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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chp 423. Those good ol cassette days

My dear blog friend John Ruolngul’s latest post update [Thank God for Cassettes!! (and Music)] inspired me to update my blog with this post.

Yes, I miss the good ol days when our lives revolved around tape cassettes. And how we always used to carry a Reynold’s pen with us, to rewind or fast forward the cassette as we didn’t want to waste our walkman battery’s life. Was Reynold’s pen popular back then because it was actually a good pen, or was it purely accidental that the pen happened to fit inside a cassette perfectly? A little case study needs to be done here.

Much has been said about cassettes. You can read John’s blog above, or you can move over to my ex-roomie’s post about cassettes which is funny and nostalgic.

Over here, I’ll just update this post with a few pictures I took today.

After reading John’s blog post, I immediately scavenged through my old junk, and dug out my cassette collection! Yes my current flat mate says I’m a hoarder, and unfortunately that is true. I have A LOT of things I carry around with me all the time because I cannot throw them away due to too many sentimental attachments and sweet memories. So imagine me who move from one city to the other many times carrying my entire past with me wherever I go… hehehe… yeah, the “movers and packers” bill is always quite a lot.

So here it is, a soon to be extinct species of the music industry…


Though I was brought up on glam-rock and glam-metal, like most Mizos who’re born in the late 70’s and early 80’s who were crazy about Guns n’ Roses, Def Leppard, Warrant, Firehouse, Cinderella, Nazareth etc., there was a rebel side of me that was really into heavy metal too. Slayer, Testament, Helloween, Dio, Danzig etc. were some of my favorite bands.

Ozzy was my idol back then, not because of his onstage gimmicks as it wasn’t that easy getting access to music videos back then (remember Headbangers Ball on MTv?), but rather because I fell in love with his voice. And I’m probably one of the few people who prefer Megadeth over Iron Maiden.

And then came the transition to “Nu-metal” like RATM and Limp Bizkit in the late 90’s. “Significant Other” was the first Limp Bizkit album I bought, though I have no freaking idea where it is now… I even bought a cool Korn tee-shirt, which was probably the second musical band tee-shirt I owned, after a GnR tee-shirt I bought in the late 80’s.

OSTs were another category I also collected back then. I swear I had at least more than 50 movie soundtrack cassettes at one time, now all gone due to assholes who never return borrowed cassettes. Whenever I watch a new movie (those were the days we actually used to go to movie theatres to watch new releases as internet access was either unavailable or expensive), I always paid attention to the background track numbers while the movie was playing, and then decide whether I should buy the OST cassette or not.

Here’s my Mizo cassette collection. My first Mizo band album was “Tribal Power”, which apparently is now lost in oblivion. Love that band… I bought a Nunui cassette from Nunui herself when I met her in Bangalore during a dinner party at a friend’s place. I’m sure she won’t even remember me or that incident anymore, lolz.

Here’s some of my mushy love song collection… it has songs like “Cherish” by Kool and the gang, “Donna” by Ritchie Valens, “Drive” by The Cars, “Rise to the occasion” by Climie Fisher etc… I miss those days when every house party always used to end with a slow jam session, with every couple holding each other and swaying slowly to songs like Lady in red, I wanna know what love is, Sailing, True colours, Listen to your heart etc etc…

And what would a cassette collection be without the Christmas albums? :) They complete the collection… they’re the most sought after albums during December and then remain untouched for the other 11 months of a year, lolz.

And here are a few other albums from my collection. I remember buying the Evanescence album, but by then, it was already the era of mp3s, and having a lot of Theatre of Tragedy songs and other symphonic gothic bands with female frontman like Lacuna Coil, Nightwish, Sirenia, Within Temptation etc, I clearly failed to understand the hype Evanescence made.

And oh, yes, there was a phase when I was really into gangsta hiphop too, lolz. But by that I don’t mean the rappers of today who think rapping is only about disrespecting women and calling them ho’s and acting like a thug while wearing pants up to their knees… My generation of rappers were actually talented, with the likes of 2Pac, Bone thugz n’ harmony, Dr. Dre, DMX etc… and lolz, apparently I used to call myself “Kill Boyband” Kima back then, haha.

