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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

I've got a question for you: Do you know anyone, young or old, who has pictures of half-naked women hanging on the walls of their bedroom? I'm betting that, unless they happen to be in prison, none of your friends or children or children's friends have a single one.

Not so in the 1970s. I remember those poster racks being a popular attraction in every store I went to, from K-mart to Elder Beerman (my peeps in Ohio know the name).  Of course, there were plenty of  non-pin-up posters that were plenty popular.  I, for one, adorned my bedroom walls with a King Kong poster (the 70s Dino DeLaurentis remake) and a Battlestar Galactica poster. My wife tells me she had  Shaun Cassidy and David Soul posters.

I think posters of any kind in the 1970s could safely be called a "fad".

Although all manner of posters were selling big, we all know the ones that sold the biggest - the pin ups.  Careers were made by having a successful poster. Any child of the seventies is well familiar with the iconic posters of the decade:
  • Farrah Fawcett in the red one piece with a bad case of headlights 
  • Loni Anderson in the bikini, hair blowing in the fake wind
  • Catherine Bach in her trademark daisy dukes
  • The Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders
  • Cheryl Tiegs had two popular ones - the tee-tiny pink bikini, and the see-thru one piece
  • And let's not forget Susan Anton, who had a ton...

The ultimate example of poster mania is contained in a scene from Saturday Night Fever.  Travolta is getting spruced up for a night at the disco, the Bee-Gee's "Night Fever" kicks in, and you see him posturing in front of a mirror as our attention is directed to both a Farrah Fawcett poster and a Serpico poster.  Fucking brilliant.  Watching it even now, I get chills.

Patti Hansen poster 1979 (future wife of Keith Richards)
Alas, as with all fads, they are short lived.  Kids' rooms will always be hung with crap they like - whether it was Duran Duran in the 80s, or Justin Bieber today.  But smoking hot babes plastered all over your young lad's walls is largely a thing of the past.  And maybe that's a good thing...


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