At the weekend we replaced a dodgy old chest of draws on which our TV sat with a fine sheesham wood table. Since the chest is going to the rubbish tip I needed to remove and relocate all the contents. Two of the draws contained photographs which were easily moved, but the third draw contained loads of unmarked or partially marked cassette tapes. I haven't played any of these tapes for at least 10 years, mainly because I don't possess a cassette player. The fact that these tapes had been ignored for so long means that they aren't very important and that most of them will be filed in the bin, but I wanted to check what was on some of the tapes for incase there were any lost gems, particularly home recordings from my early musical days. So I hot footed it to Curry's to find the cheapest tape player I could find. They no longer sell "pure" tape players so I had to resort to buying the cheapest combined cassette/CD/radio which was just $16.
Well there were two horrors to be discovered. The most predictable one was some of the music that I had written and recorded in my yoof. Ropey 3 chord music with 6th form poetry lyrics abounds. I did find a few gems which I will be copying over to the PC for old times sakes. A very ragged but strangely cool version of "The Breath of Fate" featuring myself with Matt and Glastonbury Jon. Also a few early demo's from my first proper band Crazy Uncle. But the second horror was how awful it was using tapes again! I couldn't believe it - 4 minutes to rewind a TDK D90. No way to know where the tunes are. If you are playing an album from beginning to end then no problem, but if you are trying to find something or are attempting check out what is on an unlabelled tape it is a nightmare. Thank goodness for random access digital media for killing this rubbish.