I set CallItFive in 1979 because life was definitely and surprisingly different in 1979. When you set a story in the present day, in the time in which you are actually living, you don't know what is missing. We don't know now what we will know forty years from now. Life used to move more slowly. But the technological difference between 2017 (when I am writing this) and 1979 is spectacular.
No cell phones. When something happened you couldn't just quickly call and report it. You had to find a pay phone that worked. Communications were not instantaneous.
No internet. You couldn't just look things up. You had to go to a library and scan through old newspapers with a microfiche machine. You had to talk to people and ask questions. Sleuthing was more of a hands-on thing. Without the internet I would have had to remember all the details because I lived through them.
Bernie Madoff hadn't been caught. The Cape Cod Baseball League used aluminum bats and played the All Star Game and Fenway Park. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Amazon didn't exist. We haven't even begun to understand the impact on social media on our society. With fiction, you can imagine what it might be like. In reality, we can't go back and change the things that we would like to change. But in writing this story, it was a fascinating dance looking back at 1979. It wasn't the point of the story, but the music and the technology and the social interactions played an interesting role as a backdrop. Retrospect would not have been possible without the technology of today.