Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Memory lane

So while I was back in the Bay for the weekend, I took the opportunity to go through all my old childhood junk that Mum hadn’t yet thrown away.
And lo and behold if I didn’t find the best box of treasure ever, namely a shoebox of my old mixed tapes.
Having inherited a love of music from my Dad I was one of those people who listened to everyone and everything, and constantly had a recording tape quivering on pause so that if I heard a song on the radio I liked, I could leap on it and record it. I would also spend hours, seriously hours in my room, compiling my favourite songs of the moment and working out which order they should go in. I would then listen to these tapes until they either fell apart, or I made a new one. Then I finally got a CD player and stopped making them, which is actually kind of sad.
So it was completely bizarre to find this dusty old box, with these familiar friends inside. Luckily I had a 3.5 hour trip ahead of me back to Tauranga where I could blast these babies on my really awesome bottom-of-the-line car stereo.
It was the funnest trip I have done in some time. The first tape I found was one I had done when I was 15, and the most horrible child in existence (in my mother’s opinion, and mine in hindsight) and I hated the world and the world hated me. The first song was Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. Okay, pretty stock standard you say. We then moved on to Plush by Stone Temple Pilots. Soma by Smashing Pumpkins. Oceans by Pearl Jam. How these songs must have spoken to me. I have never laughed so hard in my life as each song came on, picturing myself obsessively learning every word (I still knew them all) or what my mother must have thought, waving her off in the car they had bought her, the whitest chick on the block, off to her private school with “BURN YOUR WICKED GARDEN DOWN” blaring from the stereo. It’s still making me giggle. I knew more about blunts and j’s and sparking an owl from Cypress Hill than I did from real life…I never even saw pot until University (and then I did not inhale, Mum).
The next tape was one I did while studying for exams in seventh form. I had read that classical music made you learn faster, so I got hold of Mum’s Best Classical Album in the World……..EEEEVVVVEEEEERRRR!!! and made a tape. Possibly, I should have actually not spent the hours making the tape, and instead used them to study, but hey I still passed. I had completely forgotten that I had taken this tape over to England with me after exams, and used the end of it to record the first UK songs I liked. So at the end of Bolero by Ravel, we get Your Woman by White Town, and Remember Me by Blue Boy. Always a nice transition. I remember getting to England and waking in my unfamiliar room in the middle of the night and noticing the previous Gap student had left a small tape player behind, so I switched it on, and it was tuned to Radio 1. Having read about this British institution many times it was so surreal to wake up after a horror flight, in the middle of England, listening to Radio 1. Listening to that tape brought that feeling of displacement and surreality right back.
The last tape I had time for was one I did in my first year at Uni. I didn’t know it at the time but I was suffering from depression, and boy any Psych who listened to that tape would have picked it a mile away. Carnival by Natalie Merchant. Fade Into You by Mazzy Star. Fire on Babylon by Sinead O’Connor. It’s no wonder I was munching Prozac by the end of that year (saved my life, seriously). I have about 30 other tapes to go through, some from 1991 when I was 12 years old, so will be full of Color Me Badd and Maxi Priest. I can’t wait.

1 comment:

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

I love it.

I found some old tapes my husband made for me when we were first dating. Definitely a trip down Memory Lane.