54 Beautiful Photos From The Groovy Era
By | November 22, 2019
A young Sally Field graces the camera with her presence in 1975.
We are warning you, these carefully curated beautiful photos from the groovy era will cause major nostalgia...
We’ve got a collection of stunning photos featuring some of the most recognizable folks form the past as well as stories of friendship that will bring a smile to your face. Some of these photos capture famous singers like Willie Nelson goofing around with his bandmates and funnymen like Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi hamming it up for the camera, while others are simply images that will astound you with the nostalgic pangs that they create for another time.
Now, if you are ready to transport back to the best time to be alive, click ahead...Lets go!!
Sally Fields has low key been America’s sweetheart for decades, but she says that in the 1970s she wasn’t exactly feeling the love from people even though she garnered critical acclaim for her role in Sybil. While speaking with Oprah, Fields said that she took the role in Smokey and the Bandit because she thought it would help people realize her full "potential":
Burt Reynolds called me up personally. I pretended it wasn't shocking and scary that he would call me. He said he had this movie and the script wasn't very good but that he trusted me and would make it work. Actually, there was no script; in the end, we made up half the movie. The challenge for me was that people saw Sybil and said, ‘Boy, she can act—but man, is she ugly!’ So I thought if I did a movie with Burt and he thought I was cute, then somebody else might think I was cute and I could continue acting.
Millions tuned into "Mork & Mindy" to catch Raquel Welch guest star as a wild alien, 1979.
Robin Williams bounced into the homes of millions of viewers in the 1970s with Mork and Mindy, and in its second season the show made a huge ratings play with “Mork vs. the Necrotons,” an hour long special that featured Raquel Welch as Captain Nirvana. The off the wall episode centers around Nirvana and her alien fiends trying to kidnap Mork so they could torture him - it’s wild. The marketing behind this episode was heavily focused on the babalicious Welch’s appearance with a tagline that read:
“Raquel Welch stars as the sultry space spy who wants More… real bad.”
Audrey Hepburn soaks up the sun, 1950s.
Audiences fell in love with Audrey Hepburn when she appeared onscreen in the 1950s, but it was her role as Princess Ann in Roman Holiday that truly sealed the deal for theater goers. She was always quick to push away any nice words that were said about her, and while speaking with the New York Times she tried to parse exactly why it was that people enjoyed her work:
I myself was born with an enormous need for affection and a terrible need to give it. That's what I'd like to think maybe has been the appeal. People have recognized something in me they have themselves -- the need to receive affection and the need to give it. Does that sound soppy?
Ann-Margret and Tina Turner at the premiere of Tommy in 1975.
They may seem like total opposites, but after appearing in Tommy together in 1975 the two women bonded over their love of singing and became fast friends. The two women were so close that when Turner finally decided to end things with her abusive husband, Ike, that she turned to Ann-Margret for advice about what to do. Turner told EW that Ann-Margret helped her get in touch with a good divorce lawyer who helped the singer break free for a mighty settlement including her share of the studio, publishing and real estate. She told EW,
“My peace of mind was more important.”
Jim Henson in a sea of Muppets in 1970.
Some of our best friends in the ‘70s weren’t people, they were Muppets. Created by imaginative impresario Jim Henson, the Muppets were his babies and he used them to work out his wildest dreams while puppeteering them like a madman with six arms. While Kermit was playing banjo in the swamp Henson was crawling around like a mad man waist deep in water. He put himself entirely into his work and while he gave up much of his personal life to create the show, his hard work was responsible for one of the most important and surreal pieces of children’s entertainment that’s ever been made.
Natalie Wood and her sister Lana, 1960s...look closer, if you don't see the resemblance
It’s rare that there are two celebrity sisters who are as close as Natalie and Lana Wood were. After Natalie mysteriously drowned in 1981 Natalie made it her life’s mission to bring to light the facts of the case and find out who brought her sister’s life to an unceremonious end. She’s appeared at crime conventions and written books about her sister all the while trying to help bring her sister’s killer to justice. According to Lana the two sisters were as thick as thieves but they couldn’t have been more different. She explained:
As far as the difference between us, Natalie was very cautious about what she said. I never thought about that. It isn’t that I didn’t have a filter — I did — but if things go wrong, I tell someone about it.
