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Subject: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: yelimsexa on 07/27/17 at 2:36 pm

Thanks to revisionist history due to academics and the media on portraying that decade, what do you feel are some misconceptions that people today view about the '70s compared to the facts?

1. Cassette tapes weren't around until well after the 8-track tape was released, when in fact both came out in the mid-1960s. The site Crazy Fads is the worst offender as it mentioned the mid 1970s as the point where most record labels dropped support for the format, when in reality it was still quite prevalent during the first couple years of the '80s.

2. Disco and punk dominated the entire decade. Of course, not only were both just underground during the first half of the decade, punk was only popular with a specialized audience and never received the big mainstream attention that disco had in the late '70s.

3. There were no personal computers, cellphones, or VCRs. Many people think of '70s computers as large mainframes in secret laboratories or those used in science fiction, when in reality, although expensive, they were on the market to the public starting around 1975, which was also when the first VCR was launched.  The first cellphone call was made in 1973, and early versions of in the form of carphones were often available on high-end models in the later part of the decade. Of course, most people due to their budget and the cost of early models meant that they wouldn't purchase and/or use one until the '80s or '90s.

4. The standard of living dropped through this decade due to inflation and a recession. Although real earnings (wages with respect to the inflation rate) did start to drop in 1976, it turned out to be more of a "cut the fat" approach in terms of being more practical, and the rise of imports allowed for the global economy to become more interdependent in a freer manner, and of course in many non-Western countries, particularly Japan and the OPEC nations, the standard of living boomed remarkably.


Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: 2001 on 07/27/17 at 4:22 pm

I'm gonna love what Voiceofthe70s has to say on this topic!  8)

I thought punk was the "rival" to disco in the late '70s. Wasn't it punk fans that started Disco Demolition Night?

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: Emman on 07/27/17 at 4:40 pm


I thought punk was the "rival" to disco in the late '70s. Wasn't it punk fans that started Disco Demolition Night?


You'd be surprised, John Lydon(of the Sex Pistols) incorporated disco influences in his post-punk group Public Image Limited, at the time(around 1979) he said disco was the only music he listened to(and dub reggae).

The guy who started Disco Demolition Night was more of a classic rock DJ, many punk rockers transitioned to disco/dub/hip-hop influenced music around 1979-1981, like the Clash. Many of the classic hard rock dudes probably hated punk as much as they hated disco.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 07/27/17 at 6:49 pm


I'm gonna love what Voiceofthe70s has to say on this topic!  8)

My reputation precedes me! Not bad for someone who hasn't been around here that long.  ;D


Cassette tapes weren't around until well after the 8-track tape was released, when in fact both came out in the mid-1960s. The site Crazy Fads is the worst offender as it mentioned the mid 1970s as the point where most record labels dropped support for the format, when in reality it was still quite prevalent during the first couple years of the '80s.

Once and for all, I want to dispel this widespread misconception that 8 -track tapes were the dominant medium for listening to music in the 1970s. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact 8-tracks were dead pretty much right out of the gate. The inherent limitations of the format made them unappealing and hard to use. The inconvenient and clunky size, the fact that they only moved one way (you could only fast forward but not rewind), the fact that they cut off in the middle of a song with a loud noise to switch to the next track where the song would resume. I mean, come on! Sure, people had them, but no hip kids, myself included (ahem), really wanted anything to do with them and it seemed to me they fast became the exclusive province of old people who played them in their Buicks, listening to Mantovani and Lawrence Welk.

I had my first cassette "tape recorder" (as we called them then) in 1972. From Radio Shack, of course.  :D These were pretty common devices back then and blank cassettes were everywhere, but pre-recorded were not yet a popular medium for buying music, although they were available as such. Cassettes only took off as the dominant medium for music with the advent of the Sony Walkman circa 83/84 and pretty much remained that way for the rest of the 80s, sharing the stage with the CD which started taking off circa 1985. And despite cassettes and CDs, vinyl records also held their own for the rest of the 80s.


