Melted cassette tapes

My work life is centred around an incredible amount of media consumption, particularly the reading and viewing type, that it can be easy to neglect other forms of absorbing information – whether for work or pleasure.

So the last month on leave touring the eastern states with family in tow, allowed me the opportunity to re-engage with one of my favourite past-times – listening to music and audio. I really enjoy driving long distances and (aside from important family conversation) listening to music both old and new, comedy albums and catching up on those ‘banked up’ podcasts (esp edtechcrew).

Having spent a significant amount of time over the years travelling the countryside – the car music player has been a close companion, which has evolved in amazing ways.

In my early travelling days (mid-80s) I owned a beige coloured Datsun 200B and installed, which was at the time, a pretty flash car stereo system. For those who care to remember, I can fondly recall the constant inserting and ejecting of cassette tapes, fast forwarding and rewinding to favourite tracks, which became so worn that the tape would loosen from the spool and become a tangled mess. Tapes were not strategically kept throughout the car and could be  found in myriad of places from the glove box to the centre console, whilst others melted and became lost hidden somewhere with lost coins under the driver’s seat. I still have 100 or so tapes that are quietly gathering dust stored in shoeboxes in the back shed.

This last road-trip though, was a far cry from those halcyon days. This time around, preparation involved downloading and organising music / audio into playlists and then syncing to my iPhone as well as the wife’s /  kids’ iPod shuffles. What a difference from just over 20 years ago.

As Graham Wegner had recently undertaken, I spent some time prior to the trip to check out some online music. I redeemed some freebie iTunes cards and downloaded a heap of fantastic tunes from favourite and new artists.

The most airplay on our trip, and also at the request of the kids, was given to an album by Mick Thomas & The Sure Thing – ‘Spin Spin Spin’. Being a long time fan of Thomas’s work (esp of Wedding Parties Anything days) we sang along to some beautiful ballads and songs about everyday life. Have a listen to ‘As You Lay Sleeping’ – Thomas with Felicity Urquhart – one of the album’s highlights.

Unlike the worn out and now unused melted plastic cassette tapes of a bygone era, there’s a growing list of  ‘old and new’ mp3s eagerly waiting for a little bit of air-time on our next long road trip – Coffin Bay, January 2010. I can’t wait!

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