Friday, 20 July 2012

A small, sad goodbye

I’ve tinkered with it; I’ve changed the batteries (twice) and shaken it hard, and left it alone for a while in case that would help.  But it’s dead.  My dear old Sony Walkman has passed beyond the veil and is no more.  I’d had it since January 1986, so it has given good service over many years, and what piece of hi-fi can do more?

The problem is, this means I can’t play any of my cassettes any more.  I am anally careful with stuff, probably because I had a lot of experience of having not much stuff at all (and no likelihood of replacing it) as a child of a singularly broke family.  So a lot of my music collection is still on cassettes.  

I have bootlegs, godammit.  I know they’re illegal; well, now they’re useless as well.  I have things recorded off the radio; my “Winterreise”, for example, is a radio bootleg.  I have lovely compilations my brother Steve put together for me – rocky stuff to paint with or dance to, mellow late-night stuff to chill out to with a cold beer and my feet up.

Then I have things that were perfectly legit recordings in their day, but that simply aren’t available any more.  

Research online in my lunch break shows that a surprisingly large amount of my beloved early eighties prog rock etc can be bought on cd, often as re-releases with bonus tracks, even - but not all of it.  I have some pretty obscure recordings of Irish fiddle music.  Kevin Volans’ work isn’t terribly easy to get hold of, either; and one of my favourite albums of my teenage years, “Paradise Moves” by Airbridge, is only available as an LP from vintage vinyl specialists, at extortionate cost – and I don’t have a record turntable or any of that hoohah, anyway.  This is great music I'm losing, and it will leave a hole in my life.

Horsesh*t and a pile of it.

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