Posted by Andy “Pardon?” Bell
So the Walkman is no more.
Tim’s blog is of “the now”. I’d like to blog of “the then”. In fact, the pre-then.
Let me explain.
Before someone had come up with the nifty thought of music on the move that was somewhat more practical than hiring a bus and a symphony orchestra, my friend Carl came up with a splendid notion.
When he came to visit me at university he had to spend four hours or so on a train as he travelled from London to Swansea.
How to pass the time ? How to avoid returning to the buffet car for yet another toasted sandwich ?
Carl, always a clever soul, had the answer.
He carried his portable cassette player (about the size of a shoe-box and a couple of inches tall) with him. He placed it on the table in front of him on the InterCity 125 train and kept it fed with “les cassettes du jour”. To complete the prescient ensemble, he wore an enormous pair of headphones.
By George, I think he’s got it.
He got it and way before the Walkman saw the light of day for the first time. In fact he had “got it” since the mid-70s.
And the response from me and my mates ? We found the idea highly amusing and launched into some prolonged teasing. We all thought it was terrifically silly.
How wrong we were.
Carl did not despair. He knew he was onto a good thing. If only he had patented it!
I caught up with him eventually. And found that the double cassette set of the “Best of Countdown”, bought on a holiday to Australia, fitted exactly the journey time from Cardiff to London.
Those couple of tapes have a lot to answer for !
As for the awful punningness of the blog title: