01x08 - What's Goin' On

Episode transcripts for the TV show "The Seventies". Aired: June 2015 to August 2015.*
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"The Seventies" is a documentary series that looks back on this remarkable and controversial decade. The Vietnam w*r, Watergate scandal, music industry, Iran Hostage Crisis, and the rise of foreign and domestic terrorism are just some of the events this series covers.
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01x08 - What's Goin' On

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Goldman: Rock is probably
the most important

cultural event
in the history of America

and out swarmed
a whole generation of freaks.

It's what guys
seem to get off on,

they like
this high-energy sort of event.

And if the sight and sound
of soul is your pleasure,

you can bet your bottom,
we got 'em baby.

Downs: Unless you've been living
in a sealed cave,

you've probably noticed
that America's latest craze

is disco dancin'.

This is punk rock,
and its purpose is to promote

v*olence, sex, and destruction,
in that order.

Pure rock 'n' roll energy,
pure guts, pure stamina.


Rock singer Jimi Hendriz
d*ed today in London,

according to a police source,
from an overdose of dr*gs.

Reynolds: Janis Joplin
was found d*ad last night.

The cause of death was said
to be an overdose of dr*gs.

Jim Morrison,
the lead singer for The Doors,

a rock music group, is d*ad.

He was 27.

Naftali: The early years
of the 70s are sad in music

because you lose people.

And you lose The Beatles.

Simon: This small gathering
on Savile Row

is only the beginning.

The event is so momentous

that historians
may one day view it

as a landmark in the decline
of the British Empire.

The Beatles are breaking up.

Heilemann: It was like a death
for a lot of people.

Rock 'n' roll, as we
understood it in the 1960s,

was no longer with us.

There could never be
another Beatles, never.

[ sniffles ]


You might wonder
what I'm doing here

with no drummers
and no nothing like that.

Well, as you might know,
I lost my old band,

or I left it.

♪ Imagine there's no heaven ♪

[ applause ]

♪ It's easy if you try ♪

For so long you kind of waited

for the next beatles album
to see where music was going.

And we just hoped that the music

they would come up with
individually would be that good.

You know, I no longer have to,
"Oh The Beatles need an album,

you and Paul better go and write
20 songs tomorrow"

kind of thing.

I just write
when I feel like it.

♪ Imagine all the people ♪

Cavett: You know, Yoko,

you've even been called
"The Dragon Lady"

who brought The Beatles apart --
or took them all apart.

I have trouble with English,

Could we please
give her the credit

for all the nice music
that George made and Ringo made

and Paul made and I've made
since they broke up.

[ applause ]

If she did it --

Hanks: The fact is, Yoko Ono
did not break up The Beatles.

Time broke up The Beatles,
money broke up The Beatles,

business broke up The Beatles,

the desire to go off
and do their own stuff

broke up The Beatles.

Man: He's a fleshier,
heavier Beatle these days,

respectably married.

And when the kids
come to his concerts,

they don't scream any more,
they listen.

The significant thing

is that both John Lennon
and Paul McCartney

made music
in their own particular ways

that was focused on the fact

that they were deeply in love
with a woman.


♪ But I'm not the only one ♪

McCartney went home,
made that record

where he plays all
of the instruments on his own,

this kind of cozy domesticity.

Beautiful, wonderful,
warm music.

It's gonna look
roughly like this.

This is our first
showing of it.

So this is just
the mockup, folks.

Man: The new album
with Atlantic --

and it's gonna be called
"Ringo's Rotogravure."

I sell records,
and it doesn't matter

if I've been in The Beatles
or not,

if they don't like
the record out there,

they won't buy it, you know?

Ringo, who, to this day,
people dismiss way too much,

has tremendous success
in the 70s.

And George Harrison,

who had been stockpiling
these amazing songs,

explodes like a supernova

on an album called
"All Things Must Pass,"

maybe the greatest
Beatles solo album of all.

♪ You don't need no passport ♪

♪ And you don't need no visa ♪

Over the years, you know,
I had such a lot of songs

mounting up
that I really wanted to do,

but I only got my quota
of one or two tunes per album.

Were you held down
by the other fellas?


well, very subtly, yes.

♪ By chanting the name
of the Lord and you'll be free ♪

♪ The Lord is awaiting
on you all to awaken and see ♪

I'd just like to thank you all
for coming here.

