Friday, October 24, 2008

Cassette Tapes Chock Full of Bad '80s Hair Metal Bands

Would you like to get a clear glimpse of teenage Stimey? Then read on.

CAUTION: Some of the links below may lead to sites that will start playing loud music. Proceed at your own risk. And how do all these bands still have current websites anyway?

When I left for college, I packed this box:


It was full of this:


I opened it today for the first time since I graduated from high school in 1991. Let me tell you, what a treasure trove.

This was the top layer of the box:


The first tapes I pulled out were Suicidal Tendencies. Oh, did that take me back. Next I pulled out some very old AC/DC, followed by a self-made tape that I had labeled "EVEN MORE DETH" referring, I assume, to Megadeth, a band that my high school self found very profound.

There was some Ratt, which is embarrassing, even for teenage Stimey.

Here is what I found in the next layer of tapes:


Yes, that is the soundtrack to Stand By Me that you see there sandwiched between Iron Maiden and Testament.

You will also see my extensive collection of Pat Benatar tapes. I had more Benatar albums, but those are on vinyl. I don't know where they are now.

Layer three of the box revealed these:


Frankly, I don't know that I ever really enjoyed the Cro-Mags or Voivod. I know that I did enjoy Tears for Fears.

There is a tape in there that a friend of mine made for me and labeled, "'Whatever you do, don't listen to this tape' tape". Done and done. Although, honestly, I'm willing to bet good money that the music on this tape is better than Voivod.

Also, check out the Best of '89. How can you miss with a cassette like that?

I found a bunch of tapes, mostly without cases, stuffed into the spaces on the side of the box. Here are those:


There are three tapes labeled "Radio 1987". I bet those are good. Especially the one with the pig sticker on it.

There was some weird stuff here. Like a MiniDisc that came with a Rolling Stone magazine once. I'm not sure why I kept it. Maybe I was waiting for the format to come back. Or to show up in the first place.

There were also some Metallica singles, which I assume that I purchased for the B-sides. I also found the soundtrack to Footloose, some Cyndi Lauper, and early Madonna.

Plus a tape that apparently contained the soundtrack to Top Gun and the gem that is "Lady in Red."

This is what was left on the bottom:


Somewhere in there is the first cassette tape I ever purchased. Go ahead, guess. Is it Jetboy? Is it Beverly Hills Cop II? Is it The Jerky Boys? Is it Belinda Carlisle or Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam?

There's no way I was respectable enough for it to be INXS.

It was Sports, by Huey Lewis and the News. I'm obviously not cool enough to know this, but I think that's embarrassing.

And that doesn't even count the Skid Row and White Lion.

I briefly thought about listening to some of the tapes, but quickly decided I couldn't stomach it. Because for every early AC/DC album or "All I wanted was a Pepsi!" there is the soundtrack to The Little Mermaid and "Lady in red...is dancing with me...cheek to cheek."

And I just am not ready to make that sort of auditory sacrifice.

I do specifically remember being a teenager and hoping I never turned into the kind of person who wouldn't listen to these tapes all the time. Sorry, Teenage Stimey. You turned into exactly the type of loser you were worried about.

My only decision now is what to do with the tapes. I kind of feel like I should just throw them away. Because, really, who wants my high school friend's straight-edge band's demo tape? Or Ratt?

And if I do Freecycle them or list them on Craigslist for free, isn't that just going to reflect badly on me when the person who picks them up rifles through them? Won't he (and you know it would be a he) make fun of me for years?

Suggestions and teasing welcome.

Total items: 187 tapes and 1 MiniDisc. Plus my dignity.

11 comments:

Innocent Observer said...

OMGosh, I recognize those tapes! hahaha I'll admit, it wasn't that long ago that I bought a bunch just like them at the thrift store for a walk down memory lane.

My bet is that there is someone who wants to own them real bad. List them. Don't be embarrassed. YOU have outgrown them, unlike the person who is taking them, so you don't have to worry about what they think! haha

Heather said...

The first cassette I purchased was Wham! Make it Big. Who doesn't like "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"?

You really should freecycle those tapes. I recently got rid of the box full of cassettes I had packed away from my teenage years after your post about the Grateful Dead & Phish tapes you got rid of. I threw away the mix tapes but I saved the Skid Row, Guns and Roses, Cinderella, Jane's Addiction and Love & Rockets for the free pile I always have at my yard sales.

Tech Savvy Mama said...

Wow, thanks for letting me revisit my past through your tapes! My first tape purchase was Thriller followed by Like a Virgin, Huey Lewis and the News, and Wham. Somewhere I have a 45 of Run DMC/Aerosmith version of Walk this Way that I won at a middle school dance!

m said...

I threw most of mine out, gradually, but I have to confess that I still have a bag of cassettes in the basement. The hardest ones to part with are the mix tapes made by my best friend, my dad, and by an old boyfriend.

Once in a while I throw one into the cassette player in the van. (Yes, I still have a vehicle with a tape player). And I also have a good number of my old vinyl records. My first purchase? The Captain and Tennille. So you'll get no abuse from me.

(BTW, after all your hard work and emotion-filled purging, I am impressed that you had energy left to link to all those band websites. Aren't you conscientious?)

Jenni said...

I totally remember recording songs off the radio. I think the first tape I ever purchased was Sinead O'Connor, although it is equally likely that it was Poison or Bon Jovi. I'm not sure which is more embarassing.

BetteJo said...

Cleaning my garage this summer I found all my cassettes which I reluctantly threw them all out after my daughter rolled her eyes and assured me that they would never sell - even at a garage sale. Sigh-h. I was marked forever as lame. (on the other hand - she listens to some of the things I listened to when she was little!)

Anonymous said...

I also recorded music off the radio thinking I was making a "treasure". Did you have to hold a microphone next to the speaker to get a "good" sound? Your collection reminded me of how schizo you probably felt growing up in UT. You have your Little Mermaid on one hand and Megadeth on the other... I feel for you.
I actually thought about you and your metal bands the other day. (Don't ask me how or why.) I regret not going to some of those concerts with you. The memories, oh the memories we would have had!!! We'll just have to leave the memories to movie fests...

~C

fairyflutters said...

Very cool blog here! I love this idea. I can totally do 6 items a day. LOL And I should!

I would have had a hard time parting with those tapes though. ;)

Oh, and I graduated in '93, my husband in '91 - so this music brings back many memories! LOL I'm not too awfully far away. I live in the southwestern part of VA. Wonder if it's worth a 4 hour drive for that Lady in Red. LOL

Threeundertwo said...

As a friend, I must say. . .Throw. Them. Out.

Tapes don't last forever. It's not worth the level of shame and embarrassment to have others rifle through them.

(Keep the Pat Benatar though).

Sue @ My Party of 6 said...

We had different taste in music, but I turned into that person too. And I still have all my tapes. And my only tape player is broken, so I couldn't play them if I wanted to.

I.just.can't.throw.them.away.

Anonymous said...

hi! i am a girl who listens to the 80's hair metal and rock and just about everything! im a college student with a tape deck in my car and am looking for tapes of all kinds! i love modonna ratt ac/dc! everything! so if you still have the box i would buy it off of you but i dont have a job so it would have to be fairly cheap. chicken454noodle@aol.com