Been re-listening to a bunch of interviews for the games oral history project. I am thankful for how different each one of them are, and the ones I did, how they made me feel throughout and then hearing them back again. The one with Nichola was all giggles. Sindy’s red leather sofa with the initial embossed – was it a C or an S? We agreed on S. The Cellar Club – I seriously wish I had membership for this place. Psters on the wall at DeVere Gardens and biscuits brought to you. And the taping.
Nichola suddenly remembers creating radios shows and talking books on cassette tapes. Producer at age 6, excellent. This struck a chord as it’s so close to what I actually do as a living as an adult, now. But as kids, we were taken with how playful it seemed and performative I guess. I did something similar but it involved singing mainly. Shame. Shaaaaaame. I really have never been able to sing but it was just so easy to press the record an play buttons at the same time, do your thing and then hang on, listen to yourself back. It was magic. It still is. But it felt more magic then.
I remember the choreography of it all the most. Yes you had to build yourself up to the performance and remember the words (a copy of smash hits with lyrics was always helpful) but mainly, you needed to have what was happening with the tape at the forefront. The precise timing of the record function, always clunky. And don’t start singing straight away as you need a few seconds before it all catches up with itself and actually starts recording. Time it. Time it well so you don’t run out of tape. This is important if you are recording yourself or more importantly, creating a mix tape Edit it so you have a little silence at the end and not be chopped off. And what if the tape gets screwed? You unwind it dear with a biro pen stuck in the spindles. I was not born in 1945.
Back to the singing. Why do kids love that? Why did I? At age 6 (7,8,9, 10 etc) I would steal my dad’s tapes, break the plastic bits off so you could record over them and then record paula abdul renditions or similar. I would not necessarily share this with family but would be found out when on long holiday road trips in the car…the Spanish tunes would then just cut to my heartfelt vibez. At age 13 (shame) I recorded songs with a friend and sent them to an old school teacher. Poor Mrs Lane. Love the openness to vulnerability in doing all of this. The ingenuity and can do attitude. The kindness you had in mind when crafting something for someone.