Darren Milby column: Cassette day has got it taped

old audio tape on white background
old audio tape on white background

I’ve mentioned in this column before about International Record Store Day.

It’s an event that grows every year and aims to support independent record stores.

It’s also fantastic for collectors of vinyl records with loads of special releases to keep musos foaming at the mouth with excitement.

Well on September 7,


the very first International Cassette Store Day will take place.

Hmmm I’m not sure. I understand vinyl holds a special magic for lots of people. For many it’s nostalgia but there are people who genuinely prefer the sound of a record to a CD.

I’m struggling to think of similar redeeming qualities for the cassette.

Do you remember the days when a Sony Walkman cassette player was considered state-of-the-art?

I quite like to listen to my favourite songs over and over again.

The portable cassette players were not fitted with a rewind button.

So to listen again to a song you had to turn the tape over, fast forward for a little bit and turn it back over to see if you were somewhere near the beginning of your chosen song. If not, do it all again.

For me the low point of owning a cassette was the dreaded moment when your favourite album unravelled, spewing tape everywhere.

You then had to find a pen that fit in the dial and very carefully wind it back it.

But even if you managed to fix it the song on that part of the cassette would sound muffled when you played it.

Ruined forever.

Sometimes the cassette would stop playing, you’d open the drawer of your tape recorder to find tape everywhere and to your horror you’d discover the tape was snapped. That was it. Game over!

I did quite like making my own compilations on cassette and recording tapes for my friends.

I am aware that home taping is illegal but we all did it when we were kids, didn’t we? I think I recorded 
most of my collection off the radio.

If you wanted to be romantic you could create a mix tape of romantic songs on a C90 cassette.

This would earn you a wealth of brownie points and was much cheaper than buying a box of chocolates.

I wish them well with Cassette Store Day but to be honest I think I’ll stick to CDs and downloads.

Life is too short to be messing about with a pencil trying to wind in an unravelled tape.