[Nostalgia Alert] If you don't recognize this Schwinn orange 5-speed, stick-shift bike, then you didn't live through the 1960s!
Don’t you remember the wind in your hair and the smell of summer in the air while you tear down the streets on your Schwinn Sting-Ray? Throughout the 1960s this was THE bike to have if you wanted to be cool. Not only did it look totally different from anything else that was available at the time, but it could shift gears and it had a seat that helped you lean all the way back if you just wanted to chill. Not only did these bikes look cool but they were super customizable. Most notably by kids in California, but before long young people all over were adding different handlebars, flags and larger wheels to these iconic bikes.
Sonny and Cher have major yeehaw energy, 1970s.
After meeting in 1963 Sonny and Cher were inseparable. He may have been a decade older than her, but the two had an instant connection both in the studio and out. By 1971 the dup had honed their lounge act to the point that they had a killer live show and they earned their very own TV show, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, a mix of music and sketches that saw the two pressing on in spite of their faltering relationship. Shortly after their series took off they started seeing other people but stayed together for the sake of their public image. Even after they divorced the two remained close until Bono’s death in 1998.
Brooke Shields in the 1980 movie, The Blue Lagoon
In her first onscreen appearance as Emmeline Lestrange in Blue Lagoon, a teenage Brooke Shields captivated audiences, but she was terrified of people using her sexuality against her. She told The Guardian:
To stay a virgin, there was something very safe in that. It was a really interesting disconnect. You sort of desensitize yourself to anything sexual. In Blue Lagoon, I’m using a glue gun, taping my hair, anything I can so my body doesn’t show I have boobs… And I didn’t realize I was doing it, because I was a kid. I was in a cocoon with my mom. You know, we were one summer away from Grey Gardens.
Young Al Pacino and Robert De Niro got that look in their eye while taking over the streets of NYC, 1977...if we only knew what these bad boys were up to that night
Even though they’ve only appeared in a couple of movies together, Al Pacino and Robert De Niro go back 50 years. They first appeared together in 1974’s The Godfather Part II in parts of the film that never crossover. It wasn’t until 1995 that audiences were actually able to see them onscreen together in Heat, but they’ve been pals for longer than many people have been alive. Pacino told GQ that he remembers the first time they met:
I remember the meeting very clearly. Unbelievably, I saw this guy, I thought, Wow, he’s got such charisma. He wasn’t doing anything. He was just walking. Remember? You know, he was Bob. But you felt something from him.
Yvonne Craig as 'Batgirl' on the Batman TV series in 1966.
Even though she was added in the third and final season of Batman in the 1960s, she never felt like she didn’t fit in. Rather than fit like a square peg in a bat shaped hole, she was the perfect foil for Adam West and brought some much needed feminine energy to the series. When she was first added to the series Yvonne Craig was completely out of the loop with the show - she was more of a book girl - but she buckled down and did her homework to make sure she was a perfect fit. Rather than be embarrassed of appearing on the campy series, Craig says that it was a great gig. She told Closer Weekly:
It was a wonderful job that gave me a place to go. And it paid me admirably. It did for me what I wanted it to do, which I realized when a little girl walked up to me one day in the supermarket and said, ‘I know who you really are. You’re really Barbara Gordon!’ Just wonderful! I just really couldn’t believe that every morning I got to get up and go to work with people I would have never worked with otherwise.
Cary Grant with Elton John at one of his sold out Dodgers Stadium concerts
On Oct. 25 and 26, 1975, Elton John performed two sold-out shows at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and this was such a hot ticket that A-listers came out of the woodwork to say hello. In 1975 Elton John was one of the biggest acts around, not only did he have an amazing stage show, but he had the songs to back it up. His opening acts on the shows were Emmylou Harris and Joe Walsh, which is an absolutely wild line up. By the end of the night Elton John played 31 songs across multiple sets that spanned three hours. Can you imagine standing through that show shoulder to shoulder with Cary Grant?
