What were The 70's really like?

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Dadzmad

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the 70s were a mean and gritty time. Cost of putting a man on the moon and a war in SE Asia coming due along with rapidly rising fuel costs. Was not good but it went downhill from there into the early 80s. I get the sense that the next few years will be similar. I moved cross country a few months ago and had this photo fall out of some papers - Urbana 1972. Threw it in the scanner to send to my brother. This photo is by Kodak Plus-X off a 50 ft roll, developed in a hand held shake tank, printed with an enlarger in a closet and washed in the bath tub. I must say that I love digital and the camera on my phone these days.

7rYBv5s.jpg
 

raysachs

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I was born in ‘59, so I did all of my coming of age in the 70’s. Had a blast, went to TONS of concerts of all sizes and quality. Some in the mid 70’s, but my peak for being “wild and crazy” was 78-80 when I was 18-21. I had a few somewhat older friends who were trying to buy houses and start families in the late 70s and crazy high inflation and then crazy high interest rates were very real for them. But I was still very young, irresponsible, and making decent money considering rent was between $100-200 a month in those days. So the painful realities didn’t really affect me until the mid ‘80s, when a lot of the worst of the pain was over.

The late 70’s were a great time to be a late teen, early 20’s guy just out for a good time. Viet Nam had passed by, the sexual revolution had already been fought and won, weed and psychedelics were both very easy (and cheap) to come by. Gas was cheap except during the oil shocks, when it was still cheap but really hard to find. Disco and punk were happening but there was still a lot of great “classic” rock and blues and soul around - it wasn’t called that at the time, it was busy earning that title for later. Yeah, people dressed funny, but those kinds of superficial things didn’t really matter much or get in the way. Most 60’s bands were still around and still damn good (if not still transcendently great), younger acts (Petty, Dire Straits, the Clash, etc) we’re just coming into their own… Bruce was in his prime. Van Halen was just emerging for those who liked em (I saw their first tour - they weren’t my thing, but they were really cool to see at the time).

I wouldn’t go back for anything, but I was very happy to have grown up in that era.

-Ray
 

stantheman

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Born in '54, loved the 1960's.

The 70's - didn't like 'em at all, real bummer totally.

If I go to hell it'll be The Seventies.

I have a theory that all these mass homacides stem from a never ending
70's Classic Rock BrainWashing that is
Grinding Man's temporal lobes. (CRBW)

Loved The 80's TOTALLY.

I feel strongly all the Talk Radio "Personalities" deserve to have their
Tongues ripped out...as well as "the
morning personalities too - ha ha this
so much fun!!!

NPR is what "keeps me hangin' on" these
days.

EVERYTHING THAT SUCKS BEGAN IN
THE 1970's. Read a History Book some
time.
 

Kandinskyesque

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I was born in 67 so the 70s was the decade where my upbringing was largely influenced by other people's idea of me.

Cons: Glasgow was soot black, smoggy and polluted, noisy from the nearby shipyards; half of our street was rubble after the great storm of 68 which had killed a few of our neighbours.
Winters were cold and smelled of paraffin, food was bland, summers were hot and turned my peely-wally skin to blisters, we were dirt poor (but so was everybody else).
My dad seemed to be perpetually angry, militantly left-wing, on strike and violent until he found Jesus in '84. We were never out of church (or Celtic Park) because my mother found Jesus in the 40s.
Every other year brought a new sibling, so less space, less money and less attention other than for regular 'discipline'.
Britain was in black and white.

