WBITD 196.2 Summer Jam 1975

Summer 1975 was the summer I'll never forget. Fun was the only activity taking place. Joy, happy, exciting, girls, danger, mischief, adrenaline rush are just some of the words that describe it.

In retrospect, what my family and I didn't know was, the summer of 1975 would be the last summer we'd have my brother Marc.

One thing I remember the most about the summer of 1975 was the radio. The music, it changed! The sound was bigger, fatter and more dynamic, its energy had changed as well. Unlike today's music. Back in those days, the sound of music would change noticeably every year. 1975 brought on powerful music, all genres were packed with pure power. Rock and pop were growing, disco was sinking its teeth in deeper, while my favorite funk was moving away from the 1960's sounds of James Brown and Sly and The Family Stone, into slicker songwriting and production by artists like Earth Wind and Fire, MFSB, K.C., and the Sunshine Band and Gary Tom's Empire!

Back in New York, the now one-year-old African American owned WBLS radio station pumped out the hits in clean, punchy and full sonic stereo!

I turned thirteen years old in August 1975. I was now a full-fledged teenager. And celebrate my transition, my cousin Butch gave me a ride on his motorcycle! That ride was the first time I experienced fear and joy at the same time!

Summer of 75 was haze, hot and humid. Outdoor activity was front and center. Riding our bikes was the main attraction! My brother Marc, our best friend Mickey and I got together and formed our "bicycle gang," at least we thought it was! We called ourselves the "Daredevils!" As a daredevil, you did all types of dumb and dangerous stuff on your bike.

But before you could do the crazy stuff. You had to trick out your bike! And for us that meant, taking a playing card and a cloth pin and clipping the card onto the fork of your bike. The idea was to allow the card to touch the spokes of the wheels. This created a very cool "motorcycle" sound! You could hear our bikes coming from a block away! Now we're cool. And ready to ride!

But you can't be a daredevil unless someone dares you to do something. This is where it gets a little crazy. The first dare? Let's see who's brave (dumb) enough to ride their bike downstairs. Well, all three of us were that dumb! And we lived to tell about it, no broken bones, no lacerations, and no concussions. Cool. That allowed us to continue the madness!

Our next dare, let's see who can pedal their bike the fastest, jump off at top speed and allow the bike to remain upright, keeping its balance without a rider! The crazy part is, each of us had to jump off the bike at top speed, and to not fall on our face, be able to run fast enough to keep up with the bike! Ok, so we got some bruised up foreheads, elbows, and knees on that stunt! But it was cool watching the bikes rolling with no rider.

I grew bored of being a daredevil. Marc and Mickey continued on, and over time, they learned to pop wheelie's, ride two people on one bike, pull each other on skateboards and more. I always admired them as daredevils!

As a chicken, I wanted to tone it down a bit and raise hell with the local birds and squirrels! Making bottle cap guns with wooden sticks and rubber bands was more my speed.

Marc and Mickey jumped right in, along with another friend, Jerome. Pop guns in hand, swords made of tree branches and cardboard shields strapped across our chest, off we went to attack as many harmless squirrels as possible! This went on for days! We never caught or harmed one squirrel, they always outsmarted us.

Girls became a growing interest in the summer of 1975. This was also the summer I'd look back on and reference 40yrs later when I began to study the power of the universe.

My siblings and I spent a weekend at Nana and Big Daddy's house. Now that we were getting older. She would allow us to walk to Mitchell Field. This was the old airfield that Charle's Lindberg took off from. It was about a half mile from Nana's house. In 1975, two things took place at the field. Nassau Coliseum was being built, and old retired men would fly their RC planes at the field. I loved this. I had RC cars and planes, but not on the level of these old dudes!

One Saturday afternoon. Marc and I ask Nana if we could go to the field and watch them fly, amazingly she said yes! On our way there. Two girls are walking towards us. They are beautiful! In a split second. We picked out which girl would be my girlfriend and which one would be Marc's. As the girls approached us, I said, "Hey Marc, it would be funny if those girls stop and ask us our names right?" He said, "heck yeah!"

They walk closer, closer, closer until they walked right by us! Deflated, we kept walking. Then out of nowhere, we hear, "Hey you boys, what're your names?" We turn around, and at top speed go running back to them! Winded, I say, "I'm David, and this is my brother Marc." The taller girl. Who I said was for me said, " Hello, "I'm Tracy and this is my cousin Leslie!"

Tracy said, "I live over on Cornell street." I thought, jackpot! Her block was less than a five-minute walk from Nana's house. Marc and I walked the girls to their house, said our "see you later's," and continued on to Mitchell filed. Clearly, the universe heard us and responded.

The summer of 1975 would bring a lifetime of memories. The movie Jaws was released that summer, and songs like Laughter in the Rain, Jive Talking, Swearing to God and Shinning Star would become big it songs and go on to become classics!

It was a unique summer, there are many more story's and events to tell from that summer. I share many of them on this podcast episode.


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