An electrician was just here to replace a circuit breaker that had half the house in darkness. The living room was unaffected by the power shortage so as usual, I had the television on and tuned to one of the many cable music channels.
While thanking the electrician for all his hard work the Bee Gees came on the ‘70s music channel and sang “You should be dancin’” from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. I made a joke about the song and made a comment along the lines of, “Wow, that really takes you back, right?” He shook his head and said with a smile, “Sorry, that’s before my time.”
Damn. I never really feel old until I hear someone mention that they were born in the ‘70s or the ‘80s. Damn! I have shoes from the ‘80s!
After the electrician left I sat down to fold laundry and listen to the end of the song. Who signs a music group that sings most of their songs in falsetto anyway? Someone who made a billion bucks, that’s who.
Back when Saturday Night Fever was playing in the theater I was a theater manager, fresh out of high school and pretending to go to community college. A month or two before the movie started we received a giant cardboard display advertising the movie. It was a big flat panel that showed a lighted disco floor in perspective, and then floating on top of the dance floor, again in perspective, was a cardboard John Travolta. I’m not doing it justice. It really was a nice display. The tagline at the bottom of the display read something like, “Where do you go after the record is over?”
We were showing Star Wars at the time and people didn’t know what to make of the display. Travolta was just starting to become a star with Welcome Back Kotter and The Boy in the Plastic Bubble. By the time the movie opened three or four songs from the soundtrack were getting a lot of radio time, which helped at the box office. The movie opened big and kept going strong.
I enjoyed the film when I finally got a chance to sit down and watch it. That was as close to the inside of a disco as I’d ever been. I was seventeen, fat, had less than a buck-fifty in my pocket, and couldn’t dance to save my life.
Here it is close to thirty years later. I’m still fat, I gave my last buck-fifty to the guy at the gas station for a can of Diet Pepsi, and I still can’t dance.
Maybe I should leave the ‘70s back where they belong and focus on now.