As you all know,
it's a special benefit concert.

♪ The Lord is awaiting
on you all to awaken and see ♪

Connelly: Ravi Shankar
went to George Harrison

and said, this terrible thing
is happening in Bangladesh,

what can we do?

And that created the first

major superstar
benefit concert ever done.

The concert for Bangladesh

was the granddaddy
of all issue-themed concerts.

And not only did you get
George Harrison, man,

you got Eric Clapton.

It got Dylan out of hiding.

It put two Beatles
back on the stage again.

It was unparalleled at the time

and it may still be


[ cheers and applause ]

A great deal of music of the 70s

was people who had succeeded
in the 60s finding new ways

to express themselves
in the 70s.

Man: Have you got any idea
why your group particularly

has lasted
as long as it has?

Because we stay together,
I suppose.

You know, for a few years,

the Rolling Stones had taken
a lot of casualties.

Richards: Even Brian felt

that he wasn't gonna be around
that long.

Not everybody makes it,
you know?

They were fighting for like,

"Where do we secure
our foothold now?"


♪ Babe, you think I'm crazy ♪

♪ But they're always
tryin' to waste me ♪

♪ Make me burn the candle
right down ♪

In 1971, the Rolling Stones

leave their home,
for tax purposes,

to go live in France
and record this record

"Exile on Main Street"

in a very hot, uncomfortable,
muddy-sounding studio.

♪ Baby, baby ♪

♪ You got to roll me ♪

♪ They call me
the tumblin' dice ♪

That record is the embodiment

of a band making masterpieces
on a daily basis.

And I remember reading a review

saying that this was like
a debauched album.

I was like, I don't even know
what debauched means,

but I got to get
some of this debauchery stuff.


♪ Baby, I can't stay ♪

♪ They call me
the tumblin' dice ♪

♪ they call me the tumblin' ♪

Having come out of the 60s,
which was its own animal,

the 70s had to show a new skin.

It had to shed the old one.


♪ Ooh, yeah ♪

I was never very confident
of my voice,

you see, as a singer.

So I thought,
rather than just sing them,

which would probably
bore the pants off of everybody,

I'd like to kind of portray
the songs.

♪ Then I turned myself
To face me ♪

♪ But I never caught a glimpse ♪

Wild: David bowie
has always been a game changer.

He really has taken
the promise of rock

that The Beatles kicked off,

and he's taking it
all sorts of interesting places

for others to follow.

♪ Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes ♪

♪ Turn and face the strange ♪

♪ Ch-ch-changes ♪

♪ Pretty soon, now,
you're gonna get older ♪

♪ Time may change me ♪

♪ But I can't trace time ♪

♪ I said that time
may change me ♪

♪ but I can't trace time ♪

This year I took some time off
from touring

and went off
on some adventures of my own,

and this is kind of a letter
back home.

♪ Mm, California ♪

♪ Oh, California ♪

♪ I'm coming home ♪

♪ Oh, make me feel good,
rock 'n' roll band ♪

♪ I'm your biggest fan ♪

♪ California, I'm coming home ♪

de Passe:
You look to the horizon that
you want to move toward,

and that horizon
was here in L.A.

Fleetwood: That's where
the record companies were,

and there's lots of sun.
[ chuckles ]

The way I got to California
is just really simple.

I got there in a '57 Chevy

by skipping my finals
that year in college.

Wild: Virtually no one
was from Southern California.

They're all drawn to the light,

and the light
is The Troubadour Club.

John: Things happened gradually
until we played

The Troubadour Club
in Los Angeles,

which holds 250 people.

It just happened
on the first night.

Every great songwriter
I can think of

came through The Troubadour.

Jackson Browne,
J.D., Henley, and Frey.

Linda Ronstadt, Kristofferson,
Joni Mitchell, James Taylor.

The big sea change was people
writing their own songs

and expressing themselves.

Is it difficult
to reveal yourself constantly

to so many people?

Why do you
have to do this?

I feel an obligation
to myself and to people

to try and share myself,
maybe as honestly as I can.

♪ I left my folk and friends ♪

♪ With the aim
to clear my mind out ♪

♪ Well, I h*t the rowdy road ♪

♪ And many kinds I met there ♪

♪ Many stories told me
Of the way to get there ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh ♪

♪ So on and on I go ♪

♪ The seconds
tick the time out ♪

♪ There's so much
left to know ♪

♪ And I'm on the road
to find out ♪

Everyone was just trying to do
whatever came into their head.