An elegant Ann-Margret in 1965...notice that monster diamond on her finger
Is there anyone more effortlessly stunning that Ann-Margret? This Swedish born bombshell has been making hearts beat irregularly since she first hit the screen in Pocketful of Miracles, the Frank Capra film. By 1965 she was starring in huge films like Once a Thief and The Cincinnati Kid with Steve McQueen. According to the Swedish actress she really hit it off with McQueen during filming in 1965 because of their dual love of riding motorcycles. She’s notoriously mum about her personal life, but do you think she and McQueen tore up the black top on their two wheeled hogs?
Comedians Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor trade comedy secrets, 1980s.
By the time Eddie Murphy started to breakthrough with comedy audiences Richard Pryor was already a massive superstar. While Murphy says that he looked up to Pryor, initially there was friction between the two of them because it was unfortunately so rare for multiple black comedians to be gain the kind of recognition that they gained. Murphy told Jerry Seinfeld:
Back when I broke, the town was still doing a one black guy at a time thing. So when I showed up, Richard kind of had this—there was this feeling like this was the new one, so Richard kind of felt threatened.
Joe Namath Broadway Joe on the sidelines during a game in his fur coat, 1971.
Sure, Joe Namath is the legendary Jets quarterback who was one of the first rock star NFL players, but even if you’re not a sports fan you’ll remember him for his wild style which included everything from massive fur coats to groovy bell bottoms that were covered in kooky patterns. Broadway Joe made it a habit to wear mink coats on the sidelines in between his time on the field, and while he certainly had more fashion sense than other football players of the times, no one dared say an ill word about his looks because he had the arm to back up his looks.
Natalie Wood, a timeless beauty
It’s hard to know what to do with your life when you find fame as a teen. Natalie Wood first found success in films like Rebel Without a Cause and West Side Story, but she dropped out of the limelight in the early ‘70s to start a family. After giving birth to her first child in 1970 she went into a semi retirement and turned down some huge roles and throughout the time she carried on an and off relationship with actor Robert Wagner until she passed away in 1981. Her sister, Lana Wood said:
Her marriage was considered to be one of the best in Hollywood, and there is no question that she was a devoted, loving—even adoring—mother and stepmother. She and R. J. had begun with love and built from there. They had overcome each other's problems and had reached an accommodation with time and the changes time brings. As with anybody else who has settled into making a long marriage work, they were far more determined than most people to make it work.
John Candy in curlers with his daughter Jennifer in 1983
With more than 40 films under his belt and memorable roles on SCTV, John Candy was a unique comedy voice who was larger than life. While he loved performing, he loved his family more and spend much of his downtime with his two children, Chris and Jen. Even though he took on many iconic characters, his daughter says that he loved to play his saucy SCTV anything-salesman:
He loved Johnny LaRue. That character was smarmy, but he was lovable. And I think that’s one of the things that was at the core of all of our dad’s characters, a likability.
John Travolta and Sylvester Stallone leaving Studio 54, 1983
While it may see strange for these two wildly different actors to be hanging out at Studio 54, they actually forged a friendship in the Broadway themed sequel to Saturday Night Fever - Staying Alive. The film saw Travolta starring and Stallone directing and while prepping for the role Stallone put Travolta through a workout circuit to slim him down and tone him up. He had a day to day workout routine that turned Travolta from a skinny hunk to a superhuman muscleman. He told People Magazine:
People like Sly can look at a body like clay and mold it. I never thought of designing a body. I just thought, ‘Diet, run, lose it and you’ll look good.’ I didn’t think of shaping the shoulder, the triceps, the waist.
The natural beauty of actress Sissy Spacek, 1970.
In 1966 a 17-year-old Sissy Spacek moved to New York City with hopes of finding a record deal. She lugged her 12 string guitar around the city with her cousin (some guy by the name of Rip Torn) and played for whoever would listen. In 1970 a talent manager told her to try and get in front of the camera as an actor instead of a singer-songwriter. She signed up for classes at the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute and rather than come up with more nothing she found major success. Her iconic look definitely secured her a few roles, but it's her talent that keeps people coming back.
A very lucky Swamp Thing cradles Adrienne Barbeau, 1982.