Disco and punk dominated the entire decade. Of course, not only were both just underground during the first half of the decade, punk was only popular with a specialized audience and never received the big mainstream attention that disco had in the late '70s.

Though there were a smattering of early disco songs like "Fly Robin Fly" in 1975, I never even heard the word "disco" (as we came to know it) until 1976 when it suddenly became a "thing" and took off big time. Punk never got it's head above ground in the US mainstream even for a minute, despite revisionist history, but of course it became hugely influential nonetheless and cast a long shadow. Even in the UK where it DID make a huge splash, it was for quite a brief moment, although, again, it's influence is immense. When the mainstream finally started knowing about punk in the US it was in the watered down form known as "new wave" and the 80s had arrived.



There were no personal computers, cellphones, or VCRs. Many people think of '70s computers as large mainframes in secret laboratories or those used in science fiction, when in reality, although expensive, they were on the market to the public starting around 1975, which was also when the first VCR was launched.  The first cellphone call was made in 1973, and early versions of in the form of carphones were often available on high-end models in the later part of the decade. Of course, most people due to their budget and the cost of early models meant that they wouldn't purchase and/or use one until the '80s or '90s.

These things were around here and there but they were few and far between. They were prohibitively expensive and they were large and clunky. The first cell phones I remember were called "briefcase phones" because they were the size of bricks and carried around in what looked like a briefcase. Telephone answering machines were equally scarce. A few people (mostly rich people) started having them by the end of the 70s.


The standard of living dropped through this decade due to inflation and a recession. Although real earnings (wages with respect to the inflation rate) did start to drop in 1976, it turned out to be more of a "cut the fat" approach in terms of being more practical, and the rise of imports allowed for the global economy to become more interdependent in a freer manner, and of course in many non-Western countries, particularly Japan and the OPEC nations, the standard of living boomed remarkably.

I'm not an expert on the economy, but it didn't seem so bad to me back then. Things were generally affordable. Albums were $3.29. Concert tickets were $4.50, $5.50 and $6.50 and one could see all the greats. The Stones wanted to charge $8 in 1972 and this was considered scandalous. There were editorials in magazines about how they had "sold out to the Man".  I do remember the so-called "energy crisis" with long lines for gas. It wasn't until the 80s and the Reagan era that it seems the middle class in the US started to be systematically dismantled. But that sounds like it's own thread to me.  ;)

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: AmericanGirl on 07/27/17 at 9:28 pm


Once and for all, I want to dispel this widespread misconception that 8 -track tapes were the dominant medium for listening to music in the 1970s. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact 8-tracks were dead pretty much right out of the gate. The inherent limitations of the format made them unappealing and hard to use. The inconvenient and clunky size, the fact that they only moved one way (you could only fast forward but not rewind), the fact that they cut off in the middle of a song with a loud noise to switch to the next track where the song would resume. I mean, come on! Sure, people had them, but no hip kids, myself included (ahem), really wanted anything to do with them and it seemed to me they fast became the exclusive province of old people who played them in their Buicks, listening to Mantovani and Lawrence Welk.

I had the fortune (or misfortune to some) to have an 8-track recorder.  Not very common.  I enjoyed it though, and actually made a number of well-loved homespun 8-tracks.  They rocked in the car and at home.  It was good - until I could no longer find blanks, and shortly thereafter my 8-track equipment broke  :-\\


I had my first cassette "tape recorder" (as we called them then) in 1972. From Radio Shack, of course.  :D These were pretty common devices back then and blank cassettes were everywhere, but pre-recorded were not yet a popular medium for buying music, although they were available as such. Cassettes only took off as the dominant medium for music with the advent of the Sony Walkman circa 83/84 and pretty much remained that way for the rest of the 80s, sharing the stage with the CD which started taking off circa 1985. And despite cassettes and CDs, vinyl records also held their own for the rest of the 80s.