In the early days, Paul and I,
we wanted to be

the Goffin and King
of England, you know?

Goffin and King
were very big those days.

We had no idea
who these people were,

who the mysterious Mr. King was
who'd written all these songs --

you know, "Chains" --
that The Beatles did,

and "I'm Into Something Good,"

which was part
of the British Invasion.

We did discover that it was this
remarkable woman, Carole King.

Carole King made the transition
from basically being

behind-the-scenes woman
to a star in her own right.

♪ I feel the earth move
under my feet ♪

♪ I feel the sky tumblin' down ♪

♪ I feel my heart
start to tremblin' ♪

♪ whenever you're around ♪

Wild: Carole King is
the embodiment of what happens

because, in the 60s,

she is trying to write h*t songs
for other people.

And then in the 70s,
with "Tapestry,"

it's the definition of an album
of self-expression --

Let me go into my house
in Laurel Canyon

and tell you about my life.

After church, you always
went out for pancakes.

If you were lucky enough to ride
in one of the girls' cars,

you know
what you're listening to?



[ applause ]

Asher: There were
a lot of very important women

who were some of the most

writers and contributors
to music at the time.

We're gonna do a song
that's written

by my friend John David Souther,

who is my favorite
California songwriter

and one of my favorite singers.

It's called "Faithless Love."

She was, in many ways,
my greatest collaborator.

I mean, I became
a professional songwriter

because the best voice of my
generation was doing my songs.

♪ Faithless love
Like a river flows ♪

♪ Raindrops falling
On a broken rose ♪

Asher: For my money
Linda is still underrated

just for sheer singing power
and style and emotion.

♪ And the night bl*ws in ♪

♪ Like a cold, dark wind ♪

♪ Faithless love ♪

♪ Like a river flows ♪

There have been
a lot of articles and things

that identify me
with the L.A. Sound,

me and Jackson Browne
and The Eagles.

We need some new blood
in this town, you know?

We're starting to get stale.


Nicks: This is a song
about a welsh witch.

♪ She rings like a bell
through the night ♪

♪ And wouldn't you love
to love her ♪

The original Fleetwood Mac was
a four-piece full-on blues band.

They were an English band that
became a dual-citizenship band.

They were as American
as they were British.

♪ All your life
you've never known ♪

♪ A woman taken by the wind ♪

we had had an album out
about two years previous

to joining Fleetwood Mac
called "Buckingham Nicks"

and Mick really liked the music
and they asked us to join.

♪ rhiannon ♪

Fleetwood: "Fleetwood Mac,"
first Stevie and Lindsey album,

for sure changed our lives.

We had arrived.

♪ Got a fever ♪

♪ Fever ♪

Man: Describe being
rich and famous in California.

This is it, kid.

♪ Got a fever ♪

♪ Fever ♪

♪ Fever ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ Taken by the wind ♪

♪ By the sky ♪

Fleetwood: h*t records
sometimes bore an audience,

"Oh, well, they're not
gonna have another h*t."

Or, "This one isn't
as good as that."

Record companies
start frothing at the mouth,

and the imaging of the band
was becoming a whole thing.

So we were getting ready
to make "Rumours"

with everyone falling apart.

♪ Lovin' you
Isn't the right thing to do ♪

♪ How can I ever change things
that I feel ♪

McVie: The structure of the
band is five people,

five very independent,
quite strong-minded,

quite stubborn individuals.

♪ If I could,
Baby, I'd give you my world ♪

Fleetwood: Two lovely couples.

John and Chris married.
Their marriage was on the rocks.

And Stevie and Lindsey
might as well have been married.

That all was falling apart.

♪ You can go your own way ♪

♪ Go your own way ♪

♪ You can call it
another lonely day ♪

We were testifying,
and "Rumours" became the church.


[ cheers and applause ]

♪ Ooh, ooh ♪

♪ Let me tell you now ♪

Graham: We were shocked.

Because not only were they
incredibly talented,

but they looked like us.

♪ When I had you to myself ♪

♪ I didn't want you around ♪

♪ Those pretty faces always
make you stand out in a crowd ♪

how long
have you been singing?

Three years.

See, you went to grab it
right away.