Adrienne Barbeau looks good in anything, even the swamp. She starred in 1982’s Swamp Thing as Alice Cable, a woman who finds a strange friendship with Swamp Thing - the DC comics creature. At the time Barbeau was a sex symbol after starring on Maude and appearing on The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and Battle of the Network Stars in the 1970s. So what drew her to the film? She simply thought the script was “charming.” She said:
It was whimsical and charming and lovely. I didn't see it as a horror film — I guess I don't see it as a horror film to this day, actually. It's Beauty and the Beast — it's more of a fantasy or fairy tale maybe in my mind."
Groovy street fashion, 1969.
The 1960s were a time where fashion was whatever someone was wearing - be it a fringed dress and a headband, or blue jeans and a vest. Fringe was huge in the late ‘60s and you could find it on everything from dresses to jackets, from men and women. These two gals look like they’ve combined the mod and hippie fashions of the day to create something entirely unique. Note the short velvet short pant suit that the woman is wearing on the left, it’s hardly the same os the Native American inspired fringed dress on the right, but they’re both deliciously chic.
The Highwaymen; Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams Jr. and Waylon Jennings were real space cowboys
A country supergroup like this only comes along once in a lifetime, and as different as all of these guys were they were able to create such stunning music because of their deep friendship and love of one another. While some groups form as a way to add to their bottom line, these guys came together for the love of the music. Roseanne Cash told Rolling Stone:
There was no marketing guy who came and said, ‘This will be a good idea.’ My dad and Waylon were roommates in the Sixties, hiding their drugs from each other. Kris is like his little brother for decades… They were all buddies and they wanted to do it.
The talented trio of Paul Newman, Katharine Ross and Robert Redford in the classic film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
One of the greatest western of all time, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, is an absolute joy to watch. Paul Newman and Robert Redford are the perfect foils for one another - they’re like boxers who are bobbing and weaving against one another. But the movie almost had even more star power with the inclusion of Steve McQueen. The only problem was that McQueen wanted top billing over Paul Newman. Newman wasn’t going to let that fly and said that he wanted top billing. Fox president Darryl F. Zanuck hatched a scheme were half of the prints would have Newman’s name up top and the other half McQueen, an offer that wasn’t good enough for McQueen so he left the project.
These two people met at Woodstock in 1969, and have been together for 50 years.
Many people who experienced Woodstock only have fleeting memories of the mud, music, and mirth that made up much of the festival of peace and love in 1969. Everyone that went came away with a story even if they didn’t leave with photographs of their trip. Judy and Jerry Griffin actually met on their way to the iconic music festival and even though they snapped this amazing photo they thought it was lost to time after their hazy days in 1969. Thankfully they found a photo of themselves in the PBS documentary Woodstock: Three Days that Defined a Generation. Jerry said of the photo:
For 50 years we’ve been looking for a picture of ourselves, and out of the blue one shows up. We’d known each other less than 48 hours when that was taken.
The Twin Towers under construction in the 1970s.
Conceived in the 1950s as a way to energize lower Manhattan. The project was dreamt up by architect Minoru Yamasaki to build the towers 110 stories high. Construction began in earnest on August 5, 1966, and by 1970 the North Tower topped out at 1,368 feet. Even though the towers were innovative and gorgeous, New Yorkers weren’t exactly pleased with the new construction. At the time the towers were seen as being too tall for the skyline, but after a while they became a part of the city. Unfortunately they also became the target of terrorist attacks; first in 1993 and again on September 11, 2001.
Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones with his lovely family in the 1970s.
Jon Paul Jones has always been considered the musical Swiss army knife of Led Zeppelin. What he lacks in bombastic offstage acts or stories about his mystic qualities he more than makes up for in his ability to anchor any room that he’s in. Is it any wonder that the guy who held it down for Zeppelin is also a dedicated family man? He’s been married to his wife Maureen since 1967 and he’s raised three daughters in that time. It would seem that being in a band with a bunch of rowdy rock ’n rollers was the exact thing he needed to get him ready for a house full of little Joneses.
Debbie Harry wearing a Popeye shirt and a captains hat, New York, 1978.
