Tag: 1970’s

Scene from Anti Vietnam War Protest – April 1971

The veterans’ presence in Washington today is deeply confusing to the American mood. A police sergeant on duty at the Capitol says, ‘Hell, I’d throw in my badge before I touch these guys.’ A businessman, who was just passing by, now fussily clears a path for Bill Loivie, who has spent two years in military hospitals and will always need crutches. An old couple, he in red baseball cap, she in blue rinse, have come up from Georgia to see Washington in the spring and now they march with a woman who lost a son over there. Even a party of enormous ladies from the Daughters of the American Revolution, an organization that would gleefully detonate the world tomorrow and which happened to be meeting in Washington today, stand transfixed and almost crying, almost, as the carnage passes them by, including Jack Saul from California wearing a grotesque mask of Richard Nixon smiling. And when someone asks Jack, jokingly, what he himself looks like, he takes it off and reveals a face that looks as though he has just finished pouring acid on it. ‘Peace,’ he says.

Eyewitness to History
Civilization’s most momentous events come vibrantly alive in this magnificent collection of over three hundred eyewitness accounts spanning twenty-four turbulent centuries — remarkable recollections of battles, atrocities, disasters, coronations, assassinations and discoveries that shaped the course of history, all related in vivid detail by observers on the scene.

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_Veterans_Against_the_War

Soul Train Retrospective – Planet Money Episode

In 1970, when Don Cornelius first launched Soul Train, it was still relatively rare to see Black people on network TV. So the idea of a Black-owned show featuring Black performers and created for a Black audience was revolutionary.

Don Cornelius’s weekly TV dance show became a huge and enduring hit. And Don Cornelius himself pioneered the business of Black joy, and opened doors for Black people from Hollywood to Wall Street to Madison Avenue.

Soul Train’ and the business of Black joy

Worst Movies of 1972

The Ten Worst Movies Of 1972 *
Vincent Canby
Jan. 7, 1973

Mary, Queen of Scots, directed by Charles Jarrott
what I recall about this film most vividly is its complete lack of urgency. It’s a Christmas card sale in January.

Young Winston, directed by Richard Attenborough
“Young Winston” is one of those movie biographies in which a character asks the great‐man‐to‐be: “What’s ever to become of you?”

The Man, directed by Joseph Sargent
According to a long‐popular myth, some movies are so bad they’re good. If it’s possible, though, I doubt it, you might describe “The Man” that way.

The Public Eye, directed by Carol Reed
It takes Topol, who gives what is positively the year’s worst performance as a lovable private detective, to reunite the couple. The film spends so much time sight‐seeing around London you might reasonably wonder if it was financed by BOAC.

Portnoy’s Complaint, directed by Ernest Lehman
Roth’s hugely funny, dirty, first‐person narrative becomes embarrassingly crude and show‐offy.

A Place Called Today, directed and written by Don Schain
This is my sentimental choice as the most horrible film of the year, one of the two soft‐core porn films of 1972 that, starred Cheri Caffaro

The War Between Men and Women, directed by Melville Shavelson
This was undoubtedly the year’s most peculiarly mixed‐up comedy, about a cartoonist (Jack Lemmon) who’s going blind and tries to keep it a secret from the decent woman (Barbara Harris)

Trouble Man, directed by Ivan Dixon
This stands out as one of the worst black rip‐off films of the year

Savage Messiah, directed by Ken Russell
No list of the most awful films of the year would be complete without something by Ken Russell

. . . . And Hope To Die, directed by René Clément
the story is about some underworld characters in Montreal and more than that ye need not know.

The Trial of The Catonsville Nine, directed by Gordon Davison
so full of self‐congratulations that you’re likely to wind up questioning your original admiration for the nine.

* Listed 11 by my count.

New York Times fiction best-seller list of January 7, 1973 – Gore Vidal on

Times Machine

Jonathan Livingston Seagull – Richard Bach
The number one best-seller is called Jonathan Livingston Seagull. It is a greeting card bound like a book with a number of photographs of seagulls in flight.

The Odessa File – Frederick Forsyth
At first glance The Odessa File, by Frederick Forsyth, looks to be just another bold hard-hitting attack on the Nazis in the form of a thriller masked as a pseudo-documentary.

Semi-Tough – Dan Jenkins
I fear that I am not the audience Mr. Dan Jenkins had in mind when he wrote his amiable book Semi-Tough, but I found it pleasant enough, and particularly interesting for what it does not go into.

August 1914 – Alexander Solzhenitsyn
As a fiction, August 1914 is not as well managed as Mr. Wouk’s Winds of War. I daresay as an expression of one man’s indomitable spirit in a tyrannous society we must honor if not the art the author.

