NH disc jockey and talk radio show Eric Scott shares his memories of growing up in the 1970s and 1980s.
Commitmentnow.com: Tell us how growing up in the 1970s and early 1980s impacts your life today.
Eric Scott: As I tell my daughter often, it was a different world. As a dedicated techo-geek, I'm still in wonder at the march of technology from when I was young...and how many things hadn't been invented yet but are taken for granted today.
Commitmentnow.com: When you look back at your childhood, what things do you feel were unique to that time, that your own children no longer experience today?
Eric: One of the unique things is we weren't "over-scheduled" and played outside far more. We would go outside in the late morning and not come home until dinner except for lunch, etc. Bike Helmets weren't available, and you dealt with a bully by popping him in the mouth.
Commitmentnow.com: What were some of your best memories of the 1970s?
Eric: Hmmm, Nixon's resignation is up there. I was only 8 but knew something big was going on. The tall ships in 1976. The Apollo/Soyuz linkup in space. And of course, the first time I saw a radio station in 1975 or 76.
Commitmentnow.com: Who were some of your favorite bands? What were some of your favorite songs?
Eric: My first record I ever bought was "Wham Bam Shang a Lang" by Silver. I was 7 or 8. I was into what could now be called soft rock as a kid...learned about harder rock in Jr. high. I was a huge fan of Donna Summer back in the day. A lot of my favorite bands/songs from that area I didn't discover until high school.
I thought ELO and Boston were incredible.
Commitmentnow.com: What are your thoughts on the music of your childhood?
Eric: In some ways it hasn't changed much (disposable bubble gum pop dreck) but the huge thing about radio in the 70's was it hadn't fragmented yet...a Top 40 station would play Abba, the Bay City Rollers, Kiss, and Led Zeppelin in the same 15 minutes. There seemed to be much more emphasis on the songwriting craft in the 70's...a lot of today's stuff is really poorly written.
Commitmentnow.com: What were some of your favorite TV shows and movies?
Eric: I was enthralled by the 6 Million Dollar Man and the Bionic Woman. I watched a lot of Warner Bros. cartoons, Space 1999 (a British import that ran on channel 27), and the popular network shows of the time including Happy Days, All in the Family, Welcome Back Kotter and one of all time favorites "One day at a time".
Commitmentnow.com: How do you think the TV shows and movies of your childhood differs from that of your own children's experience with TV and movies?
Eric: TV has sure changed. Hanna Barbera put out some of the best kids TV back in the 70's...much of the so-called kids shows now are either thinly disguised toy commercials or overly PC hug-a thons that teach kids that everyone is the best at everything and no one can ever lose. And we wonder why kids are getting angrier. Those shows are letting them down.
Commitmentnow.com: What toys did you play with in the 1970s?
Eric: A lot of them were Matchbox cars/Hot Wheels. We traded them like baseball cards. My brothers and I played a lot of board and card games when we were stuck inside. And of course, the infamous bag of plastic Army guys...they were hours of fun. In the late 70's the handheld electronic games were just out. They were very crude but great for car trips.
Commitmentnow.com: If an alien came to our planet and asked you to describe life in the 1970s compared to how it is now, what would you say?
Eric: We as a society were a lot more naive. We had the one big enemy...the Russians and their Communism and were comforted by the fact that we were the reigning world superpower. We didn't rely on global trade the way we do now, though that was starting to change as Japan became a major manufacturer of cars and electronics. There were FAR fewer TV stations, so it was common for a show to be seen by 30 or 40% of the country...gave us something in common with each other.
Commitmentnow.com: What do you miss most about that era? What are you glad is over and done with?
Eric: I miss the feeling of cohesiveness with my fellow Americans. Seems now everyone including politicians are in it only for themselves. Radio was a MUCH bigger part of our lives then as it was for many the only source of local news and information.
I was going to say I don't miss the high oil prices and economic mess...but they appear to be back with a vengeance the last couple of years. I really don't miss having nothing to watch if the President was on. Really glad John Denver is over with.