Thursday, June 11, 2015

70s Rock Stars In Their Parents' Homes

David Crosby

I've been so fortunate to spend a whole week with my parents this holiday. It's an interesting feeling, being a grownup back in your childhood home. So many details are exactly the same as they were when I was a kid. I'll always be their child, even while sneaking vegetables onto their plates and trying to stealthily scoop up the check before they can. No matter how old we get, we'll always be kids to our parents. That fact is frustrating as a teenager, but becomes more endearing to me the older I get. (See SNL's "Back Home Baller.")

Below: 
From the LIFE archives, and found via DailyMail: In 1971, photographer John Olson photographed some of the most influential musicians of the time in their parents' and grandparents' homes: 

Elton John
Eric Clapton
Grace Slick

Joe Cocker

Frank Zappa

Donovan

Richie Havens


60 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. No wonder he was such a free-thinker, look at the colour and the art he grew up with. My heart has belonged to Frank from my teens.

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    2. you nerds....

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    3. annicariad - That was Frank's house, not his parents'..

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    4. The Frank Zappa photo was clearly taken at his house, not at his parents'.

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    5. Pardon me for popping your bubble, but that frank Zappa pic is altered.

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  2. These photos show the love that these parents had for their children and the support that they gave for their artistic talents. It is also obvious from these home photos that the parents were creative, artistic and progressive as well, and passed that along to their offsprings. I loved seeing them. Thank you.

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  3. Love this! interesting to see how well off the homes were - lots of beautiful wood and oriental rugs. No poverty-stricken backgrounds for these rockers anyway. Thanks!

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    1. Either that, or the artists took good care of their folks once they were well off, which is always good to see!

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    2. The world before IKEA!! Fantastic!

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    3. Plastic on Richie Havens couch! ouch..

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    4. The economic situation in the world was so much better then.
      Many are in dire straits now. Young people have it tough. What happened?

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    5. Obama happened

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    6. No, Reagan happened (with an assist from Carter and some new problems people didn't have a handle on yet). The media machine knew even back then how to make people feel vaguely apprehensive about the future--people get "conservative" when that happens. Things could be much better, but there are people with lots of power who want things to stay this way because they think it's good for them.

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    7. Nah, they are just rich kids. It wasn't until after punk rock that entertainers started to pretend they were like you.

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    8. You guys have your recent history completely wrong. I graduated from college in 1974. The unemployment rate was 8.1% but much worse for white collar jobs and I ended up driving a cab for 4 years until I landed my first real career oriented job which paid $10,000 a year. That's $200 a week before taxes for those of you with a liberal arts degree. In 1971, I was classified 1A with the draft board for the year and they drafted 70% of those eligible. Most of those drafted went to Viet Nam and many of those have now been dead for 40+ years. The unemployment rate continued along with the high interest rates and very high inflation. In 1974 the prime interest rate was 11.75% which means a mortgage loan rate was between 14 and 20%. Under Jimmy Carter's watch, the prime rate capped out at (hold on to your hats!) 20%. How would you like to apply for a 25% mortgage? Unemployment didn't start really dropping until 1983 and it has gotten lower and lower until it's now 5.6%. The prime interest rate is now 3.25%. To say that we had it easier is to not do any homework at all and to talk straight from what you wish was true. Opportunity has never been better in every way. Maybe you would like your theory to be true because it provides an excuse for your miserable career failure so far, but a thing isn't true because you wish it so. Next time do your homework before you spout opinion and back up your opinions with facts.

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    9. You are correct. I graduated high school 1971. Classified 1A also and had to take my physical getting ready to be drafted and thank goodness Nixon's Congress eliminated the draft. Vietnam still went on for a couple of years but I'm still around where some of my friends didn't return.
      By the way in 1971 I was working for minimum wage $1.35 an hour.

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  4. Thanks for sharing. Really enjoyed this glimpse into the relationship between these artists and their mums and dads. Very charming.

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  5. Wow....Frank's folks have the Edward Beardsley painting that was on the cover of Pretties for You.

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    1. Than you for that information. I was really wondering about this painting. But just a little bit too much purple in the rest of the room - except the outfit of Mr. Zappa :*

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    2. FZ is photographed in his own living room in Laurel Canyon / Hollywood Hills, not in his parents house.