At a time when rock was full of bloated rock stars or up and coming gangly punks Debbie Harry was like a ray of sunshine on a dreary day in New York City. In 1978 she and her band Blondie were riding high on the release of Parallel Lines, a record that transcended genres like punk or new wave and gave the world pop hits that will never be matched. She later described the late ‘70s in the Big Apple as “romanticized” but “fertile.” She said:
[The CBGB era] is overly romanticized. But the results of that period can’t be overly romanticized. It was a very fertile, creative period. Music scenes, they come and they go, whether they’re in New York or Seattle or Liverpool or wherever else. But the results can be fertile.
Stephen King and his family pose for People magazine in 1981.
Even though he’s the master of horror, and a writer who conjures up terrifying scenarios to inflict on his characters, at heart he’s just a family man. King and his wife Tabitha (also an author) have raised three children together in Maine since the 1970s and two out of three of them (Owen and Joe) have grown up to take on their father’s mantle in the writing business. As scary as many of King’s books are, it’s nice to know that he’s a family man at heart, that he yearns for nothing more than to make the people in his life happy.
4 lads from Liverpool crossed a street in London and, after a few tries, came up with one of the best album covers of all time.
Is there a more iconic album cover than “Abbey Road?” The photo that shows the four Beatles walking across the street is so simple but so perfect. There’s something about it that draws you in, that makes want to know just what was happening when the photo was taken. The photo was one of six taken by photographer Iain Macmillan at 10am on August 8, 1969. The entire session lasted only 10 minutes because that’s how long the London police would agree to stop traffic. According to Paul McCartney much of the shoot was unplanned aside from walking across the street. He explained:
We were wearing ordinary clothes. I was barefoot because it was a hot day. The Volkswagen just happened to be there.
John Belushi hangs out in New York City while Dan Aykroyd does the hanging
Has there ever been a comedic duo so perfectly matched to one another? Dan Aykroyd with his stilted, surreal everyman routine, and John Belushi absolutely going for broke to be the craziest person on the screen. It’s clear when you see these two working together on the screen that they have an unbridled joy when working with one another. Unfortunately Belushi passed away in 1982 from a drug overdose, something that Aykroyd says he thinks about often. In 2012 he told the Today Show, “What John leaves behind is his legacy of laughter and fun. He was my brother.”
Jennifer Aniston in the 1980s, before she had friends
She may be one of the most famous women on the planet today thanks to her role as Rachel in Friends, and that whole marriage thing to Brad Pitt, but in the 1980s she was just another young actress trying to find her big break in Hollywood. In an interview with Rolling Stone around the time Friends was coming to an end Aniston admitted that when she first moved to Hollywood in the ‘80s she was a total square and didn’t really get up to a lot of partying. She said:
I never woke up in someone’s bedroom, wearing someone’s boxer shorts, having no idea how I got there. I think the craziest I got in those days was at my friend’s bachelorette party, when they tried to drag me into a gay bar.
Groovy bell bottoms fresh from the 1970s
If there’s one trend that everyone remembers from the ‘70s (or at at the veery least they’re aware of it) it’s bell bottoms, those blue jeans that were tight up top with a wide birth around the ankles. Bell bottoms were one of the rare styles of fashion that were popular across two decades - they first came around in the 1960s before really exploding in the 1970s where they were applied to a variety of styles and niches.By the end of the ‘70s bell bottoms were just worn by groovy hippies, but they’d made their way to suburban neighborhoods and the inner city alike.
Jaws getting camera ready between takes for the filming of Steven Spielberg's Jaws, 1975.
It’s an understatement to say that the production of Jaws was a complete disaster. Not only did the shoot begin without a finished script but the main antagonist of the film - the titular Jaws the shark - didn’t work. Stephen Spielberg opted to use a mechanical shark rather than try to deal with a live one, which makes perfect sense, but the shark barely worked and when it did it looked unbelievable. Producer David Brown later said:
I remember being on set for the first shark test, and it simply sank. We thought our careers in motion pictures had gone with it. Everything that could go wrong with the shark went wrong.
Bill Paxton, Liam Neeson and Patrick Swayze on the set of the film Next of Kin
Well would you look at these three handsome fellers right here, don’t they just look like a family? Sure, one of them is from England and the other two guys are from different parts of Texas, but they sure look like brothers. This still of Bill Paxton, Liam Neeson, and Patrick Swayze is from Next of Kin, a film where Swayze plays an Appalachian man who moves to Chicago to join the police force only to return to his home to investigate the death of his brother. It’s an intense movie that will please anyone who’s a fan of ‘80s b-movies.
