Desert Island Discs – Take Me Back by Anne Roberts
It’s official: I’m an absolute sucker for the nostalgia of the 1970s. And, more specifically, for the music of the ’70s. Every Sunday afternoon finds me glued to the radio between 3pm and 5pm, listening to the very knowledgeable Johnnie Walker, his prestigious guests and the memories of his listeners, most of whom are as loyal and devoted as I am.
From Neil Diamond to Neil Young I bought single after single with my hard-earned cash, and iconic albums such as Goodbye Yellowbrick Road, Carole King’s Tapestry and Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks still grace my shelves. Jackson Browne was Running on Empty and Free were All Right Now. I only have to hear the opening bars of Minnie Ripperton’s Lovin’ You and I’m back on Cape Cod in 1975, and Smoke On The Water puts me on a school exchange to Brittany in the summer of ‘73. I danced to songs like Rock Me Gently and Sailing with the man who was to become my husband, and revised for my Finals to Heathcliff and Baker Street. I iced the first Christmas cake of my married life to Billy Joel and Ian Drury and listened to the radio every evening before we could afford a television.
The older I get the more I seem to be buried in the songs of that decade. Clearly, I am not alone in this but what are we grey haired sixty-somethings all chasing? It is just the need to re-capture the spirit of youth and the memory of a time when anything seemed possible and the mirror was kinder? Was life really so much better then? The answer to that must be a resounding “No!” but my rose-coloured memories have edited out the most of the bad bits and doing homework by candlelight, courtesy of strikes and the Three-Day Working Week, has taken on a romantic hue.
The truth of the matter may well be that the ’70s were no more special than any other decade, but for me it was the time in which I grew from young girl to woman, from convent pupil to farmer, from pony-mad teenager to married woman on the cusp of motherhood. In 1970 adulthood was something distant and desirable; by the end of 1979 it was clear that being grown up was not all it was cracked up to be. Looking back, those ten years made up what seem to have been the longest decade of my life, [ridiculous as that may sound]: so many changes in my personal situation, so many new experiences, so many dreams lost, so many dreams realised, so many friends made and so many life choices made. And all these set to the soundtrack of the music of the time. Every decade since that one has flown past.
Only one mystery remains from those years: how was it that I didn’t discover Bruce Springsteen until 1983?
What about you, what is your favourite music, what memories do you get from a particular track? I would love to hear from you. Post your comments below. Why don’t you share this with your friends and family by clicking the Facebook icon? Or try following us on Twitter?
Guest Author – Anne Roberts