Take it Easy: 70's So Cal Fashion is the Best
It's probably not a surprise to you that I would pick the 1970's for my fashion decade of choice. It's probably also not a surprise to you that I would pick 70's So Cal fashion as pretty much the best fashion genre ever, specifically the looks the rock bands of this time well...rocked. I mean, just see what I have listed here.
Now, the other week an actually surprising thing happened. I was in the the northwoods with some of my BFFs and we realized that we were all secretly into THE EAGLES. Like, despite the Dude's hatred of them. The rest of the weekend, we listened to the Eagles Greatest Hits album on repeat and proceeded to craft a series of "cabin rules" according to things we believed the Eagles would also believe in (such as "Take it Easy" and "Always do the hard stuff.") "In Don We Trust" became the motto for the weekend and we dubbed the weekend the "Secret Eagles Retreat."*
Anyway, so then we found out that there was an Eagles documentary on Netflix and that was real exciting. The other night, after the Ren Fest (naturally), we all hunkered down to learn all about the Eagles. Now, well there were many take aways from this film (mainly that Glenn Frey is a pompous dick and that Don Henley really doesn't know how to have a good time (which is making me rethink the motto of cabin weekend)), I have to admit that the best part was, duh, the fashion. And since I have woken up every day this week with Eagles songs stuck in my head, I figured I may as well examine fashion through the lens of the Eagles.
Take it Easy vs. Take it to the Limit (How many things can I take?) aka 1970's vs. 1980's
One of the most fascinating observations about the Eagles' journey is how they go from being (seemingly) all laid back, relaxed hippies that just want to make beautiful harmonies with each other to being cracked out, violent, control freaks. I think we can see this as being reflective of the shift between the 70's and the 80's.
There's a point in the Eagles documentary where someone starts philosophizing on why the band hit such a chord with audiences and links it to the larger cultural shifts that were happening post-1960's. Sure, sure, sure. Whatever.** Anywho, I think that the bigger cultural shift the Eagles embody is the change between the 1970's and the 1980's, most evident in hair.
Now, I don't think it is a mere coincidence that right after Glenn Frey told Don Felder that he was going to "fucking kill" him on stage in front of thousands of people (in his defense, Don Felder, seriously dude, care about the nukes), he cut off all his hair to immediately transform from the 1970's hippie rocker he had tried for so long to be into his actual self (shorthaired, totally 80's dick).
And unlike most rock docs from this time period, cocaine was only mentioned in passing near the end of "Part One," but it is worth noting that while the early Eagles used it for some rockus good fun that was probably as wild as their "Budweiser parties" (where Don no doubt went wild on up to three or four cold ones), by the end (almost the 80's), it was "bringing out the worst" in the Eagles.*** Like most things in the 80's, everything was sad, uptight and all about conflict (vs. having a "peaceful easy feeling").
Dude Style vs. Lady Style
Now, I can get down, way down, with the styles of the lady rockers of the 70's (see my post celebrating the intersection of thrifting and Stevie Nicks here)—long flowy dresses! Shawls! Fringe! And one of the great things is that much of 70's rocker fashion was quite unisex so there was no doubt sharing of worn levis and fringe leather bags by old ladies and their old men. But, I must confess, the more masculine of the 70's rocker style always struck a bigger chord with me than that of the feminine. In particular, I was shocked (SHOCKED) to realize how much the Eagles always donned (ha) my absolute fav 70's rocker pieces (similar to ones that I've got up on the shop now)—sweet tees, flared jeans, boots and jackets with shit sewn on the back of them. Plus really great eye wear. And then Joe Walsh**** came on the scene (for sure giving Don migraine stress headaches) and started wearing scarves on his head. MAN SCARVES. Now that summer is over and there is no sun to bleach my locks out, I'm totally going to rock me some man scarves.
So, even though I'm a bit...disappointed with the way some of the Eagles behaved themselves, I have to say, they DID IT RIGHT with the fashion. Hence why I'm rather hesitant to watch Part 2 of the Eagle's documentary—because it takes place in the 90's (sigh).
*We were partying pretty hard.
**Also, did you know that their songs have some deep meanings that you may not be able to deduce from the lyrics? Because they are songwriters. Some of their songs may even include metaphors.
***Also, apparently Glenn Frey wasn't getting laid, so that's sad too.
****Also, James Gang totally rules.