Colleague Cassie White did this story today, about how while Sony has stopped production on the Walkman, tape-lovers live on.
This is my favourite bit, where Darren Pauli talks about his love of tape:
"I've got a whole series of tapes like this Metallica tape I had back in school that my mates recorded and we used to listen to on the bus," he said.
"I've had it in my car and listened to the same tape that's just kept going for 10, 12 years.
"All the way through it you can hear in various parts when mates I've lent it to have accidentally hit record when listening to it.
"It's got a whole conversation between one of my mates and his brother and it's hilarious.
"Right in the middle of a Metallica guitar solo it cuts to Gatecrasher, this electronic techno stuff, then goes back to it. It's something that's kind of personal with a hint of nostalgia.
"I'll put it on with mates and we'll laugh because it reminds you of the old days."
Got me reminiscing about my own experiences with tape:
- When one of my mates did the Europe thing in the mid-90s, another friend and I made him a tape: Miserable Mother****ers. It consisted of 90 minutes of us speaking shit at coffee shops, going to gigs at The Zoo and other reputable establishments around Brisbane, speaking more shit at more coffee shops, that kinda thing. The idea was to reassure him that he wasn't missing anything. At some point, some excerpts of the tape got put online, but I'm pretty sure they're gone now.
- When I went backpacking in the late 90s, I bought a new Walkman to take with me. I was trying to keep my luggage down so I took one tape with me. 90 minutes of music. 45 minutes of Counting Crows' August and Everything after (sad music) and 45 minutes of Ben Folds Fives' Whatever and Ever Amen (happy music). By the end of six weeks, I still wasn't sick of either side!
- Just after my wife and I first met, she decided to go overseas (no, it wasn't because of me! She'd already booked the tickets). So we had a long-distance relationship for a while, and we used to send each other mixtapes. We've still got them, of course. I never did convert her to Billy Bragg, but she married me anyway!
- I still own tapes of Triple J's retrospective on The Whitlams and Nirvana. I really enjoyed it and I listened to it over and over again. I never listen to tapes anymore, even though we still have a stereo with a tape player on it. But I keep the tapes. Because it's nice knowing they're there. It sounds old-fashioned, but these tapes are true artifacts, in the way a playlist on a hard drive can never be.
- I've still got my Walkman somewhere. One day, I'm going to dig it out and show the kids. I'm sure they'll be amazing, and horrified, and embarrassed!