Gonna snatch it
right out of my hand there.

Michael was precocious.
He knew he was cute.

And then you would watch him go
from that to commanding a stage

in front of, you know,
15,000 people.


♪ Oh, baby, give me
One more chance ♪

♪ Show you that I love you ♪

♪ Won't you please let me ♪

♪ Back in your heart ♪

♪ Oh, darlin',
I was blind to let you go ♪

♪ Let you go, baby ♪

♪ Now since I see you
In his arms ♪

♪ I want you back ♪

The only American group to have
four consecutive #1 records.

♪ Oh! Oh! ♪

♪ Oh, I want you back ♪

[ cheers and applause ]

For the first time, young
black kids had their Beatles.

Hey, man, what has...

five hands...

10 legs...

and 11 alphabet letters?

You don't know?

The Jackson Five.

That's us.
That's us.

That's us.
That's us.

And that's no jive.

The Jacksons were the last act

from the classic
Motown Hitsville system.

Motown was a very unique place

because a lot
of record companies

were being run by businessmen.

We had a music man at the helm.

Berry Gordy was a songwriter.

He said, "We're gonna make music
for the world."

here he was trying his best

to make black music that would
cross over to the white world.

He ended up making
the greatest black music ever.

George: He created a machine
wherein you take the artist

and polish him up
and make them a great package

that they can play
the Ed Sullivan show and k*ll.

Back in the 60s, Marvin Gaye
wanted to be Frank Sinatra.

Questlove: He was svelte,
clean-shaven, debonair.

And all of that changed
in the 70s.

George: Marvin wanted to compete
on a high level.

"Why can't I make a record
like The Beatles?

I'm selling records
like they sell.

Why can't I have
that artistic expression?"

♪ Picket signs ♪

♪ Don't punish me ♪

♪ With brutality ♪

♪ Talk to me,
Honey, so you can see ♪

♪ Oh, what's goin' on ♪

♪ What's goin' on ♪

♪ Hey, what's goin' on ♪

♪ Tell me what's goin' on ♪

♪ Ooh ♪

Marvin Gaye was very much
affected by the Vietnam w*r.

His brother was in Vietnam,

so he's hearing
all these stories

about what's going on
over there.

He's seeing the protest here,
and it's changing him.

He holds up a mirror to America.
"Look at yourselves, America."

He's talking about the w*r,
he's talking about poverty,

changing him as an artist

in a way that Berry Gordy
is not super happy about.

♪ Mother, mother ♪

♪ Everybody thinks we're wrong ♪

♪ They do ♪

Initially Berry Gordy
did not want Marvin to do

"What's Goin' On."

Questlove: Motown was
supposed to be non-threatening.

Here you now have Marvin Gaye
making a protest record

about the w*r that could
potentially ruin good money.

You don't lightly
talk about the government.

♪ Yes, I want to know ♪

♪ What's goin' on right now,
people ♪

de Passe:
Ultimately when he agrees to
put out "What's Goin' On,"

Berry tells Marvin,

"Okay, if you're right,
I'll learn something.

And if I'm right,
you'll learn something."

And of course,
as Berry will say,

"I learned something."

Every artist at Motown suddenly

also wanted to try their chance
at freedom.

When people say soul,

uh, they put you
in one category.

They say,
"he's a soul artist."

That's all they expect
for you to sing.

And that's all
they want you to sing.

That's not true.

Soul is being able to
express yourself.

Wild: Stevie Wonder
went to Berry Gordy

and he negotiated
his creative freedom,

and he used every bit of it.


♪ Very superstitious ♪

♪ Writing's on the wall ♪

Stevie wonder making
some of the greatest records

anyone's ever made
in popular music in America,

back to back to back.

♪ Ladder's 'bout to fall ♪

It's the equivalent of sh**ting

a perfect sh*t from half-court
with your eyes closed.

"Music of my Mind"...

"Oh, he made it.
He ain't gonna do it again."

"Talking Book"...


First Finale"...

Oh, my God, he did it!

And then, suddenly,
"Songs in the Key of Life."

♪ When you believe in things
you don't understand ♪

♪ then you suffer ♪

♪ Superstition ain't the way ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

What The Beatles did in the 60s,

I feel Stevie Wonder
was the person to do that

for music in the 70s.


[ cheers and applause ]

Hi, there, and welcome aboard.

