John Conlee wrote only two of his twenty-five Top Twenty chart entries. The first was his first Top Five record, “Rose Colored Glasses,” and the second was “Backside Of Thirty,” a tune about a divorced man trying to re-establish a life for himself. “Backside Of Thirty” was written over three years before it became a hit, and since Conlee hadn’t been married up to that point, the song hadn’t been composed around a divorce situation.
Instead, it had been based on a couple of relationships that didn’t work out for him. As John said, there wasn’t a “piece of paper to tear apart,” but still a break-up is a break-up, and to that degree, Conlee felt those things in the song (except, of course, the reference about the wife and son). He was going through one of those broken relationships during the time he wrote both “Rose Colored Glasses” and “Backside Of Thirty.”
The incident brought forth quite a lot of emotion in him, but from a writer’s standpoint, it was merely observation. Several of his friends had actually gone through what these songs were about – the break-up of a home – and John happened to be just on the other side of thirty years old when he wrote them.