The Persian Boy – Mary Renault
Can your average beautiful teen-age Persian eunuch find happiness with your average Greek world conqueror who is also a dish and aged only twenty-six? The answer Mary Renault triumphantly gives us in The Persian Boy is ne!

The Camerons – Robert Crichton
Mr. Crichton has elected to address himself to characters that seem to be infinitely remote from him, not to mention his readers. A UK mining town in what I take to be the 1870s (there is a reference to Keir Hardie, the trade unionist).

The Winds of War – Herman Wouk
The Winds of War: 885 pages of small type in which Herman Wouk describes the family of a naval captain just before America enters the Second World War (there is to be a sequel).

On the Night of the Seventh Moon – Victoria Holt
On the Night of the Seventh Moon belongs to a genre I know very little about: the Gothic novel for ladies. But I do recall the films made from the novels of Daphne du Maurier, the queen of this sort of writing. In fact, I once wrote the screenplay for one of her most powerful works, The Scapegoat, in which the dogged (and in this case hounded) Alec Guinness played two people.

The Eiger Sanction – Trevanian
The Eiger Sanction, by Trevanian (just one name) is light years distant from Two from Galilee. For one thing, it is sometimes well-written, though hardly, as the blurb tells us, “vintage Huxley.” Actually The Eiger Sanction is an Ian Fleming byblow and of its too numerous kind pretty good.

Two from Galilee – Marjorie Holmes
Since the film Love Story really took off, what about a love story starring the Mother and the Stepfather of Our Lord? A super idea. And Marjorie has written it.

From the essay:
The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal

Those Hipsters Might Have a Point

Q: How did the hipster burn his tongue?
A: He drank his coffee before it was cool.

Grundy was the big dividing line in the Sex Pistols’ story. Before it, we were all about the music, but from then on it was all about the media. In some ways it was our finest moment, but in others it was the beginning of the end.

The crowds were settling into a formula, too. Instead of thinking for themselves like they used to, the people who came to the occasional gig we did actually get to play seemed to have almost a code of conduct in their minds of how they should behave. They’d read that spitting and pogoing was the thing to do, so they fucking did it.

Lonely Boy: Tales from a Sex Pistol
Steve Jones

Walk on the Wild Side

“Walk on the Wild Side” is a song by Lou Reed from his second solo album, Transformer (1972). It was produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson and released as a double A-side with “Perfect Day”. Known as a counterculture anthem, the song received wide radio coverage and became Reed’s biggest hit and signature song despite touching on taboo topics such as transgender people, drugs, male prostitution, and oral sex.

The song’s lyrics, describing a series of individuals and their journeys to New York City, refer to several of the regular “superstars” at Andy Warhol’s New York studio, the Factory; the song mentions Holly Woodlawn, Candy Darling, Joe Dallesandro, Jackie Curtis and Joe Campbell (referred to in the song by the nickname “Sugar Plum Fairy”).

In 2013, The New York Times described “Walk on the Wild Side” as a “ballad of misfits and oddballs” that “became an unlikely cultural anthem, a siren song luring generations of people…to a New York so long forgotten as to seem imaginary”. In 2010, Rolling Stone ranked “Walk on the Wild Side” at number 223 in its list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.


Shattered – The Rolling Stones, Schmatta

“Shattered” is a song by the English rock band the Rolling Stones from their 1978 album Some Girls. The song is a reflection of American lifestyles and life in 1970s-era New York City, but also influences from the English punk rock movement can be heard.


Uh huh shattered, uh huh shattered
Love and hope and sex and dreams
Are still surviving on the street
Look at me, I’m in tatters!
I’m a shattered

Friends are so alarming
My lover’s never charming
Life’s just a cocktail party on the street
Big Apple
People dressed in plastic bags
Directing traffic
Some kind of fashion

Laughter, joy, and loneliness and sex and sex and sex and sex
Look at me, I’m in tatters
I’m a shattered

All this chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter, chitter-chatter ’bout
Shmatta, shmatta, shmatta, I can’t give it away on 7th Avenue
This town’s been wearing tatters (shattered, sha ooobie shattered)

Location, location, location. If there’s an element of luck to my story, it’s that the Stones—Mick, Keith, and Woody—lived in the same place as me. If Picasso had a “blue period” and Orson Welles a “film noir period,” then this was the Stones’ “New York period.” They wrote songs about the city—their new album gave a shout-out to 8th Street—and became part of its fabric. When Mick sang about walkin’ Central Park and about schmattas on Seventh Avenue, he was drawing from experience. I mean, how many non-New Yorkers even know what a schmatta is? (Yiddish for “rag.”)

Under Their Thumb: How a Nice Boy from Brooklyn Got Mixed Up with the Rolling Stones (and Lived to Tell About It)
Bill German
(Great book, by the way. Highly recommended.)