Gilda Radner and Gene Wilder pose with their jack-o-lantern, 1986.
On August 13, 1981, Gene Wilder and Gilda Radner met on the set of Hanky Panky, a film that Wilder was working on at the time. Wilder was dressed in a tuxedo and introduced himself to Radner in what he thought was a normal way, but as he writes in his memoirs Radner later remembered it differently. He wrote:
Gilda said that I rubbed my crotch against her knee when I asked her if I could bring her some tea or coffee," he wrote in his book. "When she told me this story, I said, 'You're nuts!' And she said, 'No, they were your nuts.’
The two finally got together in 1984 and were together for two years before Radner was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer, she passed away on May 20, 1989.
John Candy with his kids Christopher and Jennifer, and their dog Cotton, in 1989.
Is there anything better than seeing a star with their family? While many celebrities can be complete monsters to the people closest to them, it’s always heartwarming to see actors who know how to turn their celebrity brain off and show their family some love. John Candy was definitely one of those celebrities, maybe its because he was a softy at heart, or maybe it’s because he’s Canadian. His daughter Jen said that her dad’s favorite thing to do was to make people feel good:
He liked to make people laugh and feel good. And with certain kinds of charity work, especially with kids, he could do that, and that made him feel good.
In 1965, he turned down an assignment to teach at West Point and moved to Nashville to pursue his music.
Who’s that clean cut looking gentleman? Surely it’s not the same guy that wrote “Sunday Morning Coming Down” and “Me and Bobby McGee.” On a second viewing it’s definitely Kris Kristofferson who spent the 1960s as a helicopter pilot after completing Ranger School. After reaching the rank of Captain he was offered a teaching role at West Point, but he turned it down to focus on his music career. After moving to Nashville Kristofferson took work wherever he could find it. While writing songs he cleaned toilets as a janitor and flew a helicopter for an oil rig.
Sam Elliott and Cher together in the movie Mask, 1985.
You’d never know it from his effortless cool, but Sam Elliot was barely holding it together while working on Mask as the romantic lead for Cher. While the film has garnered a reputation for being a little cheesy, don’t tell Sam Elliot because aside from working with his childhood crush Cher he watched as star Eric Stoltz put himself through hell for the role:
I was a Cher fan when I was still living up in Portland. My mom and I were there, and I was going to school, and my dad had died, but my mom and I used to watch The Sonny and Cher Show religiously. I’ve always had a thing for female singers, for whatever reason. I remember Eric Stoltz sat in that makeup chair for four hours-plus, every day. Ate all of his meals out of a f*cking straw, and never once complained about it. We shot in the middle of the summer. It was brutal for him. Never complained once, that I ever heard.
Robin Williams and John Ritter hamming it up for the camera at an event in 1979.
These two funnymen are two of the most recognized character actors of… well ever. They both found fame in the ‘70s, but they never lost their step and continued to entertain the people well through the ‘80s and ‘90s, but they didn’t really work together. However, they did get together for a 10 minute improv sketch one night in 1978 for an HBO comedy special. The wildest thing about the sketch is that Williams literally pulls Ritter out of the audience to put on a show. Thank goodness this was filmed so the work of these two long gone comedic titans can live on.
Part of The Rat Pack, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin, 1960s.
Don’t these guys look swingin’? Earning their name from actress Lauren Bacall, the Rat Pack was a collection of singers and actors who orbited around Frank Sinatra following the death of original group leader Humphrey Bogart. The group - Sinatra, Martin, Davis Jr., along with Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop - traipsed through Las Vegas on week long benders in between performances for thousands of adoring fans. And while they were definitely their own little gang they hated to be called the Rat Pack and actually preferred to be known as “The Summit” or “the Clan.” Honestly it’s probably for the best that they didn’t use that last one.
Real-life 'Rapunzel' Crystal Gayle in 1982.
This is one country singer that we just can’t forget. Not only is she sisters with Peggy Lee and Loretta Lynn, but she’s got some amazing hits of her own like “If You Ever Change Your Mind.” But how can we talk about Gayle without mentioning her long, luxurious hair? She once described her hair that reached the ground as something akin to “wearing a gown.” Aside from its extreme length Gayle said that she hated to wash it because of the way that it held her down. Literally, the hair added more pounds to her head than most people ever have to deal with.
