Camp Freddy's Billy Morrison Highlights His 10 Most Important Cultural Events of the 1970s

Billy Morrison
Billy Morrison

Editor's Note: For Angelenos, guitarist Billy Morrison is perhaps best known for his work with all-star cover band Camp Freddy, which also features core members Dave Navarro (guitar), Matt Sorum (drums), Donovan Leitch, Jr. (vocals), Chris Chaney (bass). Indie 103.1 fans no doubt know him from Camp Freddy Radio, which ran on the station on Saturday nights. Morrison has played guitar with the Cult and proto-indie band Into a Circle, and is a member of Circus Diablo. In honor of Camp Freddy's return to the Roxy tomorrow night, we've asked members of the band to chime in on their favorite music of the decades. Tomorrow night's Roxy show will feature music of the 1970s, and in honor of this we're happy to turn the reigns over to Morrison to highlight ten great things of that decade. In the coming weeks, band members will provide lists of highlights from the '80s and '90s.

Top 10 Most Important Events Of The Seventies

By Billy Morrison

Camp Freddy's Billy Morrison Highlights His 10 Most Important Cultural Events of the 1970s

The Seventies. Now let's get something straight here.... I was a kid in the '70s. So most of my memorable '70s moments are after the fact ...like the whole Ziggy Stardust thing. I know it was seminal, life-changing stuff... a man in a dress singing about aliens is right up my street! But I was about three-years-old so I can't honestly say I remember it. I came to understand the importance of Bowie and appreciate the genius of his music as I grew up. You get my point. But I can say that I learned about the seventies in detail, and that a huge portion of my musical influences reside firmly in that decade. So with that said, here goes with my "Top 10 Most Important Events Of The Seventies."

10. David Bowie achieves God-like status as a sexually promiscuous Rock Star named Ziggy Stardust. His penchant for make up, high heels and insanely beautiful music cements him in the history books as the man your mother warned you about.

Camp Freddy's Billy Morrison Highlights His 10 Most Important Cultural Events of the 1970s

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9. British rock music came of age. Led Zeppelin, The Who, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Judas Priest and others stormed around the globe, frightening small children and religious congregations and turned their amps to 11. Heavy Metal music was born, screaming loudly and shaking the world's musical foundations.

8. We were given the gifts of Star Wars and Saturday Night Fever. A decidedly camp Mark Hamill kicked Darth Vader's ass and we all loved him for it. John Travolta made white suits and black shirts cool. The Bee Gees became even more wealthy than they already were - and we all danced.

7: The Pontiac Trans-Am became the symbol of cool as Burt Reynolds appears in the 90-minute car chase known as Smokey And The Bandit. The real star of the movie is the car, though, and every red-blooded boy decides that an eagle on the hood of their car will get them laid.  

Camp Freddy's Billy Morrison Highlights His 10 Most Important Cultural Events of the 1970s

6. Evel Knievel makes a career out of "not quite making it" and crashing at every jump he attempts. Somehow his red, white and blue suit and his extremely cool wind-up toy make it okay and a generation of kids mess their knees up as they attempt to jump Dad's car on their Chopper and fail spectacularly.

5. The Runaways, The Ramones, Blondie, Television, The New York Dolls and many others absolutely own New York. It changes so much. It forms a revolution that spreads from CBGB's to cover the whole world. Forever. The fledgling punk scene is being born and the great news is that anyone can do it.

4. Steve Jobs introduces the Apple Macintosh personal computer and suddenly the world is falling over itself to have the latest, biggest, most powerful, most advanced, better than yours machine. By the way, I'm typing this on the latest 15" MacBook Pro.  

3. Quadrophenia. A word that most of us still don't understand, but a movie and a soundtrack that moved us to have sex in alleyways. Scooters were cool, especially with 48 mirrors and a raccoon's tail attached.

2. Aerosmith make cocaine use even more socially acceptable than it already is -- and the South American economy soars. Peru and Columbia are exceptionally happy that the 'Smith are touring constantly and musicians around the world adopt the 'skinny, look at my cheekbones and 26" waist' persona.

1. The Sex Pistols effected more change, revolution and outrage in the UK in their brief 18 month career than any politician, social reform group or boy band could ever hope to achieve. They released Never Mind The Bollocks -- an album that still sounds as vital and angry now as it did 30 years ago. Their appearance on Bill Grundy's UK show disgusted every adult in the country, and made every kid (including me) wanna pick up a guitar and stick two fingers up at the world. Fabulous.

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