Green Room

Where were you in …. ’78?

posted at 11:22 am on November 12, 2012 by

Where was I in the summer of 1978?  I spent the summer with cousins in Lake Havasu, Arizona, as I had done for the previous few years.  It was the best summer of my youth, and unfortunately the last one I’d spend in Arizona. In 1979, I had a job and a girlfriend and was about to start my senior year in high school, and all of us moved on to other adventures.

Last week, I spent a little bit of time with my family, and we decided to celebrate New Year’s Day in Minnesota at our house by reconvening the Summer of ’78.  (The irony of celebrating a summer in the hottest place in the US by assembling in the winter in one of the coldest was not lost on us, either.)  We’ll be piled high with family, nostalgia, embarrassing stories of summers spent together as kids and teens, and hopefully more mirth than we can imagine at the moment … not to mention gaps in hot water.

So, it’s now my task to gather the movies and music of that summer to celebrate it at the end of the year.  Grease and Animal House are obvious selections for films (and The Swarm an obvious choice to avoid), while Steve Miller Band’s Book of Dreams comes to mind for music.  What do you recommend for a celebration of the Summer of ’78?  I’ll watch the comments closely for any and all suggestions ….

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Summer of ’78? The Yankees fell 14 games behind the Red Sox and came storming back to force a playoff game and win the AL East. I was 12 at the time. My best memory of ’78.

joejm65 on November 12, 2012 at 11:33 AM

The malaise will already be provided!

portlandon on November 12, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Ed, I try not to remember the 70′s, lol

beachgirlusa on November 12, 2012 at 11:34 AM

in a purple haze

faraway on November 12, 2012 at 11:34 AM

In the summer of 78, I was 4 and touring Europe with my parents. We came home much earlier than originally planned (I think 6 months were originally “planned”, but instead it was a whirlwind 6 week tour of western Europe by station wagon and tent). Moved to New York – had been in South Carolina – and a year later my parents were divorced and my mother and I were living in Louisiana with her family.

The closest I’ve gotten to “re-living” that summer was going on a mission trip to London, England in the summer of 2001. I’d love to take my family on a tour of Europe, but with four kids aged 6 and under and little money, eh… it ain’t happening any time soon.

Oh, and my parent’s relationship was rocky to begin with, so there’s nothing to fear of a repeat with my wife and myself.

Logus on November 12, 2012 at 11:35 AM

My summer of ’78 was strange. I worked everyday a minimum of 10 hours from the begining of May until labor day. I worked two jobs – landscaping during the week (yes white guys used to do that work and it paid much better than MacD) and worked as a waiter at a catering location, Friday night, double saturday and Sunday afternoon.

I also played hard and was in terrific shape. I went back to CUNY in September for second year. I hated that place. I learned that college has no respect for your time, money or opinions. If I could do it over, I would make many changes. I paid my own way.

As far as music, best album was the Allman Brothers Enlightened Rogues.

StuckinliberalNY on November 12, 2012 at 11:37 AM

the electric simon game.

The sound of failure entered the lexicon.

beep. Beep beep. Beep beep beep.Eeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrr.

portlandon on November 12, 2012 at 11:42 AM

In the summer of 1978 I was an intern in Washington, DC. The movie I remember seeing was the midnight show of Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Georgetown Theater for the first time; it was very racy and edgy, and seeing men and women in the crowd cross-dressed was a new experience for me.

That summer was the end of Disco. When I left for DC my local bars were all playing disco. When I came home two months later, they were playing Some Girls, Rumours, and Blondie’s Parallel Lines. But the one song I remember hearing most that summer was “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty. Whenever I hear it, it immediately takes me back to the summer of ’78.

