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Bellbottoms and Unicorns

Posted by Gwen |


In 1978 my mom remarried and the three of us moved to this house in the country. I was in 4th grade and used to living in a neighborhood with a park where all my friends and I grew up playing together. I was a frustrated and lonely kid in this house.

When I was back in my hometown last year I drove out here just to see it again. I couldn't get a picture of the front for the huge trees in the yard, which is fine since my room was on this side of the house anyway, on the second floor. The house looks much better these days than it did back then, whoever has it is taking care of it.

See that long, enclosed area on the back of the house? With the four windows? When I lived here that was a wrap-around, screened-in porch. The porch had two interior doors - one on the side and one in the back - that entered into the kitchen. I suspect they enclosed that area and extended the downstairs rooms. Makes me a little sad because that porch was awesome: it was huge and open and had a swing and a big table and looked out over the pond in the back.

I spent a lot of time in my bedroom. I wasn't an outdoorsy kid in the first place and there weren't other kids around to draw me out of the house. One of my favorite things to do was to pull a chair up to the chest of drawers in my room and stand on the chair as close to the radio as I could get and sing along to some silly radio station out of St. Louis. I don't remember the call letters or the dial number, but I remember they played 70's love songs and radio hits. I guess back then they were just called "songs" but 70's love songs and radio hits is what they're called now.

In a fashion similar to the bizarro clown-fest that went down over at Zibbs' this weekend, I've been hung up on these songs for weeks now. With the $20 or so I spent over at iTunes last night I think I've finally collected enough of these songs that my thirst is quenched.

UPDATE, 7:38 PM:

Just when I thought this little phase had run it's course Moe got me all wound up again by suggesting Fooled Around and Fell In Love by Elvin Bishop.  I totally remember how I would dance and act all serious and heartbroken when this one came on the radio.  Huge dork.

So you know I had to go get it . . . and it lead to even more . . . 
  • Peter Frampton - Baby I Love Your Way (everyday)
  • Styx - Babe
  • The Commodores - Easy (That's why I'm easy, easy like Sunday mornin')
  • Minnie Riperton – Lovin’ You (is easy 'cuz you're beautiful)
  • Peaches and Herb - Reunited (and it feels so good)
  • Andy Gibb - (Our Love) Don’t Throw It All Away
  • Andy Gibb - Shadow Dancing
  • The Bee Gees - How Deep Is Your Love

Does anyone else remember owning this and wanting to make out with it?  Someone?  Please?  Anybody?

UPDATE 10:56 PM:

I was thinking about shutting down for the night, went over to read Zibbs' new post before I called it quits, and while there I read that the song Magic
my by Pilot used to make him homesick as a kid.  Great 70's song - "oh, oh, oh it's magic, you kno-o-ow, never believe it's not so" - its great clapping earned it a spot on my playlist.

UPDATE 09/30/08, 9:29 PM:

The suggestions keep rolling in and I couldn't resist these:
  • Eric Carmen - All By Myself (thanks Zibba Zabba!)
  • B.J. Thomas - Hooked on a Feeling
  • Maria Muldaur - Midnight at the Oasis
And I hang my head in shame for not thinking of this one.  It's CLASSIC
  • Engelbert Humperdink - After The Lovin'
Huge props to my IRL friend Eric for completing the list.  I have to end it here, before Steve Jobs owns my house.


Anonymous said...

Crikey, you were only in 4th grade in '78? Gawd am I old. You have some awesome songs on that list.

McGone said...

Our music collections are vastly different, you and I.

Gwen said...

McGone and ALL: This genre is not the only one I enjoy. I can find a song I like in any genre. I'm just stuck on 70s love songs right now.

Dr Zibbs said...

Gwen, I still love all of this old music just for the memories. Epecially "Love Will Keep Us Together" and "Still the One". As for Itunes, I've never spent a penny because our library system allows us to view CD's from all of the libraries in the county, then have them sent free to the libary of our choice for free. I've been able to get 8000 songs this way. Yes, I've cracked the code. As for you in your room, I picture you doing Lisa Loopmner routines. Go ahead. Admit. it. Also, what was the name of the town?

