It was January 1983, when Johnny came home with a gift for me. It was a C90 filled with stuff like Culture Club, The Bloomsbury Set, New Order, One The Juggler, Berntholer, The Bluebells and The Mighty Wah!. It set in train a tape trading friendship that kept us together when our academic careers took us apart. There was always time to make a tape. The perfect c90 mix was always elusive.
Eventually, as we took on the trappings of adulthood, the pressures of work, children and life stuff put pressure on our audio friendship. The tapes grew less frequent, as did the letters and the calls. We grew apart.
Then came iTunes and suddenly it's almost as fun to burn a quick, eccentric disc and bung it in the post just like we used to. Sure 80 minutes isn't 90 minutes and the difference between a tape and a CD is similar to that between a rugby match and a football match, However, if you close your eyes and set your CD to stop after about 45 minutes you can mime getting up and flipping the cassette over.
Here's what I sent to Johnny:
Cosmopolitan Nine Black Alps
Beating Heart Baby Head Automatica
TKO (Peaches Knock Out Remix) Le Tigre
Take Me Out Scissor Sisters
Hammond Song The Roches
Lion Rip (Single Mix) The Duke Spirit
Transmission Radio 4
Racing Green High Contrast
Tears All Over Town A Girl Called Eddy
Cripple And The Starfish Antony & The Johnsons
Pop a Cap in Yo Ass Ben Watt feat Estelle
Windmills Of Your Mind The Colourfield
Baby Said Hot Chip
Rainbow Flows Husky Rescue
I'm 49 Paddy McAloon
It's A Hit Rilo Kiley
Johnny Cash Sons & Daughters