What were The 70's really like?

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Matt Sarad

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Vintage guitars were cheap.
Bakersfield saw the following picked up by the Sarad Brothers and Kenny:
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Engine Swap

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This was my world in the 70’s
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The Suzuki RM series that came out in 1976 was a game changer. Had an RM100 that was crazy fast.

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SuprHtr

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I think most people have a fondness for the time when they came of age. I graduated from high school in 1975 and spent the rest of the decade in college. My memories involve lots of bicycling, dirt bikes, music, and illegal substances that are much more widely legalized now. I loathed disco but when punk rock arrived, I became a fan. And late 70s Atlanta was a wild environment. Bars were fun and the drinking age was still 18.
 

SuprHtr

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There were no Automated Teller Machines.
Actually, I got my first ATM card in the fall of 1975 when I started college. First Atlanta Bank had a teller machine in the student center and it was called Tillie, the All Time Teller. When Tillie wouldn’t put out on a Friday night, it was a disaster.
 

Engine Swap

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1977 was a big cultural changeover, and in some ways, the first preview of the 1980s: punk rock, new wave, Star Wars, the Atari 2600, and the first personal computers.

I think you’re onto something with the advent of computers and video games.

I remember seeing the trailer for Star Wars in the theater and thinking “This just looks like a dumb Logan’s Run ripoff” LOL!
 

Jakeboy

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It was an awesome decade is so many ways. I loved it all, especially the music. The odd/even gas days kinda sucked, but that seems quaint now. Society was better than it is now in the USA. I have never ever said that in any decade other than now, in the 2020s….so this is not merely a wistful look back. Our nation and society are in a very bad place now.
The 70s were so much fun.
 

Knows3Chords

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I bought an RM 125 as soon as they hit the showroom . It was my first cycle with real suspension.
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I remember the days before the whole rear mono shock took over. Enduros roamed the earth. Us shorter guys could actually ride many more bikes. I had a Honda 90, then a Yamaha 100 and 175 Enduro in the 70's. I remember friends having the old YZ 80's. Those things were small but fast as hell. I saw many guys get on them thinking they were a toy, only to damn near kills themselves.
 

imwjl

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I'm not talking about things i just want to believe, i'm talking facts like the mass shootings i mentioned. You could write a book on whats wrong with the current state of society and how much better it was back then. This isn't confirmation bias this is the unbiased opinion of someone who lived thru that era as a 20 something and now have to endure what by comparison is hell. I lived in LA till just a year ago all my life. Ever been there? The homeless problem is LITERALLY 10000 times worse than it was then. There are block long trash and feces covered encampments on sidewalks everywhere. They start fires regularly inLA and many many people have been musrdered by them. One hat really sickened me like nothing ever has is a homeless guy walked into a restaurant here there was a man his wife and 54 year old baby girl and sliced the mans throat while his wife and daughter looked on. Did that happen in the 70's? Sure, it may have on rare occasion. Todayt it;s common. In the 70s you might run across a homeless person here and there but there wasn't a single encampment anywhere. This is NOT confirmation bias, this is fact. Having lived thru the 70s and now today there's no comparison. Sure you can cite a few things today that are better but a rusted out junker car with great new tires is still a junker. It's shocking what has come of this society. No confirmation bias necessary, it's dead bang obvious.
You are mentioning some specific and bad problems that concern me. Things we agree on. You are not acknowledging or maybe not ware of the total or overall improvements in that time span. Poverty, pollution, communications and human rights are much improved world-wide.

We might not have been in all the same places but I'm fairly well traveled including doing blue and white collar work all over. We are not without problems but a lot of data illustrates this scenario I'm trying to describe. LA is a big and significant place but it is far from the whole world and lots of cities have improved the problems you describe.

My apologies for considering the whole world if you are only thinking of LA or the USA.
 

P Thought

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We solipsists know that as each moment passes, reality turns into story, so. . .here's a story:

In late 1974 I sat down on the porch at my college girlfriend's childhood home in Albany, California, next to her father, a retired Berkeley policeman who'd been at the "People's Park" clash several years before. I asked for his daughter's hand in marriage, old-fashioned romantic that I am.

"Well," he said, "you probably know that her mother and I feel you're awfully young to get married." He puffed at his pipe and continued, "However, I am violently opposed to couples living together outside of marriage, so I'd prefer a wedding to your doing that."

Images of the People's Park thing--I'd read all about it in Newsweek--flashed through my mind as I considered what he might mean about violent opposition, and I wondered whether he knew or suspected that for a year or two we'd maintained an elaborate ruse to hide his daughter's real address, involving her jumping up to get "back" to her "roommate's" house to receive their return call or to call them back. Funny how she was never home on their first call. . . .

