I want the ‘70s back

Elliot Adams

More stories from Elliot Adams

The Tator
May 9, 2023

Photo by Marisa Valdez

When I say the 1970s, what comes to mind? Is it disco, bell-bottom jeans, leather platforms, oversized collars and plentiful denim? 

I was born three decades too late to enjoy the 1970s. Thankfully, I can live vicariously through the music of Kool & The Gang, The Isley Brothers, Curtis Mayfield and Rick James

Along with their music, I can also enjoy their album covers; The Isley Brothers had fashion figured out. 

Listening to their music and seeing the wild outfits they put together make me so nostalgic for the by-gone era of putting on a bright white pair of bell-bottom slacks, pairing it with some brown leather platform shoes, maybe a paisley button-up with the wildest pattern ever to grace a wardrobe and topping it off a leather fringe jacket. 

Could you imagine going out on a Friday night and witnessing a technicolor blur of some of the boldest outfits to be seen? I wish. Instead, I just see a sea of flannel and grimy Nikes. 

Plus instead of some bass-boosted pop song from the 2010s playing, the crowd would be getting down to some funky stuff. 

Have you ever tried to dance to a bass-boosted version of ‘Mr. Brightside’ by the Killers? It’s not that great. Dancing to ‘Love Rollercoaster’ by the Ohio Players though? That sounds like quite the vibe. 

Also, another reason to miss the ‘70s is the griminess of the era. Our lungs and sense of smell have definitely improved exponentially since the ‘70s, but the dancehalls of yesteryear had that ambiance of a smoke-lit haze. 

For health and safety reasons, thank God that’s not the case anymore, but for the aesthetics, man I miss the ‘70s. 

Additionally, cities had way more personality back in the day. New York City for example was actually an affordable place to live. 

Of course, it was affordable because the crime rates were ridiculously high, the mob was actually relevant and there was a massive middle-class flight from urban areas to the suburbs. 

That makes city living interesting though. Like I’m fairly certain living in New York during the 70s was exactly like the movie ‘The Warriors.’ You can’t convince me otherwise. 

All in all, though, I miss the fashion of the time. I like to see things that break the monotonous drudge of daily life. The fashion of the 70s offered that. 

Today the everyday person just dresses so blandly. I’m guilty of this too. I just don’t have the courage or wealth to live my truth by dressing like an extra in ‘Boogie Nights.’ I wish I did though. 

We live in relatively more tolerant times than yesteryear, but I still just don’t want to get absolutely bullied for trying to bring back bygone fashion. 

I’ll just stick to listening to the music and watching the movies and looking back wistfully at the bygone era. 

Adams can be reached at [email protected].