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    3. Which was an Alice Cooper album on Bizarre

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  7. Grace Slick came form affluence. Her dad was an investment banker and her mom was of Mayflower pedigree. GS attended a private girls school in high school then attended Finch College with Tricia Nixon as a classmate. In 1969, GS received an invitation to a ttend a Finch alumnae party at the White House. She brought Yippie radical Abbie Hoffman as her escort. Her plan to spike the punch with 600mcgms of LSD was foiled when WH security staff recognized her and Hoffman. The invitation was issued in her maiden name , Grace Wing. They weren't allowed in sinec they were also on the FBI blacklist. Highly unlikely that invitation would've been mailed if Tricky Dick Nixon was aware of who she was. They were escorted off the property. Most of these rocker came from comfortable middle class or upper class lifestyles.

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    1. The thought of Nixon on acid is scary

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    2. Bingo, and you alone have nailed what is ironic and interesting about these photos. Oh yeah, we 60's kids are wild revolutionaries from the grassroots underground.

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    3. Janis Joplin, at the height of her fame, would tell reporters that she came from some hardscrabble Texas white trash. Which was just not true.

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    4. Bob Dylan posed as Manhattan street riffraff. He was from the solidly comfortable middle class.

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    5. Am I right in remembering that, in Elton John's case, that lady is indeed his mother, but the man is a stepfather who came along much later?

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    6. The "creative class" has always been largely drawn from the middle class. But it can also attract people farther down the economic ladder, which is one of its advantages.

      You could argue that the '60s kids ought to be commended for at least putting up a fight; the only problem is that they either couldn't or wouldn't keep it up for longer than they did.

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  8. Zappa's old man was a chemist. I suspect he was initially disappointing by Frank's rejection of higher education, but probably came around.

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    1. Yep, Zappa was surely a genius IQ, which makes you think that his folks had to also have been exceptionally bright... Do you suppose they chose the "electric grape" wallpaper? :-)

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    2. That is Frank's house not his parents' house.

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    3. The picture hanging on the wall is the album cover for Alice Cooper's "Pretties For You." Frank was the first to sign the band.

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  9. Riche Haven's Mum looks a little suspect!

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    Replies
    1. why would you say that?

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  10. ...and where, pray tell, are poor folks Gladys and Vernon and their only son, without whom, most of these rock stars,
    would have been unknowns?

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  12. OMG The first one with Crosby reminds me of the Brady Bunch house!

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  13. Grace Slick: "Is it ok for me to just dangle my baby by its feet while I pose?"

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    1. I was wondering when someone was going to comment on that. The weirdest photo of the lot I say!

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    3. Very creepy and she's smiling!

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  14. David Crosby looks baked.

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  15. Interesting how so many of the guys have that (not limited to rock stars by any means) expression of OMG why do I have to be here just because it's the holidays or I guess in this case because my agent wants me to do this photo shoot with my parents. Can't. Wait. To get out of here!

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  16. My favorite: A tie between the Zappas purple walls and art, and Elton John's family - all three look genuinely happy, the 70's wallpaper is hysterical, and omg I LOVE HIS MOM's outfit - THOSE BOOTS ROCK!!!!!

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    1. I was thinking the same thing, if wear them today!!!

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    2. That's rare early, pre-"ego-glam" Elton in the post-hippie, working-class rocker, early'70's uniform: plain levi's & blue chambray "work shirt".
      "Tumbleweed Connection", his most interestingly melodic & lyrical record, is on the wall.
      His high-point, artistically, IMO.
      His mum reminds me of Malcom McDowell's blue-haired, vinyl-booted fashion victim mother in "Clockwork Orange".

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  17. Hi! Found your blog when my friend Kiersten posted this link on Facebook. Thanks for posting these great photos. In addition to the interiors and fashions, I like how you can see that Donovan's mum's poodle thinks the world of her.

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  18. Crosby's father was a cinematographer - a typical mixed bag of art and commerce career - an Oscar for 'High Noon,' 'Old Man and the Sea' and 'Beach Blanket Bingo.' Which doesn't mean he was always supportive of his rebellious son.

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  19. Clapton has the same look on his face as I have on mine when I've spent too much time with my parents during a visit

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  20. I just knew Richie Havens parents would have plastic on the furniture...

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    Replies
    1. ......because you knew his parents personally and know they like putting plastic on the furniture? or you are assuming based on race?

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  21. Anyone know if that's Clapton's real mother, or his grandmother who actually raised him? His mother had him quite young and wasn't emotionally ready to raise him, so her mother did. Clapton didn't learn until much later the woman he grew up who he was always told was his sister was actually his mother.

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  22. Elton's parents home looks strangley like Alex's home in A Clockwork Orange.

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  23. Now I know what my old girlfriend is doing with her PhotoShop!

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