Welcome to the new online edition of the 'Rocket Rag'...
In the first episode of this series, we introduce the Rocket veteran Vinnie; one of the original members of our team and now head of the Hackney Road family.
The Rag caught up with him recently and this is what he had to say:
Rag: Let’s start by asking, where are you from originally?
Vinnie: I am from a place called Taranto in Apulia which is on the heel of the boot in Southern Italy. At home to my people, I am called Enzo but here I am Vinnie.
R: When did you first get into barbering?
V: My first experience was when I was 14 years old as there was a local barber who used to look after me after school in his shop. My mum used to send me down to this barber shop on my road just for a couple of hours. I used to love it. The respect he got from the local people. He was like a connoisseur and if you wanted to know about what was going on in the area you could always ask the barber.
R: How would you describe your style?
V: I didn’t have any particular style until I reached Rocket. Honestly! I have shaped my own style through my years with Rocket. Everyone uses this word ‘hipster’ and misunderstands it. The original hipster to me was all about the music. The swing, bebop, the jazz in the 40s. That was a hipster. Now it has changed. The original hipster was about the music. That’s how they were born...
R: What do you do away from the shop?
V: A lot of arguing with my lady about not letting me go to the studio on my day off! My two strongest passions are cutting hair and playing drums. I really enjoy my practicing but in London it’s hard to find spare time. When I have a day off from Rocket I like to be in the studio. I am involved in a couple of music projects going on. More news to follow…
R: Why did you choose to be based in London?
V: I don’t want to say all of the stereotypical things. But it’s about the metropolitan underground art scenes and the music. If it wasn’t for Rocket and the music I might not be here anymore. And the individuality of the people too. Talking with the clients is key. My customers are my bridge to understanding the society.
R: Last but not least. If you could have drinks with any three people from ‘the other side’, who would you choose?
V: Well, let me think (long pause). My grandfather. I never met him. He passed when I was one-year-old. My family have everything from him. He was the hardest worker all through his life. He was a tailor, an artisan. He was our foundation. Secondly, I must choose Mitch Mitchell. I’d ask him for drumming tips. And the last one. It has to be a woman. Marilyn Monroe. She was the most controversial woman and helped to change the Western mentality. Acting, films, fashion in that era. She was an icon. An enigma.
So that was a quick introduction to Vinnie. A true Rocket veteran. The Rocket family hope you can tune in to the next Rag online. We will send out a reminder to you all on social media..
Until the next episode...