You're right on time

for a beautiful trip
on the Soul Train.

And if the sight and sound
of soul is your pleasure

and what's your treasure,

you can bet your bottom
we got 'em baby.

♪ Dancin', dancin', dancin' ♪

Questlove: "Soul Train"
finally offered America

its first view
of Afrocentricity.

It was a new idea
to say "Black is Beautiful.

I would literally run home
from church

to get home to see "Soul Train."

It was the one reliable place
to see the artists you loved.

de Passe: There's no question
that "soul train"

broke a lot of artists

and introduced a lot of artists
to audiences

that they had never
performed for.

♪ Rhythmatic, acrobatic ♪

♪ She's a dynamite attraction ♪

♪ At the drop of a coin,
she comes alive, yeah ♪

Questlove: Ten years
before he did the moonwalk,

Michael Jackson debuted
the robot

in 1973 on "Soul Train."

Graham: People had done
the robot before.

But there was a way
that he did it.

It was faster,
it was sharper,

and it was street.


I could just see
his afro bouncing

because there was so much
precision to it.

♪ Dancin', dancin', dancin' ♪

♪ She's a dancin' machine ♪

Rock, the music that infuriated
so many people

in the 50s and 60s,

the music that so many thought
too loud, vulgar,

and somehow dangerous
to our morals.

Rock has not only refused
to go away,

it has become an institution.


[ cheers and applause ]

Heart was a big deal because

in a decade that was dominated
by a type of rock 'n' roll

that rhymes with "rock"
and begins with a "c,"

but I won't go on further,

they were willing to play
with those guys

and succeed on their terms.

The stuff from the 60s was like,

Oh, that's way too hippie,
now we have to up it a notch.

Anderson: The audiences
have come to expect

a better standard
of performance,

better quality of lighting
and sound and staging.

They've come to expect a show.

♪ If we still have time,
we might still get by ♪

♪ every time I think about it,
I wanna cry ♪

Naftali: In the 70s,

the groups started to become
more theatrical.

They realized that just giving
them the music isn't enough.

We've got to give them
something to look at.

Connelly: More naked people,
more misbehavior,

more over-the-top stuff
going on.

Just -- just more.

♪ Oh ♪

♪ No time ♪

Playing stadiums was too unreal.

It would just be a sea of faces
into infinity.

♪ With your sweet flowing
love, love ♪

♪ Crazy, crazy, crazy on you ♪

♪ Ooh, crazy on you ♪

Stadium tours
put a lot of people together

to hear music at the same time.

What they also do
is they force the musicians

to play to the back of the hall.

In the 70s that distance

between the performer on stage
and that audience grew.

George: If you went to any
of the big arena rock shows,

it was always about
the star up here

and the audience down here,

and this sort of iconography
of the rock star

as this huge figure.

♪ Let me go crazy,
crazy on you ♪

♪ Oh ♪

[ cheers and applause ]

It was bound to happen,

but it comes as a shock

in a poll taken by a leading
pop music magazine in England,

The Beatles came in second.

The most popular rock group
in England these days

is called the Led Zeppelin.

Rollin: In their 20s,
they are rich, powerful,

temperamental, and pampered.

They are the Led Zeppelin,
a rock group on tour.

And in the vernacular
of the record biz,

where to be merely big
is nothing,

the Zeppelin is very big.

To get around, the zeppelin uses
a chartered 707,

the kind of plane
President Nixon uses.


But the President's plane
doesn't have an organ,

nor a 15-foot mirrored bar,

nor in the private quarters

does it have two bedrooms
and a fireplace.

I'm a bit upset that there's
not a pool table onboard.

Apart from that, I think this
is about the best way to travel.

Americans are now spending
$2 billion a year on music.

That's $700 million more than
the whole movie industry grosses

from ticket sales in one year.

About three times
the amount of money taken in

by all spectator sports.

I'm telling you
that rock 'n' roll

basically is no different than
IBM, Xerox, Sara Lee, Chevrolet.

It's supply and demand.
It's the same business.

Wild: Rock 'n' roll had been

a little, gritty
novelty business.

It was not the center
of the world in the 50s and 60s.

And in the 70s
it becomes the main event,

and that has repercussions

in all sorts of positive
and negative ways.

Rudge: The total cost
of this tour is $3.5 million.

