We said goodbye to our old car this weekend. I'm not usually attached to cars but this one still had one thing I'm going to miss, a cassette player.
Yep, it was from the turn of the Millennium when cassette players were just about still fitted insode cars before the imminent dawn of CD players.
Like other forms of media before it that have passed on, cassettes, along with vinyl, were the musical format of my generation. When it came to cassettes we were the cassexperts.
Like countless millions of kids in the Seventies I taped the charts. The original mix tape, listening to the recorded charts was a rite of passage all week until the next chart came around on Sunday afternoons.
A big question was always whether to use C90's or C60's to record the show as it was so long. What was the perfect combination of tapes?
Proper mix tapes came later when mastery of the record button was assured. A track from a Sabbath album maybe, a new song from Clifford.T Ward off the radio perhaps, a tune from a Montrose LP borrowed from a mate and to finish maybe some proto-punk from those rascals The New York Dolls.
My best mix tape had its own home-made album cover, which I called The Gathering of the Tribes.
Scariest of all was recording a mate's music tape onto a blank. What if you got the tapes the wrong way round and wiped his clean? But there were always those handy little holes on the tape top, which when sticky taped-over would prevent any such accidental deletion of your pal's favourite Pink Fearies album. Phew!
I never recorded the TV on tapes [did that happen using a mic propped up in front?] but I did secretly record my family! Somewhere I even have my late Grandma chirping on a C60 but like her the tape is alas lost but not forgotten. In the Eighties I recorded my young daughter singing on many different occasions and I still have those vocal treasures to this day, much to her utter embarrassment.
Other precious cassettes recorded my own journey as a young musician, lyricist and singer. I was in few different rock bands and one experimental one. I even recorded my long solo sessions on a twelve string guitar to listen back to for ideas. All of this was towards the end of the Seventies when hair was still long and jackets were made of velvet.
These recordings peaked with a live pub gig of the band I was in called Sirius during the summer of 1980. Again I made my own cover, Live at the Unicorn and still have this rock 'classic' in my tape pile. Really it could do with transferring to a more durable format but I'm not sure how to go about it.
Did you do a lot of taping readers?