We recently bought a car via an advert in the Sol Times; it had all the modern necessities
such as air-con, ABS, air bags, diesel injection and usefully a cassette player?!?
Back in the 70s I pestered my mum for a cassette player and used to carefully place it next to the radio to record the Top 40 every Sunday on Radio1. LPs were also recorded so that my music could travel with me. Through the 80s and well into the 90s I bought many albums in tape version as by then the Sony Walkman had hit the shelves changing the way we listened to music overnight. The early 90s then brought house music onto the scene and friends of mine were djs and by a mixture of pleading and bribery they would record mix tapes for me.
Now 20 odd years later with a huge collection of CDs to my name which stubbornly refuse to be squashed into the tape player in the car, I was faced with possible disaster. For a few weeks I struggled with the tuning dial trying to find a decent radio station. The English language stations are all good but they don’t cover large areas. So for instance near Bedar there is Spectrum or Bay Radio but moving a few miles inland there is nothing until Vallee Radio near Albox.
I also tried listening to Spanish radio and even the radio stations from North Africa that float over the Alboran Sea but it’s all so awful it should be banned and only played to prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Then I had an epiphany and went in search for my boxes of tapes. Suddenly I was like a kid with new toy and the car has been transformed into a musical time machine with the sounds of the 70s and 80s and if very lucky the early 90s blasting out.
78s left the building 50 odd years ago closely followed by the 8 track, 45s came and went, LPs are on a revival due to Djs preferring them and of course they have beautiful artwork on the covers. Tapes disappeared from everywhere except my car, DAT was always too specialist a medium to be popular, Minidiscs were a passing fad, CDs are clinging on but now with MP3s and digital downloading they are threatened too.
Science has shown that it’s the music and books we experience between the ages of 13-17 that moulds our tastes for the rest of our lives. Little did I realise that decades later that this would be the only music available for me to listen to in the new car!