So why do I still have this “junk” with me? Like I said, I guess it’s because of the emotional attachments I have with them. Each cassette tells a story… Like for example, one of the more recent cassettes I bought had this scribbled inside…

Daddy – Curzon Court B’lore, Quaterly Hols ’98 – ’99

I always write things like this on all my cassettes, just to remember when I bought them or with whom. When I read the one above, it filled me with warm memories immediately. Back in 1998, my dad flew down from Mizoram to spend my school’s quarterly holidays with me in Bangalore, instead of me going home. As most of you may know, I’ve always been in a hostel away from home and family most of my life, so that particular holiday, I really bonded with my dad.

The two of us stayed in this suite at Curzon Court, which is a prominent hotel right on Brigade Road. And then one evening, our family friends Pu Rinsanga (now retired IAS) and his wife came over to our room to play cards with dad, while I went out with their son Hminga, who was also my friend and classmate. That night, we pub-hopped all over Brigade Road, and finally we tried this street drugs called laddoo, which was pretty popular back then. It’s apparently sweetened bhaang. After that, his friends came along and we went to visit a haunted temple at a very deserted forest outside the city, as there’s a rumor that a spirit would chase those who came to ring the temple bells at midnight. Our aim was to ring and run away as fast as we could.

Hehe, I was so bloody drunk and stoned at the same time that when we reached the venue and rang the temple bells, everybody ran as fast as they could while I just sat down on the steps not giving a f*ck about anything. Lolz. That morning, around 2-3’ish, Hminga and his friends carried me all the way up to my hotel room, made me stand up against the door, rang the bell and ran away because they were afraid my dad would scold them. That night was the first time dad ever saw me wasted, and I was trying my BEST to act sober and walk straight and speak without a slur, lolz. The next morning, when I woke up, dad gave me a full bottle of ice cold water and it felt SO good downing it. After that, we went shopping.

See, I remembered all that just by looking inside the cover of all my cassettes. Each one has a tale to tell.

So these are my tape cassettes. What about you? Still have yours? Hit me back.



Tetea said...

I remember my elder brother used to have a huge collection of audio cassettes. When he was in high school (in Kurseong, near Darjeeling), and later studying in college (Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu), he used to lug around a Sony Walkman and a suitcase full of cassettes. In those days they traveled mainly by train and I can only imagine the thought of carrying a suitcase filled with hundreds of your favourite albums just for the sake of having a "personal music collection".

I was teenager myself back then, but I remember buying only one cassette myself. That's one of the perks of having elder brothers and sisters - Endless supply of music!

Mizohican said...

@ Tetea - And the best part is, when our elder sisters and brothers have so many cassettes, all we had to do was buy a blank cassette and record only the songs we like from their albums, hence making a very private collection of songs :D

Zakk said...

the first thing I noticed was the way you wrote ur name on the cassettes the rock font I call it. I used to write my name that way too lol I guess a lot of us did. Richie blackmore's rainbow hit the spot for me, he used to be my fav guitarist.
I was crazy about Megadeth too but never compared them with Maiden my war was always with Metallica (I love them too but Megadeth was my heart and soul) nice read now im getting all nostalgic n stuff... renolds pen/ paper rolling of the tape was an art I mastered hahaha I knew exactly how much to roll to my fav songs.

Mizohican said...

@ Zakk - Hahahah.... Same here.... I knew exactly how much to roll to play a particular song. In fact I was so good that all I used to do was sniff and take a quick whiff of the reel, and I could smell exactly where the song is starting or where the guitar lead is ending :D :P :D

Unknown said...

my first cassette was a heidi narration. i was obsessed with it back then. then came the britney fever, i remember my dad searching the whole bazar for it :) n it wudnt be xmas without those boneyM cassettes. i think i started hating the whole thing when my grandma wudnt stop playing "Lalruotmoi" n "sailova"... i wanted to burn it then :D

Unknown said...

and on the music front i actually listen to def leppard, n guns n roses too.the beatles are always on my playlist. but then i never got the "nu-metal" phenomenon,its just noise for me, no offense. when i was entering high skol, all my friends were into gothic. i never rily got that either. now its about bon iver, temper trap, norah jones,coldplay :)

Mizohican said...