Mo said...

Oh. My. God. I love America. Their version of Muskrat Love makes me weak. (And that's not something I'll admit to that many people for obvious reasons, so you should feel very special.)

Anonymous said...

I love that the house has a big porch on the second level.

Gwen said...

Zibbsy: Busted. I spent a lot of time making up crazy dance routines and pretending I was an entertainer. I was in love with Cher and imagined myself stealing the show on her and Sonny's variety show. These songs immediately take me back to that room and time. I grew up in Carlinville, IL.

Anonymous said...

Holy God, I have ALL of these songs on my computer. (Since I never move from it, why buy an iPod?)

What's so disturbing is that I don't have them out of a sense of nostalgia, I have them out of a sense of "I like them."

Amy, Jeff and the kimchis said...

I'll have to let you borrow the Soft Rock Hits of the 70s collection that Jeff got me a few years ago. It's full of amazing gems.

Slyde said...

thats a beautiful home... i every so often drive by my childhood home, which is about 40 minutes from where i live now...

always like a blast of memories right to my face..

RW said...

I was getting married and just coming out of my punk phase in 1978. I'm afraid I don't know a lot of these guys.

Falwless said...

And, on the other end of the spectrum, I was just turning one in 1978.

You people are fucking ancient.


Fancy Schmancy said...

I JUST upgraded my Carol King Tapestry record to a cd. Probably one of my favorites, ever. Maybe even more than The Greatful Dead - but that might really be pushing.

mike said...

I have only heard about half of those songs, but I like the ones I know. And that most definately is NOT my type of music. Just goes to show you that a good song is a good song. (and I was barely 3, Falwless!)

Moe Wanchuk said...

Elvin Bishop...Fooled Around And Fell In Love

Gwen said...

Moe: YES!! That is one that I would act out while I was singing it! I was hoping people would shout out recommendations today. You rawk. MWAH!

Renaissance Woman said...

OMG...love all of the songs. So much that I just spent money at itunes downloading so many of your songs. Thank for the walk down memory lane!

words...words...words... said...

I remember feeling all serious and sad when these songs came on too, even though I was just a kid and had no idea what they were really singing about. Is that the power of music or the general retardation of children?

Falwless said...

I'm pretty sure you and Zibbs are a match made in heaven. Or at the very least a disco hall.

Scope said...

Late as always to the 70's dance party. And while you may be getting burned out on the genre now and switching to death metal, here are a couple that no good/bad 70's love song collection should be without:

After the Lovin' - Engelbert Humperdink (Because that name rules over Arnold Dorsey)

Hooked on a Feeling - Blue Swede (Oooga Cha-ka)

Midnight @ the Oasis - Maria Muldaur (And you won't need no camel no no / When I take you for a ride)

Run Joey Run - David Geddes (Or maybe not...)

Elizabeth said...

My friend had that Andy Gibb poster, and she DID make out with it.

Gwen said...

Ren Woman: email me your addy and I'll send you bootlegs

W3: Both.

Eric: OMG! Great suggestions. They've been added.

enc: Oh, thank God!!! I was starting to think I was the only one. You've done wonders for my self-esteem tonight, enc. Thanks.

Tony Alva said...

here's one for ya... One of the coolest jams ever!

Dr Zibbs said...

I just put another one up for you Gwen.

Andrew Rodriguez said...

"My eyes adored you" by Frankie Valle, 1975, on an AM radio from tinny speakers in a 1968 Volkswagen Beatle, driving around Titusville Florida...no air conditioning, sticking to the seats, good times...

Claire said...

This is awesome.
Please Come to Boston (Dave Loggins)

Anything by Jim Croce, but especially Operator and I Got a Name

Rock the Boat (don't remember who)

Rock Me Gently (Andy Kim)

Anonymous said...

I LOVED Andy Gibb and Leif Garret...remember that hottie? Basically any guy with feathered bangs would do back then.