Pros: We moved from Glasgow to a town where everything was brand new, a 3 bedroomed house with an inside toilet of our own and garden. Lots of green space and woodlands to be Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn for the day. Brutalist concrete buildings to learn to climb.
I discovered, swimming, boxing, skateboarding and guitars, which to my surprise I was good at all of them.
I had heroes, Kenny Dalglish, Muhammed Ali, Evel Knievel, Tony Alva, Mark Spitz, Rod Stewart then Joe Strummer.
American TV and Cinema was great; Starsky and Hutch, The Dukes, Jaws, Close Encounters, Grease and Star Wars.
British TV was grim except, The Sweeny, The Professionals and the football/soccer.
Primary/elementary school was good because I was academic and always in the library, plus my teacher looked like Agnetha from Abba (so my hormones were working).
High school was brutal though, full of cardboard cut-out tough kids.

Late 70s brought me music I felt was mine plus I'd been playing the guitar for a few years by then. '79 began the few years of endless summers in St Andrews where every year I still sit outside the same cafe and listen to this song, evry time I hear it in this location still feels like the first time.
 

brookdalebill

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People smoked.
Almost everywhere.
I’d guess about 50% of people age 14 and over.
Planes, bars, restaurants, busses, taxis, almost everywhere except churches and classrooms.
Really.
I started myself, at age 21 (in 1978).
Most people accepted, and suffered our inconsideration.
Cigarette butts littered the streets.
People dumped their ashtrays in parking lots.
The “air” in the bars I played in (starting in 1973) was hazy, and your eyes would burn.
You (almost) couldn’t escape it.
It was “normal”.
I’m glad I finally wised up.
The damn things killed the love of my life 8 days after her 44th birthday.
Lung cancer from smoking Marlboro reds for 30 years.
 
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ChicknPickn

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the 70s were a mean and gritty time. Cost of putting a man on the moon and a war in SE Asia coming due along with rapidly rising fuel costs. Was not good but it went downhill from there into the early 80s. I get the sense that the next few years will be similar. I moved cross country a few months ago and had this photo fall out of some papers - Urbana 1972. Threw it in the scanner to send to my brother. This photo is by Kodak Plus-X off a 50 ft roll, developed in a hand held shake tank, printed with an enlarger in a closet and washed in the bath tub. I must say that I love digital and the camera on my phone these days.

7rYBv5s.jpg
I'm thinking of the Kodak Instamatic X-15, "the people's camera." And the Polaroid Land Camera, with the pathetic self-developing film.
 

Tricone

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ohhh....Slapshot...a classic! A whole 'nother topic!

The Warriors....70's vibe there too.
Warriors! Come out to plaaay-ayyyyy!


I remember my parents going to see the movie "Jaws". Also, I saw my first movie in a theater. "Star Wars". Man, that movie was the best.(still one of the best imho).

I remember when Jimmy Carter beat Gerald Ford to be elected President of the United States of America.

I also remember playing Fats Domino singles, the Troggs "Wild Thing" on a portable record player. Good 'ol Fats got me started on my love of blues, r&b, and jazz.

I was just a kid, born in '71 but I remember it was good. There was alot more individuals and the acceptance of individualism. A person could be cool without $200 name brand shoes, $500 name brand outfits, a $800 iphone,etc, etc. It was easier to be one's self. Or so it seems anyway.
 

dswo

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Born 1970, grew up in California. Compared with today, there was more smog in LA, less in SF. For kids, life was less structured and more outdoors. There was a lot of casual racism, from people who didn't think of themselves as racist. (That hasn't ended, but I think more people are making an effort.) You knew gay people, but you might not know they were gay, even in your own family.
 

burntfrijoles

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Here's what I remember from the 70s
Graduating from college
Kent State and Jackson State shootings
Wage and Price controls
Watergate
Nixon's resignation
Assassination attempts on George Wallace and Gerald Ford
Fall of Saigon
The devolution of American automotive industry, plagued with awful quality control while the Japanese gained a foothold in the market.
The first gas shortages that lead to higher prices and long lines at the pump and it occurred twice.
Elvis death
Iran Hostage debacle

Pop culture on the other hand continued to provide some respite. The Godfather, Jaws, Exorcist, Animal House, Taxi Driver, Little Big Man and many, many more. There was a lot of great music many have mentioned.
 
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