Now the gross for the tour
is in the region of $11 million.

So, you know, it's a living.

George: It was so decadent
and over the top

and money just [whooshes]
being thrown against the wall.

Could be a bit of a hypocrite,
you know,

if you're consistently evoking
the ideas of young people,

and bouncing
off the ideas of young people,

taking young people's money
and putting it in your pocket,

you know,
and really what you are

is you're a middle-aged
family man.

And it's only the hypocrisy
that I'm worried about.


Wild: Bruce Springsteen
was trying to reclaim

the soul of rock 'n' roll
by going back to basics.

Van Zandt:
Using elements from the past

that were kind of being
discarded at that point.

♪ In the day we sweat it
out on the streets ♪

♪ Of a runaway American dream ♪

George: Using a sound that
was not what was on the radio

and was not
what was mainstream rock.

♪ ...su1c1de machines ♪

♪ Sprung from cages
on Highway 9 ♪

♪ Chrome-wheeled,
Fuel-injected ♪

♪ And steppin' out
Over the line ♪

♪ Whoa ♪

Wilson: Bruce Springsteen
created his own counterculture.

It just speaks
exactly to the American spirit.

You couldn't h*t it on the head
more than bruce springsteen did.

♪ Baby, we were born to run ♪


"Born to Run"
was a towering statement

in the middle of the 70s.

It was the cover of Time
and Newsweek.

Van Zandt: Bruce did not like it
at the time.

Me, on the other hand,
I'm like,

"My friend's on the cover
of Time and Newsweek.

This is cool."

♪ Whoa, whoa, oh, oh ♪

Cowie: When "Born To Run"
comes out in 1975,

it's a desire to really escape
the claustrophobia of the 1970s.

It is an anthem
to save your soul.


[ cheers and applause ]


I was lucky enough to be invited

to David Mancuso's legendary
space in Soho called the loft.

I thought that was
one of the most utopian scenes

I had ever encountered in music.

Mancuso is one of the guys

who really took the art form
of playing the records

and how he curated the records.


He might play
an Isaac Hayes record,

he might play a salsa record.

It wasn't so much about a style

as it was
an aesthetic of dancing.

Woman: They have
all types of people here --

people who dance,
people who hop up and down.

You can get high,
stay here all night.

Why are people dancing again?

I wish I knew.
[ laughs ]

but I'm glad it's happening.


What we now know as disco

really starts
with a band called The Tramps.

The drummer, Earl Young,
invents the idea

of four on the floor
with eight on the hi-hat.

[ imitating hi-hat ]

So everything is pow, pow, pow!

♪ Burn, baby, burn ♪

That's the sound of disco.

♪ Burn, baby, burn ♪

Moroder: I love disco.

I always loved
dance music anyway

because whatever I did
as a producer

was always danceable.

Okay, there we go.
Need the melody.

Wild: Giorgio Moroder,
working out of Munich,

put together technology
and soulful vocalists,

Donna Summer
being the ultimate embodiment,

and they make some of
the biggest records of all time.

♪ Oh, love to love you, baby ♪

♪ Oh, love to love you, baby ♪

"Love To Love You, Baby"
was four minutes of singing...

[laughing] 14 minutes of...

a lot of not singing.

♪ Oh, love to love you, baby ♪

♪ Oh... ♪

Questlove: And I always wondered
for the life of me, like,

was Moroder just, like,
in the booth like,

"More passion, more --
give me..."

Moroder: Actually, I threw
everybody out of the studio,

switched the lights off,

made sure
that the tape is running,

and I said, "Okay, let's do it."

And I think she did it
in 10 minutes.


Wild: The Donna Summer records

were some of the biggest records
of all time,

and they kicked off
a revolution.

♪ I want do it
till the sun comes up ♪

Downs: Unless you've been living
in a sealed cave,

you probably noticed
that America's latest craze

is disco dancin',

that's "dancing"
without the "G".

what's discos, bird?

Oh, snuffy,
where have you been?

♪ I want to put on ♪

♪ My, my, my, my,
my boogie shoes ♪

♪ Just to boogie with you ♪

The green that discos take in

and what they generate
with the records,

we are talking about
an estimated $4 billion --

that's with a "b" --
$4 billion a year.

Casey: I remember really being
upset about this word "Disco,"

it was R&B music to me,

and I felt like they stripped it
and gave it a new name

or weren't giving credit

where I think
the credit was supposed to go.

