Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll in the ’70s

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When you hear Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll, you don’t think of the 70s, you think of the 60s but that isn’t necessarily true. Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll are all still going strong today.

One of my first dates in the 70s was with this guy. I can’t remember his name. It was one date, of course I can’t remember. I can’t remember where we went or did on this so-called, date.

One of my dates. (Photo by Terri Underwood)
One of my dates.
(Photo by Terri Underwood)

He picked me up at my house. I didn’t bring a purse or anything. Why would I? We didn’t have cell phones and lip-gloss fit in my pocket. Didn’t think it was needed and was only sixteen or seventeen.

So right away he drove in to the Jack in the Box parking lot asking me if I wanted a drink or something. He pulled up to Jack’s smiling face and I told him root beer. All he ordered was my root beer, nothing for him. Then he pulled forward to the window and the guy in the window told us how much the root beer was. My date turned to look at me like waiting for the money. I didn’t have any money and was embarrassed.

Looking down at the floor and said something like, “Ahhh I didn’t bring my purse …”  I must have been beat red and I looked back at my date thinking that any second now he was going to say, “Ha Ha! Only kidding, I got it,” as he pulled his wallet out.  BUT HE DIDN’T.

The Jack in the box employee felt so sorry for this poor humiliated girl that he said, “it;s OK, take it, it’s on me.”  What a nice guy! It was my date who was a jerk.


We hitchhiked and picked up hitchhikers in the 70s. I can’t say, “when it was safer,” because it still wasn’t safe. But a lot more people did it on a regular basis. We used to do mean things too like pull over just past the hitchhiker and when they ran to get in, we would squeal off.  Sometimes we would do it again and those poor people would fall for it once again! We pissed off a few people.

C’mon! Messing with hitchhikers. (Photo provided by Terri Underwood)
C’mon! Messing with hitchhikers.
(Photo provided by Terri Underwood)

One day there were these cute guys hitch hiking and we picked them up. A couple of them were cute so we divided up and went out with them to the movies, parking in a row. At intermission everyone went to the snack bar and while the guys got in line for popcorn and drinks, the girls went to the bathroom.

I told my sister her guy was cute. I loved blond surfers.  She said his name was Todd and that I could have him. She had already decided that he wasn’t for her. Well, lucky for me, he liked me too so he called me a few days later and we went out.

One night he never showed for our date and the rat didn’t even call. I kept waiting and waiting. Finally, I called his house (Remember, no cell phones). His mom said he had already left to pick me up a long time ago.

I finally went to bed after waiting and he never showed up. The next day I called his home several times with no answer. I was so mad at him. I couldn’t believe he had stood me up. That night he called me from the hospital! He had left early the night before to pick me up and stopped at his friend’s house (Probably to get high first). When he walked across the street to where he had parked his car, another car hit him!


Photo provided by Terri Underwood)
Photo provided by Terri Underwood)

There was another boyfriend named Mike. He was a cute surfer guy with a fixed up van that had air brushing on the side. Girls, any surfer guy who owned a van, had no seats in it, just a mattress — it was for more than you’re thinking. It was where everyone partied. We would sit in there and drink and smoke pot. It had painted walls with stuff hanging from it, fabric and beads like a hippie van. But this van was for surfers.

One night in his parent’s driveway Mike and I were making love in the back of his van on the mattress and when we got out, the van was papered with toilet paper!  I was so embarrassed knowing that they did that because we were in it and I was hoping that they didn’t know what we were doing!  I was stupid, deep down, I knew they knew.

I learned how to surf with Mike. They had these Van Clubs and you had to own a van to be in the club. It had Presidents and Treasurers, that kind of club. They would put on “Van Runs”, like a poker run. We would drive places and there would be long lines of vans driving down the street or freeway and it was a lot of fun to be part of that.

We were surfer girls! I wasn’t that great at surfing. Sure I could stand up and catch a good wave, but I still landed head first into the sand plenty of times. It was fun and you could sit out there for hours talking to the guys.

The best surfers had vans. (Photo provided by Terri Underwood)
The best surfers had vans.
(Photo provided by Terri Underwood)

I never owned my own surfboard or wet suit.  Whichever boyfriend I was currently dating always had extras. I am not even going to think about how many other girls used the wet suit before me.

Then I dated Victor, another surfer.  He was the mascot in the van club because he had a VW bus. He was blond, maybe a little strawberry blond, but a cute, nice guy. My parents loved him and that my friends was the problem.

Every day I would come home from work and he would be sitting at the table talking to my mom or working in the garage with my dad. It would make me mad. Why didn’t he call me first to see if I wanted him to come over? He didn’t last long.


Cruising Whittier Blvd, those were fun days. One time in my bug we were stopped to turn around again and were inching forward each time another car ahead could turn. I was looking in another direction (probably at a carload of guys!) and kind of bumped the car in front of me. I was so scared and ready to cry.

