1974 was my fifth grade year in school and represented the only year that I had Dad as my principal. Having a parent that’s a teacher has an extra pressure on you as a student not be a screwup. The pressure gets worse when your parent is a teacher in your building. Fortunately, I never had a parent in my building, but my older son had both of his parents in the middle school building during his eighth grade year. Basically, he ignored me unless he needed money. But, when your dad is the principal of your school, that’s not always the coolest. Now, my boys had their grandfather as their principal, but that’s different. Essentially, they loved having Grandpa as their principal. But, your dad is a whole other level.
I remember early on in fifth grade, I got sent out in the hall because I was not paying attention to a math lesson. How I rolled in school was to pay attention long enough to get the gist of the lesson, do the homework and either read, or if my ADHD was kicked in full force, begin entertaining the class with stupid comments. So, I was standing in the hall when lo and behold the new principal of our school, known to everyone as Mr. Keller better known as Dad to me, walked up to me and asked what I was doing out in the hall? Since I thought I was talking to Dad and not Mr. Keller, I smartly replied, “I have no idea.”
Well, that answer did not fly. Immediately, Mr. Keller pointed in the direction of his office. So, I knew immediately that this was not going to go well. I made that long walk of shame to his office as we silently strolled to his office. As we walked in the office, his secretary Mrs. Hanna greeted me friendly with as “Hi Scott!” Unfortunately, her smile quickly faded as Mr. Keller led me into his office, offered me a chair, told me to “sit down,” closed the door to his office (always a bad sign), and took his seat behind his desk.
Then, he opened, “Scott, what are you thinking?”
“Well, Dad, I was just…”
“No! You listen. You cannot behave this way. I know that you are in an unfair situation, but you have to keep yourself uncontrol. I do not need you and your brother in this office because you cannot use self-control.” I really don’t remember much else he said, but I thought the point had been made, but he continued for a good five minutes since I kept glancing at the clock on his desk.
Finally, I heard that words, “I want you to go back to class and apologize to the teacher. Then, I do not want to walk by your classroom and see you in the hallway. Understand?”
“Yes sir,” head down dejected.
“Now, go on. But, remember, your father will want to talk to you when he gets home.”
I wanted to point out that Americans could not be subjected to double jeopardy in this country, but I knew not to push it. That’s what made being a teacher’s kid so bad since you constantly got in trouble twice a day for one infraction.
Fortunately, I did discover that a local radio station did play American Top 40 every Sunday at 10 AM. I made that discovery during the summer of 1974 during another one of my escapades. But, it was a life-altering find nonetheless. Now, I was gathering information about music history from AT40, American Bandstand and Soul Train each and every weekend.
Now, my popular music knowledge was increasing on a weekly basis thanks to Casey Kasem, Dick Clark and Don Cornelius. Yet, I was still about six months from discovering rock magazines and books which would be the final frontier. Since I had no older siblings to help me learn this stuff, I was on my own, which may account for my appreciation of artists whom my peers might view as cheesy. I make no apologies for liking what I like.
So, let’s take a look at my favorite albums of 1974.
50. Bad Company – Bad Company
49. Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard
48. Richard & Linda Thompson – I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight
47. Brian Eno – Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)
46. Frank Zappa – Apostrophe (‘)
45. Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson – Winter in America
44. John Lennon – Walls & Bridges
43. Commodores – Machine Gun
42. Neil Young – On the Beach
41. Van Morrison – Veedon Fleece
40. Ohio Players – Skin Tight
39. Little Feat – Feats Don’t Fail Me Now
38. Gram Parsons – Grievous Angel
37. Genesis – The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
36. Queen – Queen II
35. The Doobie Brothers – What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits
34. Steely Dan – Pretzel Logic
33. The Meters – Rejuvenation
32. B.T. Express – Do It Til You’re Satisfied
31. Funkadelic – Standing on the Verge of Getting Down
30. Supertramp – Crime of the Century
29. Ohio Players – Fire
28. Aerosmith – Get Your Wings
27. Sparks – Kimono My House
26. Kraftwerk – Autobahn
25. Elton John – Caribou
24. Parliament – Up for the Down Stroke
23. Bachman Turner Overdrive – Not Fragile
22. Bob Marley & the Wailers – Natty Dread
21. Rufus featuring Chaka Khan – Rufusized
20. Jackson Browne – Late for the Sky
19. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Second Helping
18. Kiss – Kiss
17. The J. Geils Band – Nightmares…and Other Tales from the Vinyl Jungle
16. Labelle – Nightbirds
15. Barry White – Can’t Get Enough
14. Joni Mitchell – Court and Spark
13. The Rolling Stones – It’s Only Rock and Roll
12. Shuggie Otis – Inspiration Information
11. Rufus featuring Chaka Khan – Rags to Rufus
10. Raspberries – Starting Over
9. Linda Ronstadt – Heart Like a Wheel
8. Bob Dylan/The Band – Before the Flood
7. Randy Newman – Good Old Boys
6. Roxy Music – Country Life
5. Electric Light Orchestra – Eldorado
4. Queen – Sheer Heart Attack
3. Van Morrison – It’s Too Late to Stop Now
2. Stevie Wonder – Fulfillingness’ First Finale
1. Big Star – Radio City