Also FYI, in 1978 Kentucky won the NCAA basketball championship, and the Washington Bullets won their lone NBA championship. I arrived for my internship in DC the day before they had the victory parade for the Bullets. So some Kentucky or Bullets gear would be appropriate.

rockmom on November 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM

I was 3 :)

gophergirl on November 12, 2012 at 11:44 AM

Ed my brother! (Also class of ’79)
Oh man. Like the late great A. Breightbart I was liberal by default. Saw little future in the malaise. Not much later I had a lame Death Valley Days joke I, well it was lame. Loved the Bee Gees but didn’t really see the brilliance in the gods of rock until I tried to pick up a guitar. Jimmy Page, the master.
Had TWO (two) lime green leisure suits. My senior pic was in one. Yeah very cool then but today it looks more like a pic of a gay leprechaun.
Listened to Heart, Styx, and you know there’s all that vintage oldie stuff (’73,’74), 3 Dog, Creedence, Tull, Bread.
Movies? Hmm, let me think about that.

onomo on November 12, 2012 at 11:46 AM

I wasn’t born yet…

changer1701 on November 12, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Here are some of my favorite albums from ’78, in no particular order:

The Who – Who Are You (RIP, Keith Moon – Sept 7, 1978)
The Clash – Give ‘Em Enough Rope
Boston – Don’t Look Back
The Rolling Stones – Some Girls
Grease Soundtrack (hate this, but it was huge and my sis played it non-stop. Ugh!)
Van Halen – Van Halen
The Cars – The Cars
REO Speedwagon – You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish
Bruce Springsteen – Darkness on the Edge of Town
Billy Joel – 52nd Street
Devo – Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
The Ramones – Road to Ruin
Journey – Infinity
Bob Seager – Stranger in Town
Warren Zevon – Excitable Boy
Steve Martin – A Wild and Crazy Guy
Public Image Ltd – First Issue

rcpjr on November 12, 2012 at 11:51 AM

The Rolling Stones came out with “Some Girls” that summer. I remember those tunes in the background while I swam in Lake Michigan at Cal Park on Chicago’s Southeast Side, and fished the various quarries and lakes in the south suburbs. I started playing 16 inch Softball around that time too. Good times.

moc23 on November 12, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Disco ended at Comiskey Park in the Summer of 79. In 78 Disco still had a year to go.

moc23 on November 12, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Listened to Heart, Styx, and you know there’s all that vintage oldie stuff (’73,’74), 3 Dog, Creedence, Tull, Bread.

onomo on November 12, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Yep, it was Progressive Rock for me back then – Yes, etc. I was 15 in 1978, too young to drive, have a job, vote, drink, or join the military. At least, legally.

Ed, was Teh Choom part of your youth?

UltimateBob on November 12, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Not alive yet.

Abby Adams on November 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Let’s not forget Saturday Night Live, when it was actually funny.

UltimateBob on November 12, 2012 at 11:57 AM

A far better place than I’ll be in its sequel, 2013.

Steve Eggleston on November 12, 2012 at 12:01 PM

I was 10

It was grease happy days Laverne &Shirley and Saturday night fever

cmsinaz on November 12, 2012 at 12:01 PM

I was 3 :)

gophergirl on November 12, 2012 at 11:44 AM

I was 2. Bicentennial baby here.

Here are some of my favorite albums from ’78, in no particular order:

rcpjr on November 12, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I would also add:

Elvis Costello – This Year’s Model (Pump It Up!)
The Doobie Brothers – Minute by Minute (What a Fool Believes!)
The Police – Outlandos d’Amour (Roxanne!)
Gerry Rafferty – City to City (Baker Street!)

JimLennon on November 12, 2012 at 12:01 PM

My first album was Michael Jackson off the wall

Roller skate rink

cmsinaz on November 12, 2012 at 12:02 PM

why are we talking about 1978, did i miss something???

besides, i wasn’t born yet lol

Sachiko on November 12, 2012 at 12:03 PM

It was a strange summer for me. I was 23 and preparing to move to (then West) Germany and go to work for a Spotlight music magazine. I was selling what little I possessed (the car really hurt) to finance the move, hoping I was making the right choice. There were a couple of fun going-away parties at the end of the summer but by that time I was already looking forward and feeling a bit stuck between worlds.