I concur cassettes were plentiful in the early 70's.  In the early 70's we (family) got one of those cute plastic cased ones for Christmas - fun!  I remember us kids at the kitchen table recording our own reenactment of "Sister Mary Elephant" to our great amusement.  At that point cassettes were by and large a low-fidelity medium, which is why it was rare to find "serious" prerecorded music then.  The blanks you could buy at Radio Shack were crappy quality, most tape recorders worked in mono, and they were hiss-noisy.  The advent of Dolby noise reduction coupled with much improved tape formulations made all the difference (not to mention better consumer equipment, including boomboxes), and by the late part of the decade cassettes had graduated to the big time.


Though there were a smattering of early disco songs like "Fly Robin Fly" in 1975, I never even heard the word "disco" (as we came to know it) until 1976 when it suddenly became a "thing" and took off big time. Punk never got it's head above ground in the US mainstream even for a minute, despite revisionist history, but of course it became hugely influential nonetheless and cast a long shadow. Even in the UK where it DID make a huge splash, it was for quite a brief moment, although, again, it's influence is immense. When the mainstream finally started knowing about punk in the US it was in the watered down form known as "new wave" and the 80s had arrived.


I first heard the term "Disco" in reference to the music genre in late 1974.  But Disco was a "plays nice" genre until around mid-1976 when it started taking over.  Of course by the end of '77 Disco was king.  "Disco Demolition" didn't kill Disco but did start taking the wind out of its sails...


These things were around here and there but they were few and far between. They were prohibitively expensive and they were large and clunky. The first cell phones I remember were called "briefcase phones" because they were the size of bricks and carried around in what looked like a briefcase. Telephone answering machines were equally scarce. A few people (mostly rich people) started having them by the end of the 70s.


Yes, rich people - especially those who liked futuristic toys  ::)

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: AmericanGirl on 07/27/17 at 10:33 pm


In the early 70's we (family) got one of those cute plastic cased for Christmas - fun!

I think it was this one; I remember it was Panasonic and was light grey:
http://users.dls.net/~faulkners/70sTapeRec.jpg

8)

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: TheReignMan99 on 07/28/17 at 12:25 am


I'm not an expert on the economy, but it didn't seem so bad to me back then. Things were generally affordable. Albums were $3.29. Concert tickets were $4.50, $5.50 and $6.50 and one could see all the greats. The Stones wanted to charge $8 in 1972 and this was considered scandalous. There were editorials in magazines about how they had "sold out to the Man".  I do remember the so-called "energy crisis" with long lines for gas. It wasn't until the 80s and the Reagan era that it seems the middle class in the US started to be systematically dismantled. But that sounds like it's own thread to me.  ;)

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you said even though I was born almost 20 years after the '70s ended ;D.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: Howard on 07/28/17 at 8:01 am


I'm gonna love what Voiceofthe70s has to say on this topic!  8)

I thought punk was the "rival" to disco in the late '70s. Wasn't it punk fans that started Disco Demolition Night?


i don't know if it was punk fans but I believe it was people in general who started Disco Demolition Night, they just hated disco.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: AmericanGirl on 07/28/17 at 4:17 pm


i don't know if it was punk fans but I believe it was people in general who started Disco Demolition Night, they just hated disco.


It was a popular Chicago DJ, Steve Dahl, who conceived and put on "Disco Demolition" at Comiskey Park in Chicago in '79.  He DJ'd one of the more popular Chicago radio stations, the Loop - whose listeners tend towards Classic and Hard Rock - so he had a virtual army of fans ready and waiting to express their displeasure with Disco's dominance, and in the process make history.  One thing that always puzzled me - for the people that attended, if they didn't like Disco then where'd they get all those Disco albums?  ;D

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: Howard on 07/29/17 at 5:00 am


It was a popular Chicago DJ, Steve Dahl, who conceived and put on "Disco Demolition" at Comiskey Park in Chicago in '79.  He DJ'd one of the more popular Chicago radio stations, the Loop - whose listeners tend towards Classic and Hard Rock - so he had a virtual army of fans ready and waiting to express their displeasure with Disco's dominance, and in the process make history.  One thing that always puzzled me - for the people that attended, if they didn't like Disco then where'd they get all those Disco albums?   ;D



They probably had saved them on their shelves or maybe in a closet.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: AmericanGirl on 07/29/17 at 9:04 am



They probably had saved them on their shelves or maybe in a closet.


