Oh, BOB, when I finished converting all my old tapes to mp3s a few years ago as part of this blog project, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. Quickly followed by an overwhelming sense of longing. Sure, I’d converted all 70 tapes so I could now listen to any song any time I wanted to. But why not 71? Why not 101? Why had I stopped recording music off the radio at the end of 1990?
The obvious answer is that 15-year-old me was full of optimism and hormones and a learner’s permit, so I wasn’t stuck at home all the time anymore. Why would I stay home sitting in front of my stereo when I could be out there trying to kiss a girl? It made sense at the time, BOB.
But with the beauty of hindsight, I can now see that I was incredibly short-sighted. Girls come and go, but the chance to record Nirvana off the radio for the first time? That’s something you can hold onto forever. But I DIDN’T record anything by Nirvana off the radio. There were TONS of songs that I missed out on recording because I was so worried about having a social life.
Well, luckily, I ain’t worried about that social life anymore. And so I decided to pick up where I left off in 1990 and start recording music off the radio again. And what better station than my local BOB FM station? After all, they play anything. Not actually, but they do play a helluva lot, and all of it within the span of my lifetime. It provided me with a golden opportunity to record the music that I didn’t record when I was in high school and college and beyond.
I learned quickly that it was a much different experience recording music in the new century than it was as a kid. Waaay easier. Not that I’m any kind of a fisherman, but we’ll use a fishing analogy. Recording off the radio using a cassette was like spear fishing. You waited, tense, your fingers poised on Play/Record, and when you heard a song you hadn’t recorded before. . .CLICK! Captured it! It took a lot of patience, BOB. But now, with my trusty boombox and my computer, it’s like fishing with a net. I just set everything up and come back in an hour or two to see what I pulled in. Keep the ones I didn’t have and throw the rest back.
I very quickly was reliving the days of my youth. I would exclaim to my wife, giddy, “I didn’t have this one yet!!!” She has not been impressed with this particular hobby re-rearing its ugly head. But she tolerates it, which is one of the many reasons I love her.
So, what this all means, BOB, is that starting tomorrow, we’re going to journey back in time, all the way back to July of 2013, when I took up my mantle of radio taping and made brand new “tapes” of all the songs that you played on your station. Little did I know that those first 70 tapes were just the beginning. . .