Having a ripping good time

by Suw on June 13, 2004

When I was a kid, I thought there were only two radio stations: Radio Two with Terry Wogan and Jimmy Young, and Radio Yokel, er, I mean, Solent. It wasn't until I was much older that I discovered Radio One, with it's cringe-inducing Roadshow and Gary Davies. (Hm, maybe that should be the other way round.)
The best thing about Radio One was the two hour chart run down on Sundays evenings. I would sit there with my tape recorder and wait for my favourite songs to come on, hoping that I could hit the record button at precisely the right time to cut out the DJ's waffle without losing the beginning of the song. It was a serious business, and it was my only way of getting hold of music.
As a kid, I didn't have a record deck. It was tape or radio for me. I also didn't get pocket money as such, so I didn't start buying singles or albums until I started working at 16, and then I started buying on tape.
I really seriously wish that someone at some point had sat me down and said: “Right, buy yourself a deck, girl, and stop with this tape nonsense. Tapes'll never be worth squat – vinyl rules.” But coming from the most unsavvy family in the world and living in the most unsavvy hamlet – technically, it was smaller than a hamlet – in the world, that valuable bit of advice was never passed my way.
The result? I now own boxes of tapes. Stuff taped off the radio. Albums. Singles. EPs. Tonnes of the bastard things. Useless, pointless tapes. Some have become stretched or frilled or chewed and are now unplayable. Some still sound fine. Several sound… embarrassing, but we won't go there.
I've been meaning for ages to sort them out, but I can never bring myself to actually throw them out. That's the soundtrack to my pre-CD life we're talking about – an invaluable source of nostalgia. Yet, I can’t keep carting round boxes and boxes of tapes. I’ve moved house 20 times since I left home at 18, and I have way too much stuff. So, today, I started ripping my tapes to MP3 on the assumption that are much lighter to carry on my D:.
Oh dear. Start off life as a nasty, home-taping pirate and end up as a nasty MP3ing pirate. I should be taken outside and summarily executed forthwith. Police! Police!
Anyway, yes. I started off with a tape from my university years: Jesus Jones – Doubt. This was given to me by an astonishingly cute guy called Nick with whom I shared a house (and sadly nothing else) in my final year. After we graduated I went to Bristol to stay with him for a weekend, and remember watching the only episode of Casualty I have ever seen, wherein a haemophiliac died of a nosebleed. Gave me nightmares for years. For some reason I remember that Nick lived just up the road from a second-hand furniture shop. And he had beautiful long curly hair and a slightly wonky jaw which served only to make him look more attractive.
I haven't listened to Doubt for a long, long time, and had totally forgotten the gem that is Welcome Back Victoria. I haven't recalled those memories for a long time, either.
So, now that I've ripped it, I suppose it's time to throw it out.
Tomorrow, maybe.

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