It is the fall of 1972, 40 years ago. We have a Time Machine.
I am 19 years old, a sophomore at the University of Chicago. I am getting laid often, so my grades are good because I am happy. My hair is long, my head empty, a pot-smoking, war-protesting kind of guy, if a bit late to be a genuine Flower Child. I do not major in Economics, nor do I ever meet or even see Milton Friedman.
The Empire's troubles will begin in about a year's time with the first oil embargo, but all the Bad Stuff is stowed safely in the future, which none of us can see. Richard Nixon, who will be impeached and vacate the presidency in 1974, soundly defeats George McGovern in the general election. We hate Nixon, and the Vietnam War, but, on the whole, Life Is Good. I have a college deferment and my draft number is in the mid-200s. Subsequently, I do not serve and therefore I do not get my ass blown off or wind up fucked up and homeless.
And as always, there was the music. Looking back on the Greatest Hits of 1972 is a big disappointment. So much of that music was shit. But some of it was not, or least reflected the times as I experienced them. We've got a few of those tunes today. Enjoy.
- Maybe Your Baby — Stevie Wonder, from Talking Book
- Dixie Chicken — Little Feat, from the album of the same name; live in 1977, with Bonnie Raitt, Jesse Winchester and Emmy Lou Harris
- Heart Of Gold — Neil Young, from Harvest
- Reeling In The Years — Steely Dan, from Can't Buy A Thrill; live in 1973, volume is a bit low, band introduced by Bill Cosby!
- I Can See Clearly Now — Johnny Nash, from the album of the same name; Cheese Factor