Tag Archives: bands

Recovering the 1970s

This summer, I began processing a collection of the Office of Student Activities and Facilities’ (OSAF) records. While processing this collection, I stumbled upon a folder simply titled “IFC Functions.” In a haze of student group folders, ASDU folders, DSG folders, etc., I was not particularly struck by this folder. This was a mistake. Upon opening this folder, I found pure gold.  This folder contained memories of the 1970s that I am sure our parents, at least mine, have willfully chosen to forget.

This folder contained information sent to the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) of cover bands who wanted to play at Duke. These band promotion packets contained blurbs and publicity about the bands, such as this quote from the promotion pack of a band that called “Hydra”: “Hydra is unquestionably the finest heavy hard rock band in the Southeast. They are also the most danceable group you will find anywhere.”

So I was intrigued and wanted to learn more.  That is when I found the most amazing thing of all.  Every band sent a picture of themselves with their packets; these photos chronicled the outstanding fashion trends of the 70s.

Each band had a different look, a different style, and everyone was fantastic.  There were such bands as “Hydra,” who was 70s Goth; “Radar,” who was bohemian rock; “Brother Bait,” who was a 70s version of what I would call hippy chic; and “Choice,” who struck me as a 70s version of the Jonas Brothers.

Hydra, “the finest heavy hard metal rock band in the Southeast” and “the most danceable group you will find anywhere.”
Radar, more relaxed than Hydra.
Brother Bait: fashionable hippies.
Choice, aka The Jonas Brothers of the 1970s.

This folder was so interesting because it really allowed me to catch a glimpse of such an iconic era.  I thoroughly enjoyed working on this collection as it enabled me to take a step back in time and learn about a fascinating part of Duke’s rich student history.

Post contributed by Julia Eads, Trinity College ’14 and student assistant in Technical Services.