Do it again,
second half of the chorus,

but bring that sound in.
That's great.

[ note plays ]


1, 2, 3, 4...

The Bee Gees always liked R&B,

they always liked Soul.

I always thought of them
as a Pop band,

but that always had
R&B leanings.

George: The Bee Gees did
what pop stars do --

they really got the zeitgeist
of what was going on.

♪ Ah, ah, ah, ah,
Stayin' alive, stayin' alive ♪

♪ Ah, ah, ah, ah,
stayin' ali-I-I-I-I-I-I-I-ve ♪

Rather: This is the scene
outside a New York disco

called Studio 54.

This is the place that's in
with the disco crowd.

I have been to goat ropings
and space sh*ts.

I've been
in a lot of strange places

and seen
a lot of strange things,

but nothing stranger
than Studio 54

at the height of its popularity
in the 70s.


It's where you come
when you want to escape.

It's really escapism.

George: The front door
of that spot was insane.

I sometimes would just walk by
to watch people not get in.

'Cause that was fun too.

Oh, you're not shaved,

there's no way in a million
years you're gonna get in.

It doesn't matter,
if you're not shaved --

Listen, just go home.

You had to be selected.
You had to be chosen to get in.

We can't let in
everybody who wants to come in.

I wish we could.

♪ Aah, freak out ♪

♪ Le freak, c'est chic ♪

♪ Freak out ♪

Graham: The great Chic,

led by Bernard Edwards
and Nile Rodgers,

go to studio 54 to get in,
and they don't.

So they write a song.

♪ Have you heard
about the new dance craze? ♪

♪ Listen to us,
I'm sure you'll be amazed ♪

Graham: It was kind of a dis
to Studio 54 for rejecting them.

The part where they say
"Freak out"

actually began
as something else.

♪ aah, freak out ♪

♪ Le freak, c'est chic ♪

♪ Freak out ♪

It went from something "off"
to "Freak off"

to being "Freak out."

♪ Just come on down ♪

♪ To the 54 ♪

♪ Find a spot out on the floor ♪

♪ Aah, freak out ♪

♪ Le freak, c'est chic ♪

♪ Freak out ♪

That's probably the best thing

that ever actually came
out of Studio 54,

was that song.
[ chuckles ]

Disco was a revolutionary force.

Funk marries disco,
and it leads to hip-hop.


Questlove: It's 1979.

I heard Chic's "Good Times"
come on,

and I just kept hearing
someone talk over the song.

♪ I said a hip hop,
the hippie, the hippie ♪

♪ To the hip hip hop
and you don't stop ♪

♪ Rock it out, baby bubbah,
to the boogie, the bang bang ♪

♪ the boogie to the boogie
the b*at ♪

♪ Now what you hear
is not a test ♪

♪ I'm rappin' to the b*at ♪

♪ And me, the groove,
and my friends ♪

♪ are gonna try to move
your feet ♪

What's great about this song

is that's where hip-hop
gets its name from.

Questlove: We didn't know
the name of the song

was called "Rapper's Delight."

The next day
I went to the record store,

like, "Yo, y'all got 'Hip hop'?"


Graham: So when people talk
about the song,

they go,
"What's that hip-hop song?"

And it was the first hip-hop
song to cr*ck the top 40.

It changed everything.

"Rapper's Delight" in 1979
opens this incredible door

to the last new American
art form, which is hip-hop.


Kick out the
jams, mother[bleep]


Detroit, 1969 is where punk
was originally born.


♪ It's all right ♪

The MC5, The Motor City 5,
and Iggy and the Stooges

release two pioneering albums
that indicate

that there's a new style
of music coming back.

It's a garage rock,
it's minimalist,

it's aggressive, it's loud,
and it's very often obnoxious.

♪ Let me kick out the jams ♪

♪ Yeah, kick out the jams ♪

♪ I got to kick 'em out ♪

Punk rock
was so f'ing scary to us

because here we are
with our big majestic songs,

and here comes Punk
with their like...


The Ramones get started

as a reaction to everything else
that's going on.

People see them and they go,
"This is the answer."

♪ Hey, ho, let's go ♪

♪ hey, ho, let's go ♪

I had to see how
great rock 'n' roll

is supposed to be done.

How should it be done?