@ Amelia: oh so you're not as young as I thought you are! :P Good to know you have good taste in music AND food :)

And no I don't take it as an offense if you consider nu-metal as noise. I'm into black metal and deth metal as well, so imagine what you'd be thinking of such music if you've heard them :D

blackassettes said...

I see the cassettes, but all I'm thinking is "Is that his bedsheet? Why is it pink? Unless..." :P
I still have my old collection collecting dust somewhere in my flat, in Converse shoe boxes.
I remember Planet M and MusicWorld doing an awesome business back in the day, and local shops in Aizawl like UltraFast making a good profit by recording (Old-time Pirating) custom rock collections. Most of all, I remember the advent of Roadrunner records in India which kinda changed the rock audience.
Nice post, makes me nostalgic enough to think of making one myself.

Mizohican said...

That's because it may not be MY bed sheet :ifyouknowwhatImean:

:D :P :D :P :D :P

Yup Planet M and MusicWorld were hot spots those days. Planet M moved on quickly to Movies, electronics, music equipments etc and is thriving pretty well here in Mumbai, but I haven't seen a MusicWorld in ages. I remember how we always used to visit the MusicWorld at Kolkata whenever we were passing by between home and school, as it was the largest MusicWorld back then.

Mos-a said...

I think the Korn "Follow the Leader" and Ozzy tapes are mine!

Philo said...

"Van 'kill boyband' Kima": watch out...we have a badass here!
Lumping Warrant with Ozzy and Malmsteen: crucify him!
And the precursors to playlists, those mix-tapes. The last cassette I bought was Guitarisma vol 2, which seems to say I mellowed as technology pushed ahead.

Mimihrahsel said...

wow! they are not junks bro. Take it home, set up a museum and keep it there. Its a treasure!

Of the cassettes you've put up, the album photos that's still inscribed in my head are

1)Warrant - Cherry Pie (I'm humming sweet pie cherry pie as I'm typing). My bros loved it back then, and eventually I started loving those songs
2)The Offspring (Pretty fly for a white guy... My friend's got a gf and he hates that b****..hehehe)
3)Texas (humming again - yeah you can say what you want but it wont change my mind, I feel the same, about you..) hehe. This is purely coming straight from the brain, no, I didn't google
4)All Saints (never ever..:))
5)Air Aupply (Im all out of love, im so lost without you... its never too late, to forgive and forget...I can see the pain living in your eyes..)
6)Bon Jovi.. Yeah. (If you were in these arms tonight... a van nalh tak! Bed of roses, Always..)
7)I think I know that "Duets" cassette too.
Dayum, those were the days. I miss biting the batteries, I miss knowing exactly where to stop while winding them films with reynolds, at our favorite song.

Unknown said...

I bought cassettes at the rate of two a month for about ten years. collected quite an amount. have all the rock stuff you photographed. my tape player those days was pretty popular since it had double players and can dub from one cassette to a blank one. made sooooooo many mix tapes. good nostalgia trip.

Mizohican said...

@ Mos: Lolz, see my name written on them? That means they are mine. That is why we all write our names on our cassettes, haha... :D

@ Philo: lolz, yeah those days :D And yes, haha, the way I have set them up in groups may be insulting to many... I ran out of space yaar :P

@ Mimi Hrahsel: Dayyymmm sis, you do have good memories. Yeah, I remember borrowing GnR cassettes from your brothers back in Calcutta hostel :) That's the perks of having older siblings :) And yes, biting the battery definitely gave us a little bit more listening time, haha :D

@ Sanga Says: Ah those double player ones! Yup, it definitely gave us an edge when it came to making mix tapes. And then when CDs started becoming popular, I had a player that had one CD player and one cassette player slot, so I could make my mix tapes from CD, and everybody used to come to my place trying to make one as we considered mix tapes made from CD to be so much clearer than from cassettes, though now, I don't remember how much clearer it used to be :D

milkcarrot said...

hi, what edition is that Fallen cassette? :)

Unknown said...

Packers was so good in all area where they work

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Hasim (Razerx) said...

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For Detail Contact +91 8575842975

Hasim (Razerx) said...

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For Detail Contact +91 8575842975