I've got a bunch more photos of vintage parties that I didn't use up in the last Decade of Decadent post. So, I thought I'd throw some more at you, along with some thoughts, recollections and quotes interspersed.
Question: What's the difference between a 1970s dinner party and a porno?
Answer: About 15 minutes. (ba-doom ding!) I'm here all night, folks.
This quote from director, William Freidkin, kind of encapsulates the mentality of the time nicely. I think you can see how a "live for today"/"who gives a damn" mentality could arise in this atmosphere:
"America was going through a national nervous breakdown. It started with the assassination of John Kennedy and then the assassination of Martin Luther King, then Robert Kennedy, then the onset of the Vietnam War in which America stumbled very badly and has never really recovered. The 1960s ended with the Charles Manson murders – the murder of Sharon Tate and a bunch of people for no apparent reason at all by a bunch of drug-infested people who were aimless and sort of adrift from the American culture."
What was really the difference about parties in the 1970s versus those before and after? This is a discussion my spouse and I recently had. One thing that instantly sprung to mind was that it was the adults who were hosting these things. You'd expect this sort of thing from the young'uns, but not thirtysomething parents. It was the 76 million Boomers in their thirties simultaneously exploring all the sexual taboos. Now it's mostly a much younger set having all the fun.
I just love some of these images of vintage parties. The clothing, the porn 'staches, the decor.... it's breathtaking to behold.
There's been a lot of debate over when the Sexual Revolution actually began. Most people would say it was the late sixties, when hippie counter-culture infiltrated the mainstream psyche. However, a recent study by the University of Florida has demonstrated that it actually started after WWII.... it just didn't go public until the sixties. In other words, bedroom practices and sexual morals of the so-called Silent Generation were drastically different than those of the 30s and early 40s; however, it was kept in the bedroom for the most part.
You'll notice that several of the tables in these photos (taken from a time period spanning from the late sixties to early eighties) have: (1) tons of liquor bottles, (2) at least one ashtray, (3) a floral arrangement on it or nearby, and (4) a bowl of fruit. Bizarre.
Remember when floral wallpaper was the rage? Probably around 1980, if memory serves. Is there anything more garish and shrill than bright floral patterned wallpaper? Between the floral arrangement and the walls, my eyes actually hurt looking at it.
You know the stance here at Retrospace on miniskirts - they were the single greatest achievement since Eve strapped on a fig leaf. Between all that booze and those two miniskirted damsels, no wonder this young lad is grabbing a hold of himself!
The decor in the image above is kind of cool, in a retro sorta way. However, those effing lights are hanging a bit low I think. Between all the fornication and substance abuse, maybe they just didn't have the time to adjust them. They were very busy in those days.
If there is not a line of cocaine on that table somewhere, I will be very, very shocked.
Pop quiz (10 points): An invitation to a party in the 1970s meant you would probably get _________:
A) a venereal disease
B) a drug induced coma
C) anally raped
D) lifelong guilt
E) all of the above
It would be an unforgivable oversight to write a post on 70s parties and not at least mention the hot tub party. Sure, they were disease laden sex tanks, but they were great! I just wouldn't want to have to be the one to clean it out the next morning.
Bonus Question: When hosting a party in the 1970s, be sure to have plenty of heavy duty cleaning supplies handy the next morning (or several days later if you've blacked out and woke up in Tijuana). The most common types of carpet stains after a 70s party were a combination of the what two substances?
A) bong water and semen
B) flop sweat and semen
C) vomit and semen
D) Colt 45 and semen
E) blood and semen
F) old semen and fresh semen
Answer Key: pop quiz =E and bonus question = F