I think it's more likely they stole them from their "misguided" siblings  ;D

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: LooseBolt on 09/01/17 at 9:07 pm


Though there were a smattering of early disco songs like "Fly Robin Fly" in 1975, I never even heard the word "disco" (as we came to know it) until 1976 when it suddenly became a "thing" and took off big time. Punk never got it's head above ground in the US mainstream even for a minute, despite revisionist history, but of course it became hugely influential nonetheless and cast a long shadow. Even in the UK where it DID make a huge splash, it was for quite a brief moment, although, again, it's influence is immense. When the mainstream finally started knowing about punk in the US it was in the watered down form known as "new wave" and the 80s had arrived.


So question (and I apologize if this breaks rules of mixing decades): when did (non-new wave) punk, in the style we mostly know it, become a big deal?

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 09/01/17 at 11:04 pm


So question (and I apologize if this breaks rules of mixing decades): when did (non-new wave) punk, in the style we mostly know it, become a big deal?


Oh, it was a big deal right from the get go in the fact that it was influential. It's just that in it's original 1977-1980 incarnation in the US it never rose above the underground and into the mainstream. There were no punk "hits" as such, in the way there were disco hits. But I don't think there were intended to be punk hits, the original movement was decidedly anti-commercial, anti-mainstream. But it had such a big influence it had on bands that came later.

Or are you talking about punk NOW? I'm not sure why there even is punk or punk bands now. How come it isn't considered "oldie"?  When I was around the original punk era circa 1977, no self respecting "hip" person was dressing like or listening to music from 40 years before, which would have been circa 1937.  I realize like any form, punk has evolved from the days of "old school" punk to something somewhat different. Yet, there are punk bands today and they sometimes even look and sound to me like the days of the late 70s. My point being, a lot of that type of thing goes on now, from being in punk bands to listening to the Doors, yet in the 70s it simply was not a thing for young people to partake in popular culture from 40 years before.

This reminds me a bit of the "this is closer to this than that is closer to that" threads that appear on this board.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: LooseBolt on 09/02/17 at 4:56 am

I mainly meant when did non-new wave punk become popular. Stuff more similar to the Ramones (such as Bad Religion, if it can be called similar) than to Devo or Blondie.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 09/02/17 at 9:51 am


I mainly meant when did non-new wave punk become popular. Stuff more similar to the Ramones (such as Bad Religion, if it can be called similar) than to Devo or Blondie.


It DIDN'T become popular, it just became "known", if that answers your question. Even the Ramones, in their heyday, were never that big. I think your question should be "when did punk become so influential". It was influential right from the start. I'm talking about here in the US. In England punk did have a brief famous moment in the sun. Punk's legacy is it's long lasting influence and the way it kicked the ass of rock and roll which in 1976/77 had become bloated, corporate and stodgy. In the late 70s with the rise of horrid disco, it looked like rock and roll was in real danger of going under. Punk kick started it back to life. It got another 15 or more years. I'm still astonished that in this day and age rock music has gone away from popular culture. This would have been unthinkable back then. The rallying cry was always "rock and roll is here to stay". Little did we know.

Anyway, to answer your question literally, the heyday of punk was the late 70s. It hatefully co-existed with disco. Very strange bedfellows indeed.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: AmericanGirl on 09/02/17 at 10:52 am



I mainly meant when did non-new wave punk become popular. Stuff more similar to the Ramones (such as Bad Religion, if it can be called similar) than to Devo or Blondie.

It DIDN'T become popular, it just became "known", if that answers your question.


I concur completely.  I was in my collegiate late teens in the late 70's; anyone I encountered that was a "punk" lover I (wrongly) looked upon with suspicion, as if they had an anti-social bent or a druggie.  Sadly that was my judgemental attitude back then  :-\\  But I don't think I was alone...

Mind you I did change my attitude sometime during the early 80's...