No pyrotechnics,
no phony showmanship,

just pure rock 'n' roll energy,
pure guts, pure stamina.

♪ They're piling
in the back seat ♪

♪ They're generating
steam heat ♪

♪ Pulsating to the back b*at ♪

♪ The blitzkrieg bop ♪

It's just real and raw
and there's no crap involved.

As opposed to the standard
schlock we hear on the Top 40.

The Ramones were one part
of a wider New York scene.

Where you had people
like Patti Smith.

I'm an artist.
Rock 'n' roll is my art.

The New York Dolls.

Don't [bleep] with us,

The d*ad Boys.

In rock 'n' roll,
anybody can play.

And Richard Hell.

This next number is called

"I Belong
to the Blank Generation."

Mattson: Richard Hell
was one of the first

to cut his own hair.

He was ripping his clothes

and then
safety-pinning them together.

He was the king of the punks.

The safety-pin thing,
for instance, is his.

It's pretty clear
that he invented that.

♪ hey, ho, let's go ♪

Punk in the united states
is a music elaboration,

a statement of sorts
about what music is

and how it ought to be played.

In England, punk rock
is not a musical statement,

it is a social one.

If punks have a home territory,

it is here on King's Road
in the middle of London,

the same street
that launched the miniskirt

and the look and mood
of the swingin' 60s.

King's Road
belongs to punk rockers.

King's Road
belongs to us!

-What's society done for us?

It ain't got me a job.

There isn't any future
for a kid now.

I mean, there isn't.

Mattson: There is an indigenous
anger and frustration

that drove a lot of punk on

and got a lot of young people
behind it.

♪ London calling
to the faraway towns ♪

♪ Now w*r is declared
And battle come down ♪

You've been said to be
a political group.

Yeah, they have said it.
Yeah, it's true.

If there was jobs,
maybe we'd be singing about

love and kissing or something.

Graham: The Clash, musically
is the best of the lot.

It doesn't sound like
traditional punk,

but it doesn't sound like

anybody else
but The Clash either.

♪ But I have no fear ♪

♪ 'Cause London is drowning,
and I ♪

♪ I live by the river ♪

♪ I never felt so much alike ♪

Mattson: Punk was, I think,
a kind of wide umbrella,

and that wider scene
included people

who were a little bit
more complex

in their musical
performance style.

People aren't gonna buy
something that you call punk.

They might buy it
if you call it New Wave.

Man: You hear a lot of that
punk rock these days.

Can we have your thoughts
on that?

I think it's better just
to call it New Wave, really.

I think by defining it as punk,
you're automatically putting

a boundary
around what's possible.

And I think bands like
Talking Heads are excellent.

Connelly: Talking Heads
was the ultimate college band

and they did sophisticated,
spiky music

that reflected who they were.

And it particularly reflected
the fascinating individual

that David Byrne
would emerge to become.

I thought I'd write a song
about urban guerillas

from the point of view
of their daily lives,

instead of from the point
of view of their politics.

♪ Heard of a van
That's loaded with w*apon ♪

♪ Packed up and ready to go ♪

This area of New Wave music

is where the stars of the 1980s
are going to come from.

What makes the 70s so special

is that there is still
a sense of naiveté.

The innocence that music

could really make a difference
in your life.

♪ This ain't no party,
This ain't no disco ♪

♪ This ain't no fooling around ♪

♪ This ain't no Mudd Club
or CBGB ♪

♪ I ain't got time
for that now ♪

You pick any genre you like
and I will tell you

that the best music made in that
genre was made in the 1970s.

And you'll have a hard time
proving me wrong.

Wild: What was great
about a "me" decade

is that it allowed the greatest
artists of our times

to do some of their
greatest work

because they were
really exploring.

That is as deep as popular art
ever gets.

♪ ...work in the nighttime ♪

♪ I might not ever get home ♪

♪ This ain't no party,
This ain't no disco ♪

♪ This ain't no fooling around ♪

♪ I'd love to hold you,
I'd love to kiss you ♪

♪ But I ain't got time
For that now ♪

♪ Trouble in transit,
Got through the roadblock ♪

♪ We blended in with the crowd ♪

♪ We got computers,
We're tapping phone lines ♪

♪ I know that
that ain't allowed ♪

♪ Ah, make me shiver,
I may feel tender... ♪
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