A character in the Doonesbury comic strip once called the 1970s "A kidney stone of a decade," and compared to the 1960s and 1980s, it indeed was. It was a period of economic and political decline and, of course, abuses of power with Watergate being the worst but by no means only scandal. Decades get demythologized; it is a quintessential part of the Great American Meat Grinder, but nobody has bothered to demythologize the 1970s because there was nothing mythical about them.
The decade opened with a cyclone killing a half million people in Bangladesh and the Beatles breaking up, at midpoint, the Vietnam War was sputtering to an end and New York City was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, while its conclusion was marked by the Iran hostage crisis and introduction of the first Sony Walkman. The decade's three presidents -- Nixon, Ford and Carter -- were dirty or mediocre, and the state of the union was not good.
It also was a time of bad hair and bad music, but none of that mattered to the tribe who lived on a farm beyond Philadelphia's far western suburbs. At first glance, this farm would seem to have been one of the then-ubiquitous communes, but it most definitely was not.
There's A House In The Land (Where a Band Can Take a Stand) is the compelling, funny and sometimes heartbreaking story of that tribe and that farm. It is fact lightly disguised as fiction in that the places, events and people are real, but the names of some places and people have been changed to protect the innocent. As well as the guilty.
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Headline lyrics from "Stairway to Heaven"by Jimmy Page and Robert PlantBOOK COVER DESIGN BY ANJA GUDIC