What were The 70's really like?

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kuch

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After WW2, the 50's and 60's were a time of general prosperity for the majority of Americans. the 60's really did change the world. It was the 1st time in history that people basically knew instantly what was going on everywhere on the planet-according to what the media chose to show us.

I'm got out of HS in '71 and the 70's were some of the best years of my life. I worked hard and lived a happy life. Moved to Maui in '73 and that was paradise for me. Good friends and good karma. As far as the rest of the world, it was something in the back of my mind in those days.....
 

Dan German

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What we had then that I couldn't give my kids was the freedom to roam and be out on our bikes and go wherever, from the streets to the creeks to the sewer lines that ran under the street (I was too chicken to do that, fortunately).

The music was better then and, shockingly, the country was less divided, even when you factor in Vietnam, but culture was a lot more backwards then in regards to marginalized groups -- although we all got along in my neighborhood -- and the cigarette smoke was yucky. Thankfully, my parents didn't smoke.

I certainly wouldn't want to go back and give up all the technology. I've got a recording studio in my garage, thousands of movies and TV shows at my fingertips and, you know, the internet.

Remember when once a movie had left the theaters and you had to wait, often years, to see it again on TV? I was lucky that there was a junior college within walking distance (Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, Ca.) that had a free film program, so I got see things like... well, I just showed my daughter the 1972 big screen adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s "Slaughterhouse-Five," which I probably saw there as an unaccompanied minor at the age of ten, with Valerine Perrine's boobs 'n' everything. There was also a second run movie theater within walking distance that would let kids into R-rated movies, so as a 10-year-old I saw things like "Lenny," with Valerie Perrine's boobs again (in a lesbian scene!) and "Marathon Man," with Marthe Keller's boobs!
@Skully covers it pretty well here. This has become a rather interesting thread to me. My knee-jerk reaction is to crap on the 70s. And they deserved it, in many ways. I spent the 70s yo-yo-ing between Canada and the US, which makes them kind of fragmented for me. I started the 70s in a remote northern community in Canada (no TV, no radio, no telephone) and ended it wandering the boarded-up streets of New York, wondering where I would crash for the night.

And let’s be real: my daughter (born 1979) has made her career as a carpenter, and now teaching carpentry. That would have been so much harder for her in the 70s, and it will be even easier for her daughter, should she choose that path. Furthermore, many of my friends in the 70s were from social strata that didn’t get the breaks mine did. They are mostly gone. Did I get to do things “kids today” would never be allowed to do? Most certainly. Would I want to be a 10-20 year old right now? Not on your life.

I think what I’m trying to say is that I have no idea whether I like the 70s or not. They were there, and I was there, and all I can do is laugh about the shag carpet and pastels.

EDIT: I spent a lot of the 70s pretending I lived in the 30s.
 
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VWAmTele

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I loved the 70's. Allman Brothers Band (and so much other great music), pretty girls, draft stopped the year I became eligible ('73), being 20 in '75 with no expectations from anyone. Drove some clunkers that were some of the most unsafe cars on the road - no windshield wipers, a bag of Burger King french fries stuffed in a hole in the windshield (water tight). A '60 VW Beetle that I had to push and jump in to pop the clutch to get going. But it all seemed like fun. I'd like to be younger, but I'm glad I got to experience the 70's. Great transition decade.
 

BFcaster

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I was born in '68.
-First thought of the 70s was a haircut that was much longer than a buzz-cut, combed as with a plow by my mother-> parted on the right, then forcibly combed straight down right to the eyebrows, then abruptly over to the left...
(I literally have not combed my hair since 1981. My hair since...think Keith Richards in the Let's Spend The Night Together movie. '82 is probably the last time went to a barber too...I cut my own).
-Second thought of the 70s was, at the local public swimming pool at maybe aged 5, saw my first, second, third, etc. boobs when I went into the women's changing room with my cousin/baby sitter. I remember blondes, and alot of laughter, and other things, until I was quickly led out....Yeah....
-Third thought is high white-with-red-white-and-blue-striped socks. And snug shorts-..baggy ones didn't happen until Michael Jordan, folks.
-Fourth thought- mustaches and sideburns, but not my Dad. Mom was a big "NO" on that.
-Fifth thought...my glory days of Little League Baseball. Started it on a whim with zero experience in 1976 and by 1979 was sought-after by other coaches.
-Sixth thoughts-...Elton John's Greatest Hits, Grease soundtrack, KISS Rock and Roll Over (face-paint required), the Red-and-White-Carnival fundraiser at my local high school.
-Seventh thought...May 1979- end of an era...all of my best friends continued onto a public Jr High then High School. I was kinda forced to go to a private Catholic school where I only knew my older sister and a few of her friends, and maybe 2 or 3 of my classmates.
 

