Monday, 7 December 2009

My Teenage Years in Cassette Format

Day Four.

What IS my problem?! I'm 32 years old and I'm still lumbering around with this weighty, archaic albatross around my neck. I've taken this boxful of cassette tapes from house to house, where they have taken up space, gathered dust, and most importantly of all, exuded GUILT. But how can I get rid of these mini musical dinosaurs? They represent my teenage years, my musical journey, my youth itself... I can't possibly throw all that IMPORTANT history away! Just look at it - the ugly truth:

Aw, there's a kitty - only 42p... Oh, for goodness' sake, grow up!!! When was the last time I owned a functioning tape player? Too long ago to recall. You can't count the one in the car, it makes every single tape sound like the singer has a mouth full of buttons, every instrument is heavily distorted, and sometimes the player just decides to chew the whole thing up, buttons and all. OK, the last time my tape player worked properly was when I was at college. That's ten years ago. (By the way, I bought this particularly lovely ghetto blaster when I was about 12 years old, and it's still very much in use, though the radio is the only part that works now.)

Now that I have a laptop, I barely even listen to CDs - I import them, yes, but from then on in it's all about iTunes. And a couple of weeks ago I "discovered" Spotify, so now almost everything I should wish to listen to is a short search and a click away! You don't even need an invite, just click this link. So there really are no more excuses for me, I am going to be ruthless.

All of the REAL albums (actual ones, purchased from a shop) seem to be in abundance on Spotify. So they have been bagged for the local charity shop (the Dog Shop). Most of the tapes people have copied me are also available on Spotify. They can go in the bin. I'm not sure if they can be recycled or not.

There are some suspicious-looking tapes, which I would like to listen to - these might include home-recordings of some of my early songs. I'm realising that I'm really not very ruthless at all, I'm still hanging on to the unmarked ones in case they have ME on them, oh, am I that much of a narcissist?! No, I'm thinking I might be able to recycle some song ideas... Am I completely irrational? I don't know.

I'm writing a blog, aren't I? That says something, ha ha.
Day 4 mission pretty much completed.


  1. absolutely! I also have bags of tapes and no tape player including a copy of 'sdim ots' which, i think was recorded for the eisteddfod when it was in fishguard years and years ago, i might have been about 7? Maybe you're on it too?!

  2. Respect. I too have this problem to address. I think reassuring yourself that most of the music will be on Spotify is a very positive step. As for the rest, I agree, you might find a gem of an idea for new/recycleable material on there. May I be so bold as to make a suggestion? Sign up to your local Freecycle (which I very much suspect you are), request a cassette player, download a free programme that allows you to turn tapes into MP3 files (I might be able to help you with this), record everything you want to onto your pc, stick the tape player back on Freecycle, get rid of the tapes/make an art installation out of them/send them to me and I'll make an art installation out of them. Sounds good? It sticks to your theme on so mnay levels, it's almost mindblowing...xx

  3. I only just got rid of my lingering tapes a year or so ago and I'm 37!!! My other half is even older and did it around the same time, though not without getting a fancy gadget to record his tapes onto mp3 first!

    You're doing really well.

    And thanks for your lovely comments on my blog, it's really encouraging to know someone cares!