Saturday, January 03, 2009
So I've had this little side-project going in fits and starts since last September to digitize all of our recorded music. I'm not sure of the precise rationale for doing this other than it seems like a good thing to rip all of our unused, unloved cassettes and vinyl to something a little more convenient for these modern times. Dee and the kids are iPod afficionados and it seemed reasonable that they would appreciate having all our great old music in a more iTunes-friendly format.
So for the past 4 months I've had the guts of our stereo plugged into the back of our PC as I've beavered away at this tedious task. I decided to tackle the cassette tapes first. Many of these tapes are close to 30 years old(!!). One - The Mamas and the Papas - is closer to 40 years and belonged to my parents when cassettes were on the cutting edge of audio tech.
It's been an unexpectedly poignant experience - memories that have not seen much daylight in so long. I've seen some childhood, my first car (a very used Firebird Esprit), an old friend's cigarette-burned couch, a spontaneous dance in front of the Western Fair bandshell, my embarrassing early-80's proto-punk harcut, a make-out session with my soon-to-be (much) Better Half - all pieces of Me brought into musical form and shape.
It's been a good time.
As I type these words, the final tape - tape #110 - is unwinding it's dusty secrets into the digital world. The tape: Steve Martin - A Wild and Crazy Guy. I haven't listened to it in many, many years, but I nearly wore it out when it was new. It was a gift expressly from my Dad on my 16th birthday. On occasions that demanded gifts, the selection duties were always left to Mom. But 16 was something different in my Dad's eyes, and he knew I loved Steve Martin. The fact that the tape had a bit of bad language was an added bonus. It was Dad's way of saying, "You've arrived, Son. You can be your own man, now.". It was good day, back in our house on Calgary Street.
All that from a little plastic ribbon. And upstairs, on a long shelf, are many more old LPs waiting to tell their stories, too. I can already hear their dusty voices.