Wednesday, February 1, 2012

‘70’s by Jerry W. Henry

In my mind, I can see myself back in the ‘70’s. I am wearing bellbottom jeans and a shirt with large graphics, flip-flops. I of course have sideburns and long hair. I never wore platform shoes or leisure suits. I get into my car with retracting headlights, opera windows and an 8-track tape player. The really good music stopped in 1972 and it was disco time. The hippie days were over. Many of the "radical" ideas of the 60's gained wider acceptance in the new decade, and were mainstreamed into American life and culture.
It was the time for mood rings, lava lamps, Rubik’s cube, smiley face stickers, pet rocks, ‘Far Out,’ floppy disc and VCR’s. The first “Earth Day” was in ‘70. Watergate happened in 1972 and the Roe v. Wade decision was in ‘73. South Vietnam fell to Communist forces of North Vietnam in ‘75. Our nation’s 200th anniversary was in ’76. Jonestown mass suicide occurred in ’78. Three Mile Island leak was in ’79. Names in the news were Cesar Chavez, Shirley Chisholm, Patty Hearst, Jesse Jackson, George McGovern, Karen Silkwood, George Wallace and Andrew Young.
Rock & Roll became soft rock, hard rock, folk rock, country rock, punk rock, shock rock and progressive rock. The Beatles broke up and Elvis died.
On January 1, 1970 Jimi Hendrix rocks in the new year -- and the new decade -- by debuting his Band of Gypsys at a New Year's Eve show at Filmore East. The concert is recorded and released on his Band of Gypsys album. The #1 single that week was Someday We'll Be Together by Diana Ross & The Supremes.
On December 31, 1979 The Jefferson Starship's New Year's Eve concert at X's night club in San Francisco is broadcast over radio to much of the Western world. The #1 single that week was Le Freak by Chic.
In between, the best selling artists of the decade in the US: Elton John, followed by Paul McCartney, Bee Gees, Carpenters, the Jackson 5 and Mike Oldfield who released Tubular Bells that went to number one and sold over 137 million copies. Worldwide, the best selling group of the ‘70’s was ABBA.
During the ‘70’s I lived in Panama City Beach, Florida. I owned surfboard/t-shirt shops, called Surf Hut, and a large screen-printing company Adcraft. I was also a concert promoter that brought music acts to the city auditoriums along the Gulf Coast. Most of the garage bands from Alabama I saw in the clubs on the beach such as the Breakers, Old Dutch, Old Hickory, and Cork & Bottle/Red Rooster.
For me much of the ‘70’s was a blur. Not only was I drinking heavy, I was also smoking as much Mexican pot as my lungs could inhale. In spite of myself I was very successful in business. I surrounded myself with talented dedicated people. If I remember anything about that decade it would be how social drugs were.

1 comment:

  1. Very cool article. Unfortunately the hippie days are still with us. They became politicians. They're every where.