boy's Own


Goodhood and Toga present a collaborative capsule between cult Japanese label Toga and English record label Junior Boy's Own. Commemorative Souvenir Jackets, graphic t-shirts and an exclusive reprint of Boy's Own "The Complete Fanzine 1986-1996". To celebrate, we caught up with the Boy's Own crew to talk all things club culture, doing what you love for a job, new artists, and more. Check it below... 

GOODHOOD: For those who don’t know, who are you and what do you do?

BOY'S OWN: Search out interesting spaces and put them to creative uses mostly featuring music & great people.

GH: You started Boy’s Own fanzine in 1986. How did you all meet, what drove the mutual desire to start the fanzine?

BO: We were all friends from the suburbs of Windsor & Slough, we met through parties, hanging out in a cool clothes shop called Cassidy’s, warehouse parties, soul all nighters.

GH: What did you set out to do when you first launched Boy’s Own?

BO: Nothing, zero, it was all centred on our immediate lives, everything right in front of us, music, clothes, books, football, cinema & politics.

GH: Did anyone at the time think it would have cultural impact that it did?

BO: No, not at all.

GH: Can you tell us the funniest thing you’ve encountered or experienced at a club?

BO: I can’t as the lawyers would come swooping down.

GH: What was it about clubbing in the 80s and 90s that really struck a chord with club goers? It’s viewed as a very nostalgic time for club culture.

BO: There weren't phones or the internet, you went to clubs for the music & crowd, the DJs were featured but they tended to be your friends, if they weren't DJ’ing they would definitely be on the dance floor after their set.



GH: Do you think that same feeling could ever be replicated today? On a dance floor full of phones...

BO: Of course and I'm sure it is somewhere.

GH: The fashion difference as well, between the “old days”, and today. What do you think of that?

BO: There isn't that much difference really. People still wear Westwood, tracksuits, baseball caps, jeans, skirts & trousers - it's the politics of fashion thats changed, oh, that and super premium sportswear...WTF?

GH: How did the collaborative lines with Toga initially come about?

BO: Yasuko was/is a club person, she loved the Boy's Own vibe and Junior Boy’s Own record label and I knew Justine in her team from like 20 years ago.

GH: Favourite piece in the capsule?

BO: Reversible coach jackets.

GH: We hear a lot about British club culture dying, it’s not as good as it once was, that sort of thing... What’s your opinion of club culture in 2024?

BO: There isn’t the same thing, people can open clubs in MOT garages in Peckham now, butchers shops in East London, most of the clubs now are in places that were no go zones. We had Warehouses, but I’d guess that the club / party circuit in 86 was cliquey, like 3000 regular people orientating around central London, now its more like 3m. There’s obvious similarities, dressing up, great drugs, great music, bags of attitude and long may it reign.

GH: What are your favourite London clubs?

BO: Blimey... No idea on this... Where my friends are I suppose? The best space is still Fabric tho.

GH: You co-founded and run Boy’s Own Poductions, co-founded XOYO, operated Forge & CO creative workspace, and run Mass & Void. How do you juggle it all?

BO: Never stop doing what you want to do, that is very important. Remember that the world will keep turning without you, so keep your feet on the ground and get on with it. All that and a healthy dose of ADHD.

GH: Who was the first artist signed under the Boy’s Own, and how was that experience?

BO: It was a band called Denim who were fronted by a genius called Lawrence. They were contemporaries of Pulp in the pre Brit Pop days.



GH:You’ve published another edition of the Boy’s Own Book, completely fanzines 1986-1992 (which is incredible, by the way). Why another print run, and why now?

BO: People keep asking for it and getting them manufactured is a much simpler process than people think.

GH: If Boy’s Own never went on to evolve the way it did, what do you think you’d be doing now?

BO: Exactly what I'm doing now, being as creative as possible, just chipping away at the block, trying to carve out a happy existence that one can be proud of - it was never going to be 9-5.

GH: Any artists out there you we should know about that you can put us onto?

BO: MAXXING crew, check them out.