Lazy Luddite Log

16.5.11

Living In The 70s

Monash University Choral Society (MonUCS) are holding a concert of choral adaptations of 1970s popular songs on Saturday 28 May. Our rehearsal camp therefore had a 70s costume theme and to inform members of that diverse yet now somewhat distant decade I prepared a very short potted history of the 1970s with a musical and cultural bent. In the interests of lazy blogging I now reproduce that writing here...

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I’m living in the 70s
Eating fake food under plastic trees
My face gets dirty just walking around
I need another pill to calm me down


There is more to the 70s than the Skyhooks suggest in that verse and this hopes to give you a feel for the fun and varied cultural phenomena to come from that decade. Yes there were bell-bottom jeans and wide collars but there were also truckers and bikers and jet-packs!

It was an era in which the Cold War thawed somewhat (in a good way) while at the same time International terrorism arose to public prominence. It was a time of consumer kitch excess as well as economic recession and energy scarcity.

The good times and bad had an impact on art and culture which can be seen in the music of the time. In very different ways both metal and funk grew from 60s experimentation and explored the limits of experience. Later on punks raged at darker developments in the world while disco provided a hedonistic distraction.

Many things we associate with the 1960s emerged from the counter-culture to become a part of everyday life in the 70s. Looking back at some of the kids shows from that time you notice a distinct psychedelic aesthetic (H R Puff N Stuff).

Finally they had nostalgia then as now which took the form of a sentimental look at the 1950s with things like Grease and Happy Days.

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It was my hope to give a fuller sense of the 1970s in those few paragraphs than we tend to remember today and to imagine that my history major is of some use to me even now. The past - even the recent past - is fascinating.

Anyway I had a groovy time at camp which was cozy and mellow. I likewise expect our gig to be lots of fun. Even just rehearsing it is a blast. Come and see us!

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