“It’s all happening.”


In 2000, there was a little gem of a movie called Almost Famous.  I’ve watched it more times than I can count, and it may be among my Top 5 favorite movies of all time.

I remember the early-mid 1970s (when the action in the movie took place) and was around the same age as the under-aged Rolling Stone reporter played by Patrick Fugit (allegedly this character was based on director Cameron Crowe’s life).

One of the many things I appreciated about Almost Famous was how accurately it pinned down the look, feel and overall mood of the years 1973 and 1974.    Except for one thing:  I don’t remember anyone ever using the phrase “It’s all happening!”  The character Penny Lane (Kate Hudson) and her friends used this phrase constantly throughout the film.  I remember a lot of early -mid 1970s youth slang, but “It’s all happening!” wasn’t among them.

Do any of you old enough to remember the early 1970s remember this phrase being used among young people?  Maybe it was strictly a California thing (since the film took place there)?   Or maybe it was just made up for the movie (and seemed convincing enough — like something early ’70s kids would be heard saying).

I noticed another anomaly in the movie.   William’s big sister, played by Zooey Deschanel, at one point is admonished by their mother to “stop being a drama queen.”   Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think the term “drama queen” was used until the 1980s or even 1990s.



15 thoughts on ““It’s all happening.”

  1. I don’t remember ever hearing the phrase “It’s all happening”. I remember “groovy”, “that’s hairy, man” and “it’s a happening place”. In the early to mid eighties, everything was “gnarly” and everybody wanted to know “wazzup?” Around that time, the infamous “gag me with a spoon” became popular.

    As for the term “drama queen,” I don’t remember hearing that before the early nineties. But maybe that’s because by that time, I was too old to be “with it”, like they used to say in the sixties… or was it the fifties? 😉

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    • Linda your comment made me laugh remembering some of those. I don’t remember “That’s hairy, man.” And I only remember ‘groovy’ because of the Brady Bunch. Lol.

      I thought ‘wazzup’ was from the 90s.

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      • Wassup… or wazzup, my auto incorrect can’t decide… that may have been from the 90s. It’s kind of hard for me to remember so far back.

        “Hairy” was late 60s to early 70s, I am sure of that. I remember puzzling over the meaning, wondering how it got started. If something was “hairy,” that meant it was dangerous and frightening. Maybe it was short for hair raising? As in “that new super cyclone roller coaster is a hairy ride!” Lol.

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        • Oh right…now that you put ‘hairy’ in context I remember it.

          You know what’s weird though, I was just watching a video on YT and someone in the video said “It’s all happening.”

          Wonder if he was just quoting from the movie though. I do that too, but then I say, “You know where that’s from?” lol

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  2. I don’t remember “It’s all happening,” but I do remember ‘drama queen.’ It wasn’t used in the same negative and dismissive way it later came to be used, but in the ’70’s one was supposed to be grabbing the spotlight.

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    • So it was actually used in the ’70s? In the movie though, it was used in the later, more negative sense. I don’t think I ever heard “drama queen”until the early ’90s but it could have been the late ’80s.

      Not too related, but I remember this girl (who is my age) I knew in 1976 -77 who actually spoke “valley girl” and used “uptalk” (she was not from Cali, but NY). It wasn’t common then, but I guess it was starting around that time. Now it’s like almost all women under 30 or so use it. But that “accent” (sort of an affected way of talking) seems to go away with age. I don’t even know if you’d call it “valley girl” anymore. I might write a post about this because it’s pretty interesting.

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  3. Well only being 8 and 9 years old, I would not have been often I was around a crowd that would use that phrase. I don’t remember any baby sitters saying it either. lol.

    Geez Otter, I didn’t know you were that much older than me. 🙂

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  4. I remember “Happenings” from the 60’s but not “Its all happening” ever. From either the pre or post punk 70’s. Interestingly, though I’m from the UK, I was aware of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco in the mid to late 60’s. The first punk band for me was The Doors, and they hailed from LA.

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