Jake and Elwood, The Blues Brothers
There’s no one cooler than Jake and Elwood Blues, the two blues singers on a mission from God. Throughout the film they wreck cars, destroy property, and manage to enrage half the country - somehow things were even crazier behind the scenes. On the set John Belushi was a tornado powered by cocaine and while his addiction would do him in a few years after the filming, it seemed to give him inspiration whenever the camera was rolling. The idea for the Blues Brothers came about in the early ‘70s while Belushi and Dan Aykroyd were both performing with Second City, but they weren’t able to make it work until they were both on Saturday Night Live. They warmed up the audience before shows and end up performing on January 17, 1976, while dressed as bees. Even though it was a slow start for the Brothers of Blues, they managed to capture the hearts of comedy and music fans everywhere.
Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek at the original Hard Rock Cafe, 1969
Were there ever two friends who were as mismatched as JimMOrrison and Ray Manzarek? Morrison, the lizard king himself, was a tripped out, cult like poet who crooned in leather pants while driving women wild. Manzarek was a bit of a nerd who created intricate harpsichord pieces but somehow these two guys just got along. But no matter how different they were from one anther the two friends always shared the experience of creating The Doors from the ground up. The two met in UCLA, but it wasn’t until after graduation that Morrison sang one of the songs he’d written for Manzarek. Upon hearing the one he said, “Man, this is incredible. Let's get a rock 'n' roll band together,” and that was that.
Jimi Hendrix enlisted in the Army in 1961 and was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division where he was stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.
Coming from a run down home in Seattle, the young Jimi Hendrix often found himself in trouble, and when he enlisted on May 31, 1961, it wasn’t because he was jumping at the chance to serve his country but because he had to choose between serving in the military or going to jail for stealing a car. He was assigned to the 101st Airborne Division, where he was stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, and he didn’t take to military life. Honestly, who in their right mind would think that he did? According to his commanding officers he slept while on duty and he was a pretty awful marksman. Hendrix was enlisted for three years, but the military had enough by the end of his first year as a serviceman and they cut him loose early.
Mark Hamill and Annie Potts pose on a Corvette for their film Corvette Summer
Okay so we mostly know Mark Hamill from a little movie called Star Wars, but he’s had a long career that includes everything rom appearing in adaptations of Japanese mangas and voice over work in pretty much every cartoon from the ‘90s on, but he also appeared in Corvette Summer, a film where he played a high school student searching for a stolen car along with a prostitute in training, that old story. Annie Potts, Hamill’s co-star, remembers working with the newly famous actor as a great time:
He is just a lovely person. I had no experience in film and Mark was very knowledgeable and very helpful. He was also a great teacher saying things like, ‘No, you don’t want to do that because of lighting.’ He was just lovely and we had a wonderful time. That’s the thing that stands out for me now with [that movie], is just how much fun we had.
Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta in a scene from Grease in 1978 and together again in 2018.
Summer days may be drifting away, but we’ll always have the high school love affair of Zuko and Sandy, the coolest kids at Rydell High. With a combination of fast cars and killer dance moves, these two hand jived into the hearts of millions in 1978. While Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta definitely had sizzling chemistry onscreen they never took their relationship off the set. Newton-John said:
I think it was good, because I think it kept the tension there and the chemistry. It might have been a real disaster had we decided to date or we had a falling out or something. So I think it was just as well that it didn't happen.
Ozzy Osbourne, the chestnut Prince of Darkness, 1974
He may be the Prince of Darkness, but he looks like a strapping young hippie in this photo. In 1974 the legendary wild man was still signing with Black Sabbath and that year they performed in front of over 200,000 fans at the California Jam. The set saw them tear through 13 songs and two encores at the festival that touted one of the biggest sound systems known to man (at the time). Three years later Osbourne quit the band for a few weeks before rejoining the band to record “Never Say Die.” By 1979 he was out of the band for good, or at least until the 2000s.
Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth ain't talkin' bout love
One of the most formative hard rock bands of the 20th century was Van Halen. Their pulsating beats and driving, frantic guitar was an astounding thing to hear, but it was their lead singer - “Diamond” David Lee Roth = who really got the party started. Helming the band from their time playing in backyards until they were headlining stadiums, Roth was seminal in turning the band into something that everyone wanted to hear instead of just guitar nuts. While we know Van Halen as one of the biggest bands in the world, it took them years of playing as the house band at Gazzarri’s on the Sunset Strip before they ever hit their big break. See kids, hard work does pay off.
The Breakfast Club were closer than ever after filming in a library all summer
The Breakfast Club was a seminal film for people who grew up in the ’80s, and while it may feel like the members of the club are our close personal friends, the real friendship was forged on the set of the film. The shoot was so easy going that the five cast mates became an incredibly tight knit unit. The film shot in sequence, which means that as the characters grew closer together so did the cast. When the shoot finally came to an end, Ringwald and her cast mates were so torn up that director John Hughes gave each kid a piece of the library’s banister as a keepsake.
The 1960 Cadillac Eldorado was more boat than car
There’s not another car like the 1960 Cadillac Eldorado. Not only were these very cool cars total boats, but their rear fin design made the car look like an unstoppable military vehicle or an early version of the Bat-Mobile more than anything else. The Eldorado was a seriously powerful car, even looking at it you can see how people would be astounded with its dramatic looks, but the drama didn’t sell models and after 1960 Cadillac altered the car to make it somewhat more mainstream. The cars lost their massive fins and while they kept their fender skirts the newer models never managed to match the magic of the older models.
The Beastie Boys kick in on an NYC corner, 1980s
For a generation of New Yorkers there’s no group that better summarizes the big apple than the Beastie Boys. When they hit MTV in 1980s the trio young rappers introduced the world to their fascinating blend of rap, punk, and jazz that used sophomoric lyrics to over listeners and make parents cover their ears. Beastie Boys member Mike D says that the group new they stuck out like sore thumbs as rappers, but they just loved the genre:
We just loved hip-hop. I think when we started to make rap music, when we made our first record with Rick, which was not very good, Rock Hard. I mean, really I'm doing myself a disservice by even mentioning it. The first time that we went up we played a show and at the Encore opening up for Kurtis Blow, the Encore in Queens. We were so excited we all were in Puma suits and f*king 'do rags and we go and people at Encore are looking at us like... I don't understand how we did not get killed that night. I really don't because if I were in the audience I would have killed us.
River and younger brother Joaquin Phoenix at home in 1986.
Long before Joaquin was a Joker and River was young heartthrob gone too soon, they were just young boys who grew up more like best friends than brothers. River watched out for Joaquin and inspired him to take acting seriously thanks to his brother sitting him down and telling him that he was going to dedicate his life to appearing onscreen. Joaquin said:
When I was 15 or 16 my brother River came home from work and he had a VHS copy of a movie called Raging Bull and he sat me down and made me watch it. And the next day he woke me up, and he made me watch it again. And he said, ‘You’re going to start acting again, this is what you’re going to do. He didn’t ask me, he told me. And I am indebted to him for that because acting has given me such an incredible life.
Surf's up in 1964
While the rest of California had gone hippie crazy by ’64, Southern California was full of tan, leaned kids who wanted to hit the water every chance they got. By 1964 surfing had only been in the mainstream for a few years but it was already catching on in a big way thanks to the music go the Beach Boys and their many imitators as well as a series of films about the surfing scene of Southern California. The beaches were filled every weekend as hip cats of all stripes took places like Huntington Beach, Malibu, and Venice to catch a tube or just watch their favorite local boys hit a good break.
An all American family, The Munsters in 1964.
If the horror tinged surf song that opened every episode of The Munsters isn’t playing through your head right now then you missed out on one of the most fun shows of the ‘60s. The series, a family sitcom about monsters living in a “normal” neighborhood was as far from scary as you can imagine, in fact, it was downright wholesome. The reason it was so heartwarming is because the show was created by the same team who made Leave It To Beaver. Joe Connelly and Bob Mosher wanted the show to be essentially the same as Beaver, but with the Universal monsters. The show was a hit, and it’s gone on to inspire a cult following across the globe.