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: JordanK1982 on 09/02/17 at 11:20 am

It seems that when gen x got a hold of punk in the early 80's, it became stripped down (in fashion as well as sound), faster and angier becoming hardcore punk. What did you guys think of that whole scene?


I mainly meant when did non-new wave punk become popular. Stuff more similar to the Ramones (such as Bad Religion, if it can be called similar) than to Devo or Blondie.


Even though they were slower and had a more melodic edge than many other bands of the time, Bad Religion belong with the 2nd wave of punk (the hardcore era) that took place during the first half of the 80's (bands like Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, Circle Jerks, etc.) rather than with '77 era bands than The Ramones, Clash or Pistols.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 09/02/17 at 11:32 am


It DIDN'T become popular, it just became "known", if that answers your question.


I concur completely.  I was in my collegiate late teens in the late 70's; anyone I encountered that was a "punk" lover I (wrongly) looked upon with suspicion, as if they had an anti-social bent or a druggie.  Sadly that was my judgemental attitude back then  :-\\  But I don't think I was alone...

Mind you I did change my attitude sometime during the early 80's...


A really good example of what you are talking about can be seen in the Spike Lee "Summer of Sam" movie which takes place in the Bronx in New York in the summer of 1977 when the infamous "Son of Sam" serial killer was terrorizing the area. It's a sprawling MESS of a movie but it realistically captures some aspects of that very specific period of time. It centers on a tight knit group of buddies (and their girlfriends) in the neighborhood, all of them into disco, the current trend of the day, looking like Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever" with their polyester clothes, blow dried chest hair and gold chains. Except for one of them, played by Adrien Brody, who is way into punk, has a mohawk and has to regularly travel the distance from the Bronx to Manhattan to go to punk clubs. He's like a fish out of water and way more advanced than these dull-witted disco bros. They eventually start to view him with such suspicion that they actually think he is the killer!

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 09/02/17 at 11:44 am


It seems that when gen x got a hold of punk in the early 80's, it became stripped down (in fashion as well as sound), faster and angier becoming hardcore punk. What did you guys think of that whole scene?

Even though they were slower and had a more melodic edge than many other bands of the time, Bad Religion belong with the 2nd wave of punk (the hardcore era) that took place during the first half of the 80's (bands like Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, Circle Jerks, etc.) rather than with '77 era bands than The Ramones, Clash or Pistols.


Your timeline is accurate. The hardcore scene had interesting energy. It's where slam dancing, as it was called then, originated. And it was pretty much an entirely male scene. All these guys banging up against each other and testosterone flying around.

And Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, Circle Jerks and the like were a welcome alternative (though that word wasn't used yet either) to the cartoonish new wave of the day. But again, nowhere near as commercially popular.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: LooseBolt on 09/02/17 at 2:10 pm

If anybody is interested in learning about the early 80s hardcore movement, of which I am a HUGE fan, watch American Hardcore. Very many similarities to how you hear people talk about today.

Also MDC - excellent hardcore band from around that time.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: JordanK1982 on 09/02/17 at 2:50 pm


Your timeline is accurate. The hardcore scene had interesting energy. It's where slam dancing, as it was called then, originated. And it was pretty much an entirely male scene. All these guys banging up against each other and testosterone flying around.

And Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, Circle Jerks and the like were a welcome alternative (though that word wasn't used yet either) to the cartoonish new wave of the day. But again, nowhere near as commercially popular.


That's true! Slam dancing also used to be called the H.B. Strut (since it originated from a Huntington Beach punk gang known as The H.B.'s) until Ian Mackaye (of Minor Threat) and Henry Rollins (of S.O.A. and Black Flag) brought it back to D.C. which then soon spread to New York. I believe the term "moshing" originated from H.R. of the Bad Brains but it wasn't until around '85 that thrash metal circles started using it to describe their appropriation of slam dancing.

Have you ever been to any hardcore shows during it's heyday?


If anybody is interested in learning about the early 80s hardcore movement, of which I am a HUGE fan, watch American Hardcore. Very many similarities to how you hear people talk about today.

Also MDC - excellent hardcore band from around that time.


