I was looking at my high school yearbook today and there are a couple of pages near the back where they list the results of poll questions they asked all seniors that year. Some of the more interesting ones are:
I don’t remember people eating a lot of tacos back then, so I think that’s bullshit posturing. They probably saw young people on TV talking about their love of tacos and thought they should answer that way too. T-Bone (steak, I assume) was the automatic “fancy” answer in 1981. T-Bone steak and shrimp cocktail. That’s livin’!
3. Mazda RX7
Oh, yeah. Dunbar, WV was simply crawling with Ferraris in those days. Ferraris and lemon-yellow Chevettes with ‘Who Shot J.R.?’ stickers on the back. Stoopid.
Favorite TV program
1. Magnum P.I.
I watched MASH. The other two? I knew they were on. Was there any good TV in 1981? It was fairly dismal, except for maybe Night Flight.
1. Kenny Rogers
2. Slim Whitman
3. Pat Benatar
1. R.E.O. Speedwagon
Slim Whitman was an ironic answer. They advertised a best-of collection on TV all the time, and people were trying to be funny. I don’t know what to say about the rest. Kenny Rogers? That’s fairly embarrassing. The bands listed were all huge in 1980/81, so those aren’t surprising. Needless to say, I would’ve gone in a much more obscure and annoying direction.
Favorite Sex Symbol
1. Tom Selleck
2. Dave Wood
3. Burt Reynolds
1. Brooke Shields
2. Jayne Kennedy (misspelled Jane)
3. Christie Brinkley (misspelled Christy)
Dave Wood was a teacher, so more comedy. I don’t remember Jayne Kennedy, but the rest are standard answers, I guess. I was never one for celebrity crushes. Rocky had that territory covered in our group. Oh, he had it covered real good.
1. Stir Crazy
2. Caveman (misspelled Cave Man)
3. 9 to 5
Caveman? Weird. Wasn’t Ringo in that? I can’t remember seeing any of these cinematic masterpieces, except maybe Stir Crazy. What the shit was going on?! These are terrible answers.
1. Clint Eastwood
2. Burt Reynolds
3. John Holmes
1. Sally Field (misspelled Fields)
2. Barbra Streisand (misspelled Barbara)
3. Richard Simmons
3. Listening to music
Sex and drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, literally. Even in the correct order! I’m surprised they allowed #1. I don’t think that would fly today.
Small french fries .65
Medium cheese pizza 5.00
6 pack of beer 2.67
Unleaded gas, one gallon 1.53
Postage stamp .18
Dozen red roses 40.00
Some of these seem kinda high, especially jeans. Gas, too. I remember paying 79 cents per gallon when I was in Atlanta, which was years later. I don’t know anything about roses. Pizza and beer seem like a deal, though.
What do you think the results for your senior year would look like, in any or all of the above categories? Please share your guesses in the comments section. And if you have any thoughts on the choices of the Class of 81 (Second to None!), let’s hear ’em.
And I’ll see you guys again soon.
Have a great day!
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I think in my 1979 yearbook it was: Styx, Boston, and Steve Miller Band. In 1984 it was Ozzy and I forget who else.
In a cleaning jag fit, I threw out all my yearbooks. I don’t miss them. I remember opening them before they hit the dumpster and I couldn’t remember 90% of the people who signed my yearbook. I DO remember, however, that we did not have “Best of” lists which is too bad. I would have liked to have known what was popular back then (Class of 1980).
The year I graduated from High School every guy who wasn’t headed to college had to assume that he would be drafted and sent to Vietnam. Those of us who were staggering off to college knew that if we got booted or ran out of money we’d be joining them. So music lightened the mood, and there was some pretty good music. Maybe not Styx or R.E.O. Speedwagon, but a little night music to get by until the real thing came along.
As I recall, there were a few good albums released during my senior year. They included (just the highlights):
Are You Experienced – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Aretha Arrives – Aretha Franklin
Big Brother and the Holding Company – Big Brother and the Holding Company (with Janis Joplin)
I Was Made to Love Her – Stevie Wonder
Born Under a Bad Sign – Albert King
Chuck Berry in Memphis – Chuck Berry
Cold Sweat – James Brown
Strange Days – The Doors
Safe as Milk – Captain Beefheart
Forever Changes – Love
Magical Mystery Tour – The Beatles
Axis: Bold as Love – The Jimi Hendrix Experience
There Are But Four Small Faces – Small Faces
Mr. Fantasy – Traffic
The Who Sell Out – The Who
John Wesley Harding – Bob Dylan
Songs of Leonard Cohen – Leonard Cohen
The Notorious Byrd Brothers – The Byrds
Boogie With Canned Heat – Canned Heat
Gris-Gris – Dr. John
Lady Soul – Aretha Franklin
White Light/White Heat – The Velvet Underground
The Dock of the Bay – Otis Redding
Fleetwood Mac – Fleetwood Mac
Eli and the Thirteenth Confession – Laura Nyro
We’re Only in it for the Money – The Mothers of Invention
A Long Time Comin’ – Electric Flag
Odessey and Oracle – The Zombies
Dance to the Music – Sly and the Family Stone
At Folsom Prison – Johnny Cash
Aretha Now – Aretha Franklin
I left out a couple of Rolling Stones albums and a Beatles release or two, but I think the short list above is generally reflective of what was going on in music during the nine months of my senior year.
Sparks flew out of our parents’ old record player consoles until we finally had to buy our own components; I don’t know what In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida meant, but crank it up and all hell broke loose in the neighborhood (and it wasn’t good enough to make the list).
Every mini-generation has its music, and, as ghastly as high school is, we generally associate that music with good times. The poor bastards who are graduating now will likely hurt their ears trying to find something meaningful to listen to. I wish them well.
That’s the sort of stuff I listen to -I was born at the wrong time.
A Different Jeff says
If the other items on that list had inflated in cost by the same percentage as the unleaded gas, a 6 pack of beer would now cost $3.80, and a postage stamp .26.
Lots of garbage on the radio in my senior year, and some good stuff too. Disco was near its peak during the 1975 – 76 school year, but I didn’t hear much of it. The school bus driver listened to the one local radio station, with Terry Jacks in heavy rotation. At home I would DX the “progressive” stations out of New Haven and Hartford.
I just flipped through my high school yearbook, and I was struck by how well-funded it seemed to be for a public school. They had band, orchestra, sports teams including hockey and baseball, etc., etc. And this was not no Scarsdale; it’s Berkshire County Mass., which was a pretty rural area. We had an Agway in town, and the school clubs included 4H and FFA.
And there was a smoking area.
I wasn’t but 10 minutes from one of the most fertile agricultural valleys in the Great Pacific Northwest where they grew the best strawberries, raspberries and sweet corn in this corner of the country, and I grew up picking all those and more every summer to buy school clothes and save fifteen bucks for college. However, that fertile valley might as well have been a distant constellation that’s dying in the corner of the sky. I attended a middle class high school which had an informal FFA, but neither F stood for Farmers. Even those of us who had to pick corn in the fall to help get through the winter thought corn came from the produce section of the supermarket. I suppose today we’d call it a supply chain disconnect, but it was just a bunch of dumbass kids is all it was.
The FFA was very big when I was in High School. I recall those kids used to get made fun of for wearing those jackets. And then one of them won some sort of five thousand dollar prize for a pig or something. And then it was not so funny after that.
Ha! In my newspaper this morning:
Funny that 5 of them went on to record the major song for James Bond movies! Cool!