Retro Badass #6: The Stud

 In the seventies, being a "stud" meant something very different than today.  In 2013, it often means the Jersey Shore douche bag with manicured eyebrows, fake tan, frosted hair, and lots of bedazzled jewelry compliments of a high interest rate credit card that he is sure to default on. It means gym sweat, trendy tats, and an over inflated sense of self-worth.

No, we're talkin' the Seventies Stud - a completely different animal.

This 1960s Stud is personified by James Bond, but can also mean Sinatra or a variety of Rat-Packers (Lawford, Martin, Bishop).  Don Draper of Mad Men also fits the profile.  All clean cut with starched collar and a drinking problem.

Not so, the seventies super stud.  He was a completely different animal.

So, what are the traits of a Seventies Super Stud? Let's play David Attenborough or Desmond Morris for a moment and look at some of the attributes of this variety of human animal.

First and foremost, they must have their chest exposed.  The ultimate calling card of the macho male was the unbuttoned shirt - preferably exposing a thick mane of glorious chest hair. What John Kincade lacks in hair, he makes up for in style.

Then there's the sheer animal magnetism.  Granted, in the Sexual Revolution it didn't take much more than a splash of Hai-Karate and a pickup line to get to shagging.  However, you could argue that this made it even harder to set yourself in the "stud" category, when everyone and anyone is scoring.  Indeed, this was the high watermark in stud history - to live up to the name required special skill.

To best comprehend the seventies stud, have a look at some of the decade's stud icons:

  • Burt Reynolds - Hairy and cocky
  • Clint Eastwood - Brooding badass with strong personal code
  • Tom Jones - Sweaty, swaggering sexual dynamo
  • Warren Beatty - Prince Charming with one eye on the mirror watching himself gavotte
  • Andy Gibb - Androgynous pretty boy with (insert sound of record scratching)..... wait, what?  

Yep.  Don't put baby in the corner and don't put teen heart throbs in the same category as studs.  Teen crushes have have always been boyish and shouldn't be lumped in with men.

In the seventies, blue-collar was king.  The dapper look was out; grizzled and gritty was in.  The modern tendency to "manscape" would have been absolutely derided in the seventies.  The more you could look like a truck driver who hasn't seen a shower or razor-blade in three weeks, the better.

But it wasn't just being untidy.  Johnny Depp fits that bill, but he is the antithesis of a seventies super stud.  No - it was all in the intangibles.

Truth be told, I don't think women today could handle the seventies stud.  Back then, the stud had no boundaries.  There was no such thing as sexual harassment in the workplace, and being openly grabby and flirtatious was never not okay.  Indeed, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy has as its central joke the fact that men could be so openly on the prowl; a fact-of-life that would come to an utimely end at the close of the decade.

I've listed below some of my favorite super studs of the seventies along with their studly attributes:

  • Lee Majors - Raised eyebrow (predating The Rock by a few decades) and bionic abilities
  • James Garner - Always looked like he just taken a shower after a long night of hard liquor and chain smoking. You could literally smell his after-shave through the television set
  • James Brolin - He had Michael Landon's hair, and machismo that would make a musk ox seem effeminate. 
  • Barry Gibb - Perhaps the best there was: leathery tan, bushels of hair, and studly vibe that even a falsetto couldn't detract from.

  • John Travolta - Whipped hair, stupid charm, and those magic moves
  • Gil Gerard - A thick pelt of chest hair that is still unrivaled
  • Robert Foxworth - He was a dead ringer for Mike Brady, but not gay.
  • David Soul - Rugged and street-smart, but with a sensitive side ("Don't give up on us, baby")

I could go on and on.  Suffice it to say, the decade was not lacking in manly men.  But, unfortunately, the swaggering libidinous seventies dude would soon become something of a joke. The Reagan era saw a return to the clean cut look, and by the 2000s the metrosexual became the male ideal.  How far we have come!

My opinion: Men shouldn't be shaven and showered. They should be a slovenly, uncaring mass of muscle and hair. Leave the shaven and showered bit to the ladies!



  1. Dude, has your wife seen this post?

  2. If metrosexual means goatees and shaved skulls, we're there...
    1970's "Move" may be the ultimate old fashioned stud movie. Elliott Gould spends most of the time in his drawers or less screaming like a hairy, colicky baby. "Pure Gould!" Check out the Paco Camino site referred to on your page.

  3. Can't even begin to express my gratitude for this article. Hilarious and on point! I live and breathe nostalgia, hence my career as working for a website that blogs about all things retro and nostalgic. This is RIGHT up my alley. Going to share this with our followers and reader :)

    Good JOB!!

  4. If he had been on TV 35 years ago, Nick Offerman (Ron Swanson on "Parks and Recreation") would have been the King Stud of All Time.

    1. I'm not sure, but I think John Kincade actually IS 1970s Ron Swanson.

  5. Great post.
    When I saw the title I almost thought it was about that trashy flick with Joan Collins in it, but I read it anyway.
    Being a survivor of those glorious days (but alas, NOT a stud...), I'll always remember seeing the ladies fawn over a "stud", and wondering what they saw in these (mostly) empty-headed male bimbos.....

  6. You are missing Peter Wyngarde- you MUST get his album which perfectly personifies this post.
    I did have to get "gavotte" translated, and still don't comprehend. Had thought it had been a badly-pronounced "cavort"...

    1. Yeah, I didn't get the "gavotte" thing either. (it's a type of dance) I decided to do some digging. The line comes from Carly Simon's "You're So Vain":

      "You walked into the party like you were walking onto a yacht,
      your hat strategically dipped below one eye, your scarf it was apricot.
      You had one eye in the mirror as you watched yourself gavotte."

      Seems she just needed a word that went with yacht and apricot. *shrug* The song was partially written about Warren Beatty.

  7. Umm... I'm not so sure David Soul had a sensitive side. He used to beat his wife you know. Maybe that's what that song was about - "I punched you in the face but we can still try to work it out".

  8. Don't forget Evel Knievel and Joe Namath. But really, Barry Gibb?

  9. Awesome post, and blog - I found you via a site called doyouremember.com....am bookmarking your site under favorites!!

  10. A gavotte is a very old-time dance...I'm talking CENTURIES.

  11. My friend, you are in rare form on this post. "You could literally smell his after-shave through the television set" Gawd, that was so effin' true! In fact, I can still smell it now! These were our role models, our idols, the gods we dreamt that we'd become, if only!

  12. I was laughing uncontrollably after reading this. But you know, I miss the male studs of the 1970's. I do not like how guys look today. Shaved bald heads, mean looking. How can women go for them? Give me a "real man" of the 1970's any day. I am 57 now, so i was in my 20's in the 1970's. (Well also my teens too) I have alot of vintage magazines, and when i want to feel inspired and motivated, i look back at those ads and get a great feeling that all is not lost.