I know there is a fine line between living in the past and just relishing the memories. I’ve always loved to close my eyes and think about the way the world used to be, when I was young and had my whole future ahead of me, with no clue how complicated and painful adulthood could be. I think we’re all this way to a certain extent, and whatever decades we spent our youth in, those are the bits of nostalgia we treasure the most. I spent my childhood in the ’70s and my teenage years in the ’80s. Here are some of my fondest memories of my childhood in the ’70s.
The First Microwave I Ever Saw
I guess it was around 1978 that my neighborhood friend, Dorothy’s parents bought a countertop microwave. I’ll never forget her saying, “Come on, I’ve got something really neat to show you.” We went into her kitchen and she explained that this strange contraption was like an oven, but that it cooked stuff really fast. She got out a couple hotdogs and a couple slices of Kraft cheese from her fridge, wrapped the hotdogs with the cheese, plated them and stuck them into this mini oven. She turned the knob and after what seemed like only a couple minutes, the cheese dogs emerged cooked, complete with melted cheese. I must have just stood there gasping at this marvel. “See? There all done already. So you don’t have to boil them anymore. Go ahead! Eat one! It tastes really good.” I reluctantly did as she said and to do this day I think those are the best hot dogs I ever ate (and I have always hated hot dogs!).
Music has been a HUGE part of my life from early childhood. Growing up, I didn’t have the opportunity to learn to play an instrument, and so my imagination and creativity were redirected to writing. All was not lost, however. My son, Evan Cole Barnes, is a singer/songwriter for BACKTOBEFORE. He is multi-talented and contributed acoustic, classical guitar, piano, electric guitar, as well as vocals to their first album, which just dropped December 24. His band members are a group of amazingly talented musicians: David Sparks (Lead Guitarist/Writer/Vocalist/Acoustic), Tiffany Sparks (Bass/Uke/Vox), Michael Sparks (Writer/Percussionist/Vocalist/Acoustics) and John McLachlan(Drummer/Writer/Vocalist/Acoustics). They started writing this record years ago with the hope that one day it would come to fruition. To quote Evan, “This record had no rules, no producer, and is an honest reflection of who we are as artists.” Not only are these musicians incredibly talented, they have a heart for human beings. All proceeds from this album go to fighting human trafficking: http://eyeheartworld.org
Update (2020) BACKTOBEFORE has officially changed their name to A Place To Rest. Check them out on Spotify.
**NOTE: This is an article I wrote 7 years ago and which has been reposted and reconstituted by other sites over and over again. I found it the other day on my old laptop and thought it was worth reposting (with some corrections and updated links). Though my musical tastes are constantly evolving and ever-expanding, I still feel the same way about these amazing songs from one of my favorite decades.
Forget about your traditional Top Ten Songs of the ’70s. I’m going to use this blog post to tell you about MY personal favorites from the ’70s. Everyone has their own musical favorites, and usually there is a memory associated with each one. I’m not sure if any of my all-time favorites ever made the “The Top 100 Seventies Singles”, but these songs sound as magical today as they did when I spent hours listening to my parents’ 8-track tapes looking through the latest issues of Teen Beat and Tiger Beat.