If there was a band that epitomized the zeitgeist of the mid-1970s, it was the Eagles, a quintet of laid-back troubadours who filled sports stadiums with fans clamoring to hear “Take It Easy,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” “Hotel California,” “Already Gone” and other hits.
Boomers growing up in the mid- to late 1970s may have felt bored and alienated by the classic rock that their older brothers and sisters listened to. That's why so many of us were especially excited about a band called the Ramones, who were pretty much the opposite of the handsome stadium-rock gods who dominated the airwaves with their synthesizer bombast and 10-minute guitar solos.
Action flicks of the 1970s featured an army of two-fisted tough guys with hard stares and gritted teeth, who angrily defied the establishment and did things their own way, especially if that entailed acts of violence at frequent intervals. But none was angrier, more defiant or more willing to kick butt and take names than Billy Jack, the protagonist of a trio of films by actor-director-producer Tom Laughlin.
Clarence Burke Jr., who died on May 26 at age 64 in Marietta, Ga., was the lead singer, guitar player, sometime songwriter, and choreographer of the Five Stairsteps, four brothers and a sister from Chicago who got their name because their mother said that when the siblings stood together, they looked like stairs.
In late 1970, my Dad brought home a new car--a cobalt blue Chevy Caprice Classic with an 8-track tape deck installed under the dashboard. That tape deck, in that car, was my springboard to my technology adventures.
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