October 1978

What was going on in the world thirty years ago, on October 1978? Well, John Paul II became the new pope, the Susan B. Anthony dollar was minted, and Vietnam invaded Cambodia... but who cares about that stuff - this is Retrospace! The big news here is that Alice Cooper appeared on The Muppet Show...

Most children of the seventies remember Alice starting off the show popping out of a coffin with a performance of “Welcome to My Nightmare,” joined by several Muppet monsters. Click here for the whole episode rundown. (The Vincent Price episode was two years earlier in October 1976.)

Linda Ronstadt was on the October 1978 cover of Rolling Stone, Dolly Parton graced the cover of Playboy (no, she did not take her clothes off), Gary Coleman was on the cover of Dynamite, and Mork & Mindy were on the cover of People.

Speaking of People, you can go to their website and pour over their archives. I could spend all day looking through these old mags. A few things of note in their October 1978 issue (click on images to enlarge):

On page 67, we find that Ali McGraw was dancing topless at Studio 54.

In this issue I found an ad for the Time-Life Old West books. Gen-Xers will remember the incessant TV commercials for the series which featured the famous line about some gunfighter that "was so mean, he once shot a man for snoring!" By the way, I did a little research and found it to be true - John Wesley Hardin did shoot a man for snoring too loud.

There is also a ton (as in, every other friggin' page) of cigarette ads in this magazine. I quit the habit years ago, but after reading this October issue, I'm about ready to take it up again.

Then there's the pre-double homicide O. J. ad. What a fine looking spokesperson he was!

Of course, the film Halloween was released on October 25th of this year, but what was playing at The Strand? Click on the image to enlarge and check out Flickhead for more great scans of vintage schedules from San Francisco's famous Strand theater.

Advertisements like this are fun to look at, but also fill me with a sense of sadness. What an amazing place.... how sad that it (and other places like it) are gone.

A good way to get a taste of what was popular in the world of music is to check out ten minutes of Top of the Pops here. In this clip they countdown the top hits with performances by Elvis Costello and Chris Rea (remember him?). Then we're treated to the UK version of Solid Gold Dancers groovin' to an ELO song. Take me back to 7-8!


  1. This was a really cool idea for a blog post. I loved the Muppet Show. I watched it religiously. I also remember all those movies they did. I remember people talking about Halloween the movie, but I didn't see it for a few more years. I wasn't even 8 in Oct. 1978. That happened in Dec. You gotta wonder what all the companies now think that they used to have O.J. as their spokesman.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Keith. I usually hate time capsule type posts like "on this day in 1978 such and such happened". But I guess I couldn't resist putting a retrospace twist on it just this once.