The Joy of Cassettes

November 12, 2008


My car’s a teenager, and I’ve had it since birth (the car’s, not mine). This isn’t my car. But who wants to see pictures of a thirteen year old Ford Fiesta? Other than carpaedos? Or, if you’re an American, Carpedos, but that doesn’t sound as funny. And anyway, for the sake of a ‘joke’ I’ve cheated on the structure. Really, if you were to get your kicks from car pics, you’d be a carphiliac, but that sounds kind of cheesy, or Welshy. And this post isn’t about the car, it’s about what’s in it.

My car is so old it only plays cassettes. And I have adopted the Car Cassette Rule. This states that; ” a cassette can only be changed at the discretion of a passenger; the driver is not allowed to change cassettes.” This is nothing to do with safety, and everything to do with me testing the resolve of frequent passengers. They’re actually infrequent, but then all the more fun when three months down the line they say “you’re not still listening to this?” And I ask them to free me and change the cassette. Sometimes I change them… secretly… sliding over to the passenger seat and imagining I am someone else.

For a long long long long long long time my cassette was Kimono My House by Sparks. This was the first cassette I ever bought, in 1974. It snapped a few months ago. Not bad going though; 34 years. I snapped at a much younger age. Now I have it on CD; remastered; but it sounded better on cassette, in the car.

Now I’m listening to Live at Robs. Rob is Rob Minshull. We made the cassette at his house. A long time ago. Last time I saw Rob was in sixth form college in Salford. So, this cassette is from the late 70’s. Here’s the track listings:


Highlight, and one that gets most rewound (Hey, I can’t take the cassettes in and out but I can fast ff and rew; I made up the rule) is the Clash’s Working for the Clampdown. The judge said five to ten, but I said double that again, I’m not… Join in.

Ha! Gitalong! Gitalong!

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