The River's Badge

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Far Out! It's The Seventies!

That's right. The seventies. Who knew?

The popularity of American Hustle and Anchorman II has revived that lost decade. And by lost, I mean lost. I don't even remember the person I was in the nineteen seventies - it sure isn't anyone I recognize - but it's an indisputable fact I was there.

Let's face it - the music in the nineteen seventies was oftentimes cheesy. And yet, as I sat in the movie theater, watching that Oscar-nominated film (obviously not Anchorman - I mean the other film), I began to think, hmm - maybe it wasn't so awful after all.

Anyone who wasn't around back then would peg this as the ultimate representation of the 1970's:


And who could blame them? I love ABBA. Aside from John Denver, who best to take on the mantle of the nineteen seventies with such panache?

Thing is, the seventies encompassed ten whole years, and one can't sum up a whole decade with just the Bee Gees and four Norwegian pop singers. There were the Eagles and Olivia Newton-John and the Carpenters and Barry Manilow and Elton John and Wings and Fleetwood Mac and Helen Reddy (wow - haven't thought about her in decades). And don't forget Tony Orlando and Dawn. The whole thing was schizophrenic.

My taste in seventies music runs more toward England Dan and John Ford Coley than Boogie Oogie Oogie, but there's no denying that the seventies could get you out on the dance floor (that is, if you were a woman. Men don't dance, and when they try, they just look ridiculous).

So, bear with me as I indulge my country leanings first....

...with the Eagles:


...England Dan and John Ford Coley:


...Fleetwood Mac:


...John Denver:


...BJ Thomas:


...the Carpenters (ahhh):


...Olivia Newton-John:


...Ray Stevens (yes, Ray Stevens):


...and one just can't forget Blue Swede (or can they?):


...Andy Gibb (rest in peace):


But, you know, the decade rolled along and things got louder and even weirder than Blue Swede. But didn't everybody have fun?

The Village People (okay everybody - on your feet!):


Oh, I would never forget the Brothers Gibb:


Rod Stewart:


Okay, I don't care - this was from the seventies - and it happens to be one of my all-time faves, so give it up for John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John:


Did anyone actually do the Hustle? Well, I never learned the steps, apparently. Nevertheless, here is Van McCoy:


Which leads me back to the iconic images and sounds of the seventies. From ABBA to this, and I'm betting this is what everyone is going to remember:


In hindsight, I guess the seventies are kind of fun to look back on, in a nostalgic, cringe-worthy way - from Watergate to WIN buttons, from typewriters to Cabbage Patch dolls.

From eighteen per cent interest rates to my mom paying for the two of us to see Saturday Night Fever, during which I sank lower and lower in my seat, embarrassed to be watching an R-rated movie up there on the big screen (with sex scenes!) accompanied by my mom!

My sons were born in the seventies, and I'm sorry they don't have a "cool" decade to claim as their own, but hey - I was born in the fifties, so I had Pat Boone and Perry Como. And those guys are really hard to dance to.

I should say thanks to American Hustle for reminding me of those times. I guess it's a whole cottage industry now - movies about the nineteen seventies. It started with Argo, and I guess it'll run its course.

And then they'll start making movies featuring eighties songs from the likes of A-HA and Lionel Richie.

And then everyone can laugh and laugh.

















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