The record album I really remember from that summer was Van Halen’s first — I think it was released in July — because it was a game changer.

jix on November 12, 2012 at 12:05 PM

I was 11 and it was ll about music.

This was the beginning of a rebellious streak, so I listened to anything that wasn’t disco – I was still listening to KISS Alive II, Ted Nugent Double Live Gonzo, Van Halen 1, the Tubes ‘What Do You Want From LIVE“, REO Speedwagon You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish, Nick Lowe Jesus of Cool, Squeeze, Tom Petty You’re Gonna Get It!, Cheap Trick Heaven Tonight, The Cars, Foreigner, Sammy Hagar All Night Long, Boston, The Who ‘Who Are You’, Ted Nugent Weekend Warriors, The Ramones, Styx, Molly Hatchet, KISS Double Platinum, and the KISS Solo Albums, Uriah Heep, Billy Joel 52nd Street, Black Flagg, Queen, The Police, The Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, George Thoroughgood – and still listening to Meat Loaf Bat Out Of Hell…

I was also learning to play, and so breaking songs down – by ear! – consumed a lot of my time. I was also wondering when we would see a Star Wars sequel, since everyone was talking about it.

juanito on November 12, 2012 at 12:05 PM

I graduated High School in June ’78 and started into the “real world”; grossly ill-prepared.

listens2glenn on November 12, 2012 at 12:08 PM

Boston’s new album “Don’t Look Back”.

txsurveyor on November 12, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Sleeping in a chest of drawers.

Count to 10 on November 12, 2012 at 12:13 PM

Assistant music director of Brooklyn College Radio.

Good Times (no, not the Chic song)

Rixon on November 12, 2012 at 12:14 PM

My (future) husband and I graduated college.

He then got a job and apartment and we got married in August.

We’ve spent the time between then working and raising our children and trying to do the right thing. We’re trying to save for our retirement.

Somehow I feel like I’m being punished for doing the right things.

Mommynator on November 12, 2012 at 12:18 PM

why are we talking about 1978, did i miss something???

besides, i wasn’t born yet lol

Sachiko on November 12, 2012 at 12:03 PM

It was when the Carter Abyss really started going downhill. Those of us who lived through that will look upon it fondly the next few years.

Steve Eggleston on November 12, 2012 at 12:18 PM

(Disclaimer: In the summer of ’78 I was a freshman at Indiana University and, as it worked out, an extra in a movie I’d recommend for a ’78 party if it hadn’t come out the following summer: Breaking Away.)

Tastes and nostalgia values will vary. Plenty of pleople will recommend features and albums. (BTW, the two great comedy albums of the time, Let’s Get Small and Reality, What a Concept, came out in 77 and 79 respectively. Ah, well…)Consider the following memorable short subjects/fillers:

Hardware Wars. It came out in near the end 1977 but was making the rounds the following spring and summer.

Saturday Night Live – The third season. Wild and crazy guys, Father Guido, Roseannadanna, “Jane, you ignorant slut,” and Theodoric of York. They lived on as catchphrases following summer.

apostic on November 12, 2012 at 12:19 PM

rcpjr on November 12, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Good list. I might add AC/DC’s- If You Want Blood You’ve Got It, one of my favorite albums of all time.

78′ was the summer between 6th and 7th grade for me. It was spent on my family’s farm near Spirt Lake, IA painting my grandparents house, walking beans, de-tasseling corn, learning to drive, breaking my collarbone while crashing a 3-wheeler, learning to make moonshine with my cousins, getting drunk on two cans of Flagstaff beer, having a summer fling with a beautiful blonde…

I could go on and on but it was as magical. Just like most of the summers I remember as a child growing up in the Chicago area.

CTSherman on November 12, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Polyester.

NebCon on November 12, 2012 at 12:21 PM

I had just graduated high school in 77.

