Friday, July 22, 2016

An Old Turning Point

Yesterday afternoon I got the package of the old Akai FX-F31 cassette deck that I used to own many moons ago, the same model I purchased via eBay. It was an inspiration purchase, or perhaps out of nostalgia, or a sense of self preservation. Recently, I went through a bin of old cassette tapes, and in the process of finding some mix tapes I was looking for, I also discovered my old childhood tapes I thought I had lost. The earliest of these dates back to 1980, when I was 10 years old. I had had a dedicated box for them, but as it turns out -- about 10 years ago, in the process of a move -- I had gone through those, along with many other cassettes that I no longer needed because I either had the CD, the LP, or the Mp3 copy of the record I had taped, and ended up using the empty cases of those for the childhood tapes that were of cheaper quality, thus never having cases. And I integrated those with the rest of the cassettes I kept, the vast majority of which were band rehearsals, or song ideas on guitar, fragments, snippets, and god knows what else. Ever the self-documentarian, even at a young age, I also discovered a recording of myself reflecting on those tapes, and my childhood, family, friends, things I was feeling, where I hoped I was going, feelings of loss - two of my grandparents had just passed away in the course of the previous year - and I had just arrived in Villa Park, Illinois, after leaving Oshkosh in what turned out to be the last time I would see my Grandma Nev before she passed away two months after this recording. It was January 8, 1991, about 3:00 in the morning. And I went on for about 45 minutes. I have to say, it was therapeutic - I'm glad I did that. I don't think I am capable of rambling or ruminating alone with a microphone for that long anymore. But I realized in a way it was probably a message to my older self, and I even said so at the time - having an imagined conversation with myself, or anyone among my family or friends who might some day be interested. This was 25 years ago now. I definitely sound younger, but more self aware than I was expecting. It was right before a major turning point in my life. That summer I would meet someone that would eventually - albeit indirectly - help lead me out here to the SF Bay area two years later with my dear friend, Jason Ries. And I can't help but think about why, at this time, would all of this present itself, and I would be compelled to choose to rediscover and listen to this particular tape and passage. Time will tell.

You can rule that out

One thing we can now be certain of - any issues you may have with my communication, or just anything to do with me really - are not the resu...