Dismalhead

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We got our clothes at Sears. Anybody remember Sears Tough Skin corduroys?
My grandfather worked at Sears from the end of WWII until he retired in the early '70s. Everything we got growing up was from Sears. It's like we were the Sears family. My dad's guns, my shoes, my mom's golf clubs, our furniture.

I remember having the cords and they squeaked when you walked when they were new. I think I wore cords up until high school when I moved to jeans. Actually wouldn't mind trying a pair nowadays but I'm prettty sure they haven't made them in decades.

Oh, and the Sears Christmas Catalog was awesome.

FkAFqa8.jpg
 

SPUDCASTER

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Got my first car, got out of high school, moved to Vancouver, Washington, went to work at a recording studio and engineered three nationally released albums by a major jazz artist. Yes kids, they were called albums back then.

Played on Red Simpson, Rose Maddox, Sheb Wooly, Bonnie Guitar sessions and many gospel albums by various artists. I would engineer or play on 3-4 sessions a week.

Played music at least 4-6 nights a week. Lived with two other musicians. Had a killer stereo, drum set and guitar amps in the front room.

Just about everything I owned fit in the back of my pickup.

Single and playing the field.

Man, the 70's. I'd go back in a heartbeat.
 

BFcaster

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Crap, I also remember a gas shortage- gas lines, seen on the news nightly, thanks to an OPEC embargo....you could not buy gasoline on Sundays. We had to make sure and gas-up before summer vacations...when I first learned how to pump gas too, since Self-Service started to be introduced for a gas discount I think.
 

blowtorch

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the 70s were the $25,000 pyramid and celebrity password and charles nelson reilly that stupid "madame" puppet and klinger from mash all over your tv

the 70s were coming in from the playground at recess, and the ice that had formed around the bottom of your bellbottoms slowly melting into a puddle on the classroom floor

also getting on the bus and hearing "summer breeze" and "you can feel it all over" and "fernando" on the bus radio


the 70s sucked.

and hard.
 

E5RSY

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Musically, great bands like Heart and ZZ Top were making music that was actually good, prior to their jumping the shark with the help of (in the service of?) MTV in the first half of the succeeding decade.
 

guitar_paul1

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Listening to Wolfman Jack for real. Discovered him on New Years Eve in 67/68 I think on my dad's old Miessner disc recorder/AM radio.





phono_recorder_9_1065_1071710.jpg

Xxxxx Eeeee Rrrrr Bbbbb "500,000 watts of soul power baby, Awooooooh".

I was transfixed.

In 68 or 69 I played my first rock concert/ festival in Mt. Taber park in Portland using a Danelectro and a borrowed huge Sunn amp. Major fun. There was a lot of stuff from back then I wouldn't want to relive (or don't remember), but that was memorable.

Almost as much fun as watching my kid's band ("The Scene") play a set at the Seattle Bumbershoot Festival stage in 1997.
 

Knows3Chords

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Tons of lead paint. Even more leaded gasoline fumes in the air. Pollution was really bad. The environmental stuff was just starting. Anybody remember Love Canal? The Love Canal area was originally the site of an abandoned canal that became a dumping ground for nearly 22,000 tons of chemical waste. Three Mile Island was a hoot. We had family that lived near it. They came and stayed with us a while. The local 7-11 actually opened up at 7 am and closed at 11 pm. Stereo speakers were huge.
 

staxman

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Wow, lotta buzz kills in this thread—sorry it worked out like that for y’all. Not to be flip, but to me the 70s were sex, drugs and rock & roll. I graduated high school in 1973 in S.C. Happily spent a couple of years working construction by day and partying like a rock star every night. Saw every rock concert that came around within a 100 miles. In 1976, I joined the navy and got homeported in sunny San Diego. So Cal was a magical place in the later 70s. Pre-AIDS, sex was our birthright and we exercised it freely. In summary, the 70s were the golden years of my life. Seriously.
 

Knows3Chords

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It's funny that you mention Dazed & Confused as a movie...I was coming into this thread to ask about the movie Slapshot, which Rolling Stone pegs as "quintessential."

Actually hockey was very much like in the movie. The Philadelphia Flyers were absolute monsters. You didn't see many young kids or soccer moms at the games. It was mostly drunk dudes who were there primarily for the fights. The rinks were rowdy, dirty, and crude.
 

BFcaster

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American Bandstand...Midnight Special...Saturday Night Live (the Belushi years...), Alice, Baa Baa Blacksheep..CHiPs...Fantasy Island.. ..Dukes of Hazard....The Incredible Hulk...Charlie's Angels...Love Boat...heck, even SCTV.
I remember watching Ali fights with my friends for sleep-overs. Howard Cosell...
 
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