Neither the film nor book are really the best places to start. Steven Blush spends too much time letting his bias shine through rather than cutting the sh!t and getting right to the facts. The book's a little better than the movie in terms of detail but I don't care about how "the women in the scene were ugly, the metal bands had the big haired bitches!" or "this band/scene was crap and contributed nothing!" I'd rather read a straight documentation of what happened. Even when reading the interview excerpts (opinions from people who actually matter like band members, guys who ran the labels and roadies), big blocks of text of his opinion are annoyingly lodged in between and take up space despite the fact that they really don't contribute anything insightful. The film's even worse because it focuses way too much attention on bigger bands like Black Flag and Bad Brains (who could easily have their own documentaries) yet it doesn't even touch on a qunitessential band such as the Dead Kennedys or focus on the D.I.Y. aesthetic, smaller scenes and youth-friendliness (and all these elements are the core of early 80's punk). Another issue is the way he touches upon the violence in both the film and the book -- it's painted as if it was a nation-wide phenomenon that every scene had to deal with when really, the vast bulk of hardcore violence came from southern california due to all the punk gangs that formed in that area (Lyle Preslar of Minor Threat also disputed this in an interview). His reasoning for ending hardcore's heyday in '86 is also pretty flimsy as it all boils down to "I left the scene for glam metal in 86 so it ends there." I started going to shows in the 90's and continued going until the mid 00's so around the time American Hardcore came out in 2001, I still knew a lot of older punk rockers who were actually there. They've always had the opinion that 83-84 (even before the book came out) is roughly around the period where hardcore came to an end and somewhere from 84 or 85 to around 89 or 90 was the second wave of 80's punk which consisted of college rock, early pop punk, emocore, grunge, NYHC, youth crew, crossover and maybe one or two bands that still played the purist hardcore sound. After sitting down and listening to different records from all throughout the 80's, this timespan makes a lot more sense.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: DesiredUsernameWasTaken on 09/02/17 at 3:12 pm


2. Disco and punk dominated the entire decade. Of course, not only were both just underground during the first half of the decade, punk was only popular with a specialized audience and never received the big mainstream attention that disco had in the late '70s.


I disagree about disco only being popular in the second half of the 70's. A lot of people think that 1975 was when it began to rise, but I actually think it was quite significant in 1974 as well. That year had quite a couple of disco songs in the top 40 such as "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe", "Boogie Down", "Dancing Machine", "King Fu Fighting", "Love's Theme", "Rock Your Baby", "The Sound Of Philadelphia" etc.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 09/02/17 at 3:49 pm


I disagree about disco only being popular in the second half of the 70's. A lot of people think that 1975 was when it began to rise, but I actually think it was quite significant in 1974 as well. That year had quite a couple of disco songs in the top 40 such as "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe", "Boogie Down", "Dancing Machine", "King Fu Fighting", "Love's Theme", "Rock Your Baby", "The Sound Of Philadelphia" etc.


There may have been the smattering of songs you mention in 1974, but there was no defined "disco" genre as such. It had not solidified into what became known as "disco" and did not until 1976. Nobody heard "Dancing Machine" or (especially) "Kung Fu Fighting" in 1974 and said "that's a disco song". I was there, and they just didn't. Looking back from 1977 or something, one THEN might have said "'Dancing Machine", for example,  had the makings of disco. But not in 74. If anything, "Kung Fu Fighting" was (and is) considered a novelty song.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: LooseBolt on 09/02/17 at 5:22 pm


