Sunday, 24 April 2016


Back in the late '70s and throughout the '80s and early '90s,
I kept in contact with friends living in England or abroad via an
interesting variation of the 'Cassette-a-Letter'.  Rather than just
record a 10 or 15 minute voice message, I'd turn it into an hour
long 'radio' show, with records and comedy clips punctuating
my meandering monologues about what I'd been up to.

I called these shows 'Groan With Gordie', and soon some
of my pals adopted the habit themselves.  'Boak With Brian'
and 'Ramble With Campbell' were the sorts of titled tapes that
popped through my letterbox at semi-regular intervals.  I still have
all of the ones I received, 'though I suspect that the ones I sent
have long since been consigned to the dustbin of history.

These days, of course, there's no need for cassette tapes
to keep in touch with anyone.  Skype and the Internet now
enable people to have easy access to friends or relatives dotted
around the world - almost instantaneously in some cases.  So the
advent of emails ended an era for me, and my recorded 'radio'
shows shuffled offstage and into far too early retirement.

I probably enjoyed recording my tapes far more than the
recipients ever enjoyed listening to them, but it was something
that I used to look forward to doing.  "What should I talk about ?
What songs and clips shall I play,?" etc.  The new revolution in
technology may have changed the way people maintain contact
nowadays, making it far easier and quicker for them, but for
any benefits gained, there's always something lost in the
swap-over, in my humble estimation.

Let's pause as Gordie sadly gives one last groan
 in melancholy remembrance of a now-vanished age. 


John Pitt said...

Now, THERE'S a sight I recognise well! The old TDK's. I bought loads of these, ( usually the D90's ) and re-recorded all our old vinyl on them, making brand new albums and collections. We've still got them all, but we're a bit put off playing them now, because, with lack of use, they tend to stick in the machine. They all really need spinning from.end to end before playing, but it wastes your time and it would soon burn the motors out. Far easier to just YouTube it!!

Kid said...

I've still got stacks of tapes too, JP. I've transferred some of them to CD, and plan to do more when I can find the time and energy.

John Pitt said...

And when you've done that, you could transfer your CD's to mp3?
And, guess what? - Vinyl's the new " BIG Thing!"
Ever had the feeling you've been had?

Kid said...

I'll call it quits at CDs, JP. I prefer an actual physical disc as opposed to something just being 'in the air' somewhere. And I've still got my original vinyl records so I doubt I'll be buying any more. (Unless they're replacements for ones I used to have.)

paul Mcscotty said...

I have an IPod , Spotfy etc and its great for storage (cuts down on the number of CDs you have that never get listened to)and playing almost any song you can remember so I do see the pluses in this type of music but for me you can't beat Vinyl. CDs are fine (I have moslty CDs) but tapes for me( even in the 80s )were a total pain apart for making your own mixes (but that was time consuming) it was so slow even if you had a great system (I have a bag in my loft bulging with tapes I cant get rid of). Ive started to pick up vinyl again but only focusing on the very best form the artists I like such as Bowie, Credence Clearwater Revival, Tom Waites, Bruce Springsteen, 'Zepelin etc

Kid said...

I don't really perceive the alleged superiority of vinyl sound to that of CD (and I've got a good ear), but I like the process of removing a record from its sleeve, placing it on the turntable, then sitting back and watching it revolve. Sound-wise, I prefer CDs - no clicks, pops, hisses or surface noise - AND you can skip to any track you want. Some of the CDs I have look like small records 'though (pictures of grooves on the surface) and I think that's a good idea.

Colin Jones said...

I don't get this love for vinyl either - I started buying cassettes in 1983 then moved on to CDs in 1989. But I don't own any music at all now - YouTube is where I go if I have a yearning to listen to an old song. But I've heard about this revival of vinyl - where do they get the equipment from ? What about the replacement needles ?

Kid said...

I daresay they get replacement styluses (not 'styli' I'm informed, in the case of record player needles) from the record player manufacturers or from an internet supplier, CJ. My local HMV sells record players, as do other record shops I've noticed. I much prefer CDs to cassette tapes, and the last ever 'Groan With Gordie' I ever did was on a CD.

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