Later that year my favorite band Lynyrd Skynyrd would have a horrible plane crash and many from the band would die.
The next year we would play their music in tribute.

poljunkie51 on November 12, 2012 at 12:24 PM

Ed,
Was this supposed to be a Face Book post?
I think you accidentally posted it here instead.

esnap on November 12, 2012 at 12:24 PM

I was 4.

As for music and movies, I prefer the 1980′s.

cebj25 on November 12, 2012 at 12:25 PM

Well I’m ancient. I was married, pregnant, and working. I do remember wasting time seeing “Sgt. Pepper” and “Convoy.” The CB craze was in full swing then. Saw Jaws 2 which was okay for a sequel. Music was still disco but not for me. Geez I had friends who loved Andy Gibb.

We owned a Chrysler Newport…at least it wasn’t an Omni, and a Jimmy pick-up. Could fill that Newport’s tank for under $20.00 as I recall. Embarrassed to say I had friends who owned an El Camino and a station wagon…think it was a Ford.

I recall that Keith Moon died that summer, I remember thinking The Who was finished.

And my ex wanted and bought himself an Atari 2600 for his birthday. I remember that because I was angry that he spent $200 on it and some games.

Deanna on November 12, 2012 at 12:26 PM

I was 6, turning 7 in December. Our family moved to a new house in May and I went to Astroworld with my sister’s band class. And I got a bunch of Lego sets for Christmas. That’s pretty much all I remember.

TMOverbeck on November 12, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Oh yeah, how could I forget Boston’s Don’t Look Back? Saw them that summer in concert after I got back from DC. LOUDEST show I ever saw! But they were great. On the way out we saw people camping out in line at the box office, asked them what for, they told us Fleetwood Mac. My date paid some guy in front of the line to buy us tickets and we ended up on the sixth row. Another great show.

rockmom on November 12, 2012 at 12:30 PM

I vaguely remember the Sgt. Pepper movie, partly because my dad worked for Dr. Pepper at the time and they had a movie tie-in. Even then I thought it was a silly film. At least Across The Universe finally showed that a good Beatles-themed musical was doable.

TMOverbeck on November 12, 2012 at 12:31 PM

And my ex wanted and bought himself an Atari 2600 for his birthday. I remember that because I was angry that he spent $200 on it and some games.

Deanna on November 12, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Hard to believe something like that cost $200 back then, huh? Wouldn’t that like be $500 in today’s dollars? (That’d get you a fancy Xbox 360 with Kinect nowadays.)

TMOverbeck on November 12, 2012 at 12:34 PM

I was 7 years old.
I like or liked at one time some of the music mentioned in this thread, but that obviously came much later! :)

22044 on November 12, 2012 at 12:39 PM

I was 6, turning 7 in December. Our family moved to a new house in May and I went to Astroworld with my sister’s band class. And I got a bunch of Lego sets for Christmas. That’s pretty much all I remember.

TMOverbeck on November 12, 2012 at 12:29 PM

Combat FTW :)

22044 on November 12, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Songs from the Billboard Top 10: Memorial Day – Labor Day 1978

Johnny Mathis,Deniece Williams - Too Much, Too Little, Too Late
Jefferson Starship – Count On Me
John Travolta,Olivia Newton-John – You’re The One That I Want
Andy Gibb – Shadow Dancing
Paul McCartney – With A Little Luck
Chuck Mangione – Feels So Good
Roberta Flack,Donny Hathaway – The Closer I Get To You
Atlanta Rhythm Section – Imaginary Lover
George Benson – On Broadway
Abba – Take A Chance On Me
Player – This Time I’m In It For Love
Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street
Bonnie Tyler – It’s A Heartache
Carly Simon – You Belong To Me
Sweet – Love Is Like Oxygen
The O’Jays – Use Ta Be My Girl
Bob Seger – Still The Same
Peter Brown,Betty Wright – Dance With Me
Heatwave – The Groove Line
The Rolling Stones – Miss You
Donna Summer – Last Dance
Frankie Valli – Grease
Commodores – Three Times A Lady
Pablo Cruise – Love Will Find A Way
Foreigner – Hot Blooded
A Taste Of Honey – Boogie Oogie Oogie
Barry Manilow Copacabana (At The Copa)
Walter Egan – Magnet And Steel
Andy Gibb – An Everlasting Love
Olivia Newton-John – Hopelessly Devoted To You
Exile – Kiss You All Over
Evelyn “Champagne” King – Shame
John Travolta,Olivia Newton-John – Summer Nights
Earth, Wind & Fire – Got To Get You Into My Life