We all hurried to a wedding a couple months later. We divorced in 1980. I was very sad about it, angry and hurt, but I see it differently now. Her parents were right; we were too young.



Edit: @NEPATelecaster, great thread! I'm enjoying all the responses, both by those who were there and those who weren't!
 
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Bob Womack

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I came from the South, specifically the foothills of the Appalachian mountains. No-one hated us in the South out of principle at that point. I spent the first half of the '70s going through high school, learning and playing all the cool music that was on the radio, hiking in the hills of the Smokies, swimming in the Tennessee River, and living in the shadow of the Vietnam War. I didn't get drafted but many guys from the area did, and went and did what they considered their duty.

I sent the second half of the '70s either at the state university, which was an amazing metropolitan experience, or living at a remote mountaintop college in Georgia studying Theology, Philosophy, and History, for a Liberal Arts Bachelor of Arts degree. My free time was spent playing in bands, working in the fire department, and hiking the trails on the mountain. These days a BA, especially in the major subjects I studied, is considered the most worthless of the worthless. Back then in it was a wonderful opportunity to discover why the world thinks the way it does and to find out who I was. Frankly, it has contributed to my keeping my sanity ever since. Colleges and universities were different then. There was real diversity and tolerance on display. You could disagree with your professor and still get a good grade, and that included the subjects of politics, philosophy, and religion. I did! Picture that...
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But the period was pretty laid back and optimistic down in the South, despite the fact that the South was still up to its ears in the post-Civil-War depression, over one hundred years on. Whole blocks of the cities laid in ruins and were being reclaimed via Urban Renewal. My friends from the North would come down and exclaim how limited the options were in the South: smaller and few restaurants, smaller stores, and smaller automotive and motorcycle dealer, few museums and theaters, etc. We knew no different and never had it so good. We didn't go to the clubs that much. Instead we preferred the outdoors. That was everywhere, including in the ad campaigns on TV. I was too busy studying to see much TV, though. I remember when my band was offered a job with one of the only two record labels in the South. Being in college, we declined, but I knew that my chances of getting another shot at the premier label in the South were about as good as being run over by a pie wagon. At that point the South was pretty small beans in Rock. My future wife came down from New Jersey to the South, liked the slower, happier way of living, and me, frankly, and decided to stay.

On our engagement trip for me to meet her parents, they took us to Manhattan. We drove in and parked at the Port Authority Building and stepped out onto 42nd Street. It looked just as awful as the pictures in the gallery in the original post, HERE. Sex shows, pornography, angriness, disillusion. We walked by the (then) TransAmerica building. A man came running out of the lobby onto the sidewalk looking scared, followed by a woman screaming at the top of her voice. On the fly, she removed a stilleto-heeled shoe, threw it, and hit him on the head, while still screaming something about him cheating on her. Being from the South, I had no experience of that behavior. Manhattan was like another world to me. Manny's and Rudy's were cool, though.

Meanwhile, my fiance' went out to meet my family in Straw Plains, TN. These were country folk who truly lived a slow lifestyle. My poor fiance' had a hard time understanding the East Tennessee accent but loved the happiness. My great uncle called her the "Prettiest little Yankee he'd ever met." It was a compliment tendered with a tone of wonderment, and was graciously accepted.

We were married in the church up in a little New Jersey "bedroom community" in an uncomplicated ceremony. My lovely wife wore a beautiful dress. It was meant to make her look pretty, not sexy. Modern sexy wedding dresses seem to follow the idea of the "revenge outfit," making the statement to the bride's previous suitors, "look what you missed!" It really was different then. We piled into my '73 VW Beetle and launched off into an optimistic future with little money and lots of drive. It didn't work out all peaches and cream, but we are still happily married.

I guess this is another view of the '70s entirely. Neither my wife nor I was involved with the whole alcohol and drugs lifestyle that went with RnR. We weren't involved in the '60s "free love" thing or the '70s "club sex" thing that all came crashing down with HIV/AIDS. Perhaps that is part of it.

Bob
 

Ed Driscoll

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I think you’re onto something with the advent of computers and video games.

I remember seeing the trailer for Star Wars in the theater and thinking “This just looks like a dumb Logan’s Run ripoff” LOL!
I loved the first Star Wars -- the production design, the music and the special effects were brilliant. I had the prints of Ralph Mcquarrie's pre-production paintings; you could stare into them and imagine what living in this alternate high-tech galaxy must have been like.
 
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