The other car door opened and out walked Adonis.  He was a yummy looking guy in about his twenties. Both cars were fine and he said something flirty about us going out when I grew up. Fun.

Photo provided by Terri Underwood
Photo provided by Terri Underwood

We also cruised Bellflower Blvd for a while but it was dying a slow death because everyone drove out to Whittier. Bellflower Blvd was really popular way before my time … 

From cruisin’ Bellflower Blvd, we knew all the guys that worked at McCoys Market.

I liked Bruce but he was just one of the guys. He was SO CUTE.  He had black hair, wore Old Spice and drove a hopped up van.

My friend Vicky and I hung around with those six guys from McCoys Market, mainly dancing and cruisin’ — just two girls hanging with six or eight guys. It was so much fun.  I bought my own bottle of Old Spice and I would put it on my pillow so I could smell Bruce. I’ve liked the smell of Old Spice my whole life because of Bruce.

We even kidnapped one of the guys for his birthday. It was scary. We planned this big surprise party with his mom. When he came out of work we were waiting in Bruce’s van down the street. It was maybe nine o’clock when this poor guy got off work. The rest of the guys dressed in black and hid outside behind the store. When the birthday boy came out the door and walked to his car, they threw a pillow case over his head and upper body. He fought and fought.

Bruce drove up fast next to them and I opened the van side door so the guys could push him in. The birthday boy’s anger scared me but once he was in the van and we were driving off he didn’t seem to fight as much. They tied his hands behind his back and took turns kicking him for show. My heart was beating fast and I was shaky. None of us spoke but it was hard not to laugh out loud at times.

We drove around for a while and then took him back to his own house. The guys dragged him out of the van and walked him into the house where the guys pushed him to the living room floor. They took off the bag and the poor guy was beet red and sweating. His mom, family, and friends yelled, “Surprise!”  It took a while for his anger to go away and we decided later that it probably wasn’t the best idea!

Hot girls and fast cars. (Photo provided by Terri Underwood)
Hot girls and fast cars.
(Photo provided by Terri Underwood)

My aunt dated this guy in a band and we followed them everywhere. Always a party and fast cars. I can remember a harrowingly, exciting ride in a Bricklin on the 605.

There is no back seat in these cars, but that is where I was squished into, maybe 24 inches of space (I probably weighed all of 90 pounds.).

Anyway we went over 100 miles an hour, I could see the speedometer while on the interchange from 605 to the 10. I must have kept my eyes open the whole time.


Coke, pot and pills were everywhere, especially at the concerts.

March 18, 1978 was California Jam II! Didn’t matter what you were doing or had going on in your life, you WENT to the California Jam. Beg, borrow or steal the money. We went in with little or no money for food and drinks after the admission price. More than 300,000 people came to hear bands like Aerosmith, Santana, Foreigner and Heart.

I didn’t have much going on in my life just that I was single and nine months pregnant. We got there the day before and the parking lot was one big party. They opened the gates in the middle of the night. People poured into the grounds through this tunnel with blankets and sleeping bags. We had to walk so far it seemed endless and there were no lights.

We finally got to where we could go no closer because of all the people and we knew the stage was somewhere in front of us.  We spread out our blankets. Six or eight girls in all were with us.

California Jam 1978 (Photo via public realm)
California Jam 1978
(Photo via public realm)

Anyway, I didn’t sleep because I was trying to protect my friends who did sleep. More and more people kept coming. They walked on and sat on our blanket. They fell on the sleeping girls and tried to walk on them. They were so wasted I am sure a lot probably slept through most of the concert.

When the sun came up, we were amazed that it was a sea of people in all directions!  I could barely see the stage and everyone on it looked like ants. There were not enough bathrooms for so many people. Some of the girls left to find a bathroom and it was three hours before I saw them again.  I heard the toilets were overflowing.

Half naked people drifted by. Others spilled beer, peed and puked in front of me and on and near our blanket. We had corners of the blanket folded over so we wouldn’t sit there. I think the concert started at 10 a.m.  By then, I was exhausted, had to go pee, was hungry and wanted to scream at all the crazy people.

I told the girls that I was leaving and I started walking. I found a bathroom and the exit.  Of course there were no cell phones so I asked at the entry booth if I could call my mom.  I told her to meet me at the off ramp of the freeway.

The jam was at Ontario Speedway which was in the middle of nowhere at that time. No stores, gas stations, nothing. I knew it would take her at least an hour so I started walking to the off ramp and waited, and waited.  I was miserable.  I think I even cried.

Finally a police car pulled up. He said my mom was looking for me.  I guess there were more than one off ramp and my mom called the police when she couldn’t find me.  I could just hear it on the radio, “Attention! All units in the vicinity, be on the lookout for a nine-month pregnant woman sitting at an off ramp somewhere by the California Jam.”

Everyone had a great time and I missed it all.