Music geek. That’s how I can just pull this out. That, and 1978 was the last great summer on my childhood. Then, high school began.

Moesart on November 12, 2012 at 12:40 PM

How about Boston? Though I hated them at the time, being more into Talking Heads and Blondie, it was the party anthem of my Berkeley frat and I’ve since had a nostalgic change of heart.

Incidentally, a certain late ambassador pledged that frat the next year after I graduated. I do remember him from some parties since I was still hanging around Berkeley as an unemployed alum with a liberal arts degree.

kd6rxl on November 12, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Truly, truly awful year for music.

Gerry Rafferty, ‘Baker Street’.

Little River Band, ‘Reminiscing’.

Elvis, ‘My Way’.

Donna Summer, ‘Last Dance’.

Al Stewart, ‘Year of the Cat’ and ‘Time Passages’ — which was handy because they were really the same song anyway.

Bob Seger ‘Still the Same’.

The Kinks, ‘Misfits’.

Village People, ‘Macho Man’.

Anne Murray, ‘You Needed Me’.

Carly Simon, ‘You Belong to Me’.

All topped off by the abhorrent cinematic abomination, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Frampton Club Band’ — also known as Stigwood’s revenge.

Ed, I know we cannot control the times we are born into. And I know we cannot help being drawn to the music of our youth. So I don’t blame you for this painful exercise in reverse nostalgia.

But just as people born in Cleveland often end up rooting for teams from Baltimore or Cincinnati or Green Bay, maybe you could adopt, say 1965, ’66 or maybe ’67 as an alternative fun era to recall.

bloggenfels on November 12, 2012 at 12:40 PM

I was 6, turning 7 in December. Our family moved to a new house in May and I went to Astroworld with my sister’s band class. And I got a bunch of Lego sets for Christmas. That’s pretty much all I remember.

TMOverbeck on November 12, 2012 at 12:29 PM

And my ex wanted and bought himself an Atari 2600 for his birthday. I remember that because I was angry that he spent $200 on it and some games.

Deanna on November 12, 2012 at 12:26 PM

This ^ is what I meant to quote!

Combat FTW :)

22044 on November 12, 2012 at 12:40 PM

22044 on November 12, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Class of 79 Yayyy

Cheap Trick at Budokan, Steve Miller Band and yes Grease, Grease and more Grease. The one song that I remember most from summer of 78 was Gerry Rafferty – Baker Street. Straight leg jeans and Candies were the fashion uniform back in the day.

Nice memories :)

msmveritas on November 12, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Funny, I spent that summer in Arizona, too! I’m just a couple years older than you, Ed, so I spent my summer working a grunt level construction job in Sun City for Del Webb, cranking out cookie cutter houses for all the old people who were sick of that midwestern snow. Lake Havasu would have been a lot more fun.

Pontiac Firebirds, just like the won Burt Reynolds drove in Smokey and the Bandit, that was the car to have that summer. Of course all I had was an old beat up Torino, but I wanted a Firebird! Of course if you were a chick you wanted a Camaro.

and yeah, all the albums I listened to that summer have already been listed here. ALthough I’m pretty sure that was the summer I saw Neil Young on his Rust Never Sleeps tour. That album didn’t come out til 1979, but there were live recordings and he was performing the songs on it in ’77 and ’78.

Tom Servo on November 12, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town.” Watch the DVD that came with last year’s box set and remember one of the greatest tours of rock.

fleiter on November 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM

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