Neither the film nor book are really the best places to start. Steven Blush spends too much time letting his bias shine through rather than cutting the sh!t and getting right to the facts. The book's a little better than the movie in terms of detail but I don't care about how "the women in the scene were ugly, the metal bands had the big haired bitches!" or "this band/scene was crap and contributed nothing!" I'd rather read a straight documentation of what happened. Even when reading the interview excerpts (opinions from people who actually matter like band members, guys who ran the labels and roadies), big blocks of text of his opinion are annoyingly lodged in between and take up space despite the fact that they really don't contribute anything insightful. The film's even worse because it focuses way too much attention on bigger bands like Black Flag and Bad Brains (who could easily have their own documentaries) yet it doesn't even touch on a qunitessential band such as the Dead Kennedys or focus on the D.I.Y. aesthetic, smaller scenes and youth-friendliness (and all these elements are the core of early 80's punk). Another issue is the way he touches upon the violence in both the film and the book -- it's painted as if it was a nation-wide phenomenon that every scene had to deal with when really, the vast bulk of hardcore violence came from southern california due to all the punk gangs that formed in that area (Lyle Preslar of Minor Threat also disputed this in an interview). His reasoning for ending hardcore's heyday in '86 is also pretty flimsy as it all boils down to "I left the scene for glam metal in 86 so it ends there." I started going to shows in the 90's and continued going until the mid 00's so around the time American Hardcore came out in 2001, I still knew a lot of older punk rockers who were actually there. They've always had the opinion that 83-84 (even before the book came out) is roughly around the period where hardcore came to an end and somewhere from 84 or 85 to around 89 or 90 was the second wave of 80's punk which consisted of college rock, early pop punk, emocore, grunge, NYHC, youth crew, crossover and maybe one or two bands that still played the purist hardcore sound. After sitting down and listening to different records from all throughout the 80's, this timespan makes a lot more sense.


Huh, I never knew. TIL.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: Voiceofthe70s on 09/02/17 at 6:44 pm



Have you ever been to any hardcore shows during it's heyday?


Yes I was at a number of them though it was never my main thing. I was just around and don't even really remember the bands. I noticed it was basically an all male phenomenon and the energy of it was almost sexual in it's way. Though I don't think the guys slamming into each other thought of it as such for the most part.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: DesiredUsernameWasTaken on 09/02/17 at 9:08 pm


There may have been the smattering of songs you mention in 1974, but there was no defined "disco" genre as such. It had not solidified into what became known as "disco" and did not until 1976. Nobody heard "Dancing Machine" or (especially) "Kung Fu Fighting" in 1974 and said "that's a disco song". I was there, and they just didn't. Looking back from 1977 or something, one THEN might have said "'Dancing Machine", for example,  had the makings of disco. But not in 74. If anything, "Kung Fu Fighting" was (and is) considered a novelty song.


I'm pretty sure most music historians put late 1974/1975 as the beginning of disco's rise in popularity, and not 1976, and in my opinion late summer/early autumn 1974 was when disco began to emerge as a sweeping phenomenon.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: AmericanGirl on 09/02/17 at 11:07 pm


I'm pretty sure most music historians put late 1974/1975 as the beginning of disco's rise in popularity, and not 1976, and in my opinion late summer/early autumn 1974 was when disco began to emerge as a sweeping phenomenon.


Disco certainly was around in '74 - but most didn't recognize it as a new genre then.  (Although for the record, I had heard the term being applied to music for the first time late in '74, on some TV news program.)  Later, upon looking back on those certain '74 songs, however, it was clear they were indeed early Disco songs.  To teenage ears like mine at that time ('74), they were just cool sounding dance records.  I wouldn't call Disco a "sweeping phenomenon" in 1974, but it was on the rise.  However in 1975 no one was saying "oh that new Disco music, it's taking over" as was being said by mid/late '76 or so.  Disco played nice for a couple years.

Subject: Re: Misconceptions of the 1970s

Written By: JordanK1982 on 09/06/17 at 12:07 am


Yes I was at a number of them though it was never my main thing. I was just around and don't even really remember the bands. I noticed it was basically an all male phenomenon and the energy of it was almost sexual in it's way. Though I don't think the guys slamming into each other thought of it as such for the most part.


I've actually heard quite a lot of guys refer to slam dancing as "almost homoerotic" due to the nature of it and the lack of girls. Apparently, the original punk scene was fairly female friendly with the pogo and everything but once young teenagers with shaved heads got ahold of it and morphed it into hardcore with slam dancing, the girls just left in droves. I hear the changeover was particually bad in LA; night and day, almost, with how the attitudes changed.

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