Yesterday I was walking up to the Post Office and I saw a CD lying in the grass. A recordable CD with "AC/DC Back in Black" written on it. I took it home and today on the way to school we had a bit of Hells Bells. Except when they came to the final few seconds I expected it to chew up and stop.
You see, what must have been 25 years ago my older brother went to University, taking his record collection with him. I bought a box set of 12 C90 cassette tapes - for the price of ten, with their own case. The case was black and shiny plastic with a clear window where you could see what was inside. Each of the twelve tapes I then used to record two albums by one artist. There was an AC/DC tape, and an Iron Maiden one, and Motorhead, and I really can't remember. Saxon, almost certainly and definitely Hendrix and Deep Purple. One artist had two tapes - maybe Iron Maiden? It had a beauty and a symmetry because each tape just had the name of the artist on the sleeve and on the tape the right labels were stuck on nice and straight. With the album names and track listings all copied out. And they all fitted into the box, arranged in alphabetical order. I can see it now as clearly as I could twenty five years ago.
Anyway, this was the middle of the eighties so we had a music centre, where you had to press record, play and pause, put the needle on the record and then take off pause. Once you'd wound the tape past the lead-in bit, with a biro. So when we did the AC/DC tape, Back in Black side, something went wrong with Hells Bells. About ten seconds from the end, the tape goes squiggly and Iain says something. It's just a syllable and only a second. But I listened to that tape so many times, especially once I'd learnt to drive that I still expect that drop-out to be there.
Even though I've lost the tapes, and can't actually remember the last time I listened to a tape instead of a CD, music still has the power to go straight to your subconscious and yank out some memories.