Thursday, 9 August 2018

Remember Mix Tapes?

Two years ago I bought paint to tidy up my office.  I keep trying not to call it an office - a den, or a study seem much more artistic, but an office it ends up as, or a junk shop more like.  Everything in the house that doesn't have a place ends up in here, all the necessary stuff as well as all the 'just in case I might need it someday' stuff.  Why do we keep these things!

Anyway I finally convinced the painter of the family that the time was now and we decided to do three rooms (they're small), the clearing of which should have been a doddle.  Until we came to the office that is - 4 days it took me!

Anyway, it's all over now and the place looks lovely and clean and I don't want to repopulate it with all that junk again, no matter how necessary it is.   I've had a really good clear out of books I'll never read again, had a great rummage through old photos from the days when I actually took time to put them in albums (such a pity not to do that any more) and the final treasure find was a box of cassettes.  Ok, most of them needed to go in the bin - they'd been recorded on a 4 track machine which we don't have any more, so they can't even be listened to.  But in the middle of them all I cam across a handful of mix tapes that a couple of people had made for me back in the day when I was playing in the pubs in Belfast - suggestion after suggestion of songs to try out, or simply to listen to.

So I spent a lovely couple of hours going through You Tube to listen to some of the songs and had a real stroll down memory lane.   Three or four of the tapes were given to me by a guy who regularly came into a Monday night gig I did in the Rotterdam Bar.  He had an enormous dog that he always brought with him - it was a St Bernard or something like that -a huge gentle giant.   One night while I was in the middle of my set, the dog came up and just sat on my foot, quite oblivious to the chuckles from all the regulars and quite pleased with itself to be in the limelight.

I also found old Mini discs ( no longer playable), VHS tapes (no longer playable) and even a few Betamax tapes (no longer playable cos we have no player).. How technology has moved on in recent years.  The gramophone records and old vinyl discs still need a good going through, but I reckon lots of sheet music will be heading for the shredder or maybe for sale on eBay for someone who likes crafting with it.  I've actually managed to find someone who wants old cassettes for an art project too which was great as I couldn't imagine them ever disintegrating in landfill.  Apparently he's weaving it into rope for the linen museum.

Cleaning out is a great tonic.  Now the challenge will be to see how long I can keep it like that!


  1. Well done you - that sort of clear out is part cathartic and part nostalgic. We have tapes that we can not listen to due to outmoded systems but we hang on to them - sentimental really!

  2. Hi Fil - that's great to see and read ... and you got to remember lots of songs perhaps you hadn't heard or recorded for ages. well done on the clear out - and what a creative idea in using the cassettes in an art project. Lovely read - ah well space to fill! Well done on the painting ... cheers Hilary

  3. Blimey that must have been a trip down memory lane. Somebody brought one of the old reel to reel tapes for repair to the Repair Cafe recently. They fixed it!

  4. We have some old cassettes with recorded voice of my later mother-in-law when she used to look after our son when he was small. Precious memories.


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