Stop. Don't. Come back.
This week I went to a house that looked like it had been abandoned for years with a roof caving in and a garage floor covered in broken glass, most of the things were covered in a thin sheen of mud, with water damage was the rule. among the mess was a blue tarp in the backyard that covered the overflow of junk like a poorman's storage unit. The beauty of it was no offer was refused, not "no reasonable offer refused" they just wanted to get this junk out of here, I was happy I got a tetnis shot last year.
Anyway among the ruins was an 8 track player made by Roberts that weighed a ton and was so covered in dirt I had to scrub it down just to see the brand name. When I got home I pluged it in waiting for the circut breaker to click but instead heard a slight hum, with that I opened it up and dug out a bunch of small leaves and vaccumed the mess and brought up a toothbrush for the finer parts. Amazingly the rubber belt was still intact and spun the big wheel, so I attached it to a reciever and sounded perfect. I later researched that this was made by Akai. So the lesson is next time you find a starving dog on the road take it home and clean it up. You'll be happily rewarded.
Since CDs are the new 8 Tracks, 8 Tracks are the new player piano rolls and are a rare find indeed, I don't see them at thrift stores any more which is Ok since I think they'd be displaced like rare diamonds in the glass shelf with a double digit price tag. I'm glad I hoarded my secret stash in the bunker waiting for the rapture with the soundtrack to Grease.
This week however I was surprised and awed by nabbing this colorful portable Portiplay Realistic Am/Fm tape player, that is becoming more relicesque now that Radio Shack is on it's last leg. It might be the closest we get to one of those urban boom boxes that were big in the 70's and 80's and rests on your shoulder well for the best effect.
I got an early in on the Great Penninsula Historical Society Sale this weekend so I've become a thrift store player in this town, nice but I don't see me getting prefered customer discounts at Good Will too soon.
It’s been a while since I’ve gotten excited over a good 8 track player but last week it happened at the 14th annual benevolence fund rummage sale (which I’m still not sure where the funds are going but a sale is a sale) when I found this handsome wood grain Sears all in one 8 track, cassette, radio, alarm, and even a jack to put in a phonograph system. I almost think this was a precursor to a smart phone with all its functions and only wish it was endorsed by Ted Williams the way most of the classy Sears products were at the time of its production but alas. Still it reminds me of a portable version of those giant 5 feet long wall units that play records and some have TV sets built in them. The 8 track part didn’t work at first but a few sprays of WD40 later and a push start on the flywheel fixed that, I’ll be tinkering with the back of it with the computer to see if I can bring it into the future with MP3s.
Yard sale season has officially begun and like a spring robin the first 8 track has been sited, it was at one of those fun sales where I was looking through a stack of tracks and asked how much and the guy said five bucks and later added “but you have to take them all”. So now I’m the proud owner of 16 country music tapes that include the CW McCall catalog and more excitingly a cool still incased in fitted styrofoam new in the box Realistic AM FM 8 track stereo player. It will probably be sold online since last time I had one installed the guy jerry rigged it into the electrical system that played havoc on the fuses.
The junkstore is now full marijuana store and other than waiting for the Feds to bust into the house, seizing it, and get me for being the owner of it (my accountant told me this could be a realistic scenario) still I enjoy waking up and being able to live off ebay spoils, even though I’m about 6 months of becoming a hoarder.
Columbia House (that company with the 12 Records or 8 Tracks for a penny) is coming back with vinyl to entice millennials http://www.stereogum.com/1850376/columbia-house-to-relaunch-with-vinyl/news/?utm_source=sc-fb&utm_medium=ref&utm_campaign
no word on 8 track tapes though but there's a toe in the door.
A lot of people associate K-tel 8 track tapes with the mid 70’s music and tacky album covers that have titles like Out Of Sight, Mindbender,or Powerhouse, they have become a staple of 70s kitsch but little has been said about their late 70’s early 80’s music compilations that look like they were aimed at a more mature sensitive audience or maybe the Jack In The Box Late Night menu crowd.
These albums have urban smooth titles like Circuit Breaker, Night Flight, and Neon Nights, at best and Hallmark cardesque names like Emotions, Expression and Together for a dose of sap. But make no mistake they are nothing more than the AM hits of day and Funkytown is recycled on the album Dancer. They stopped making 8 tracks around this time so we never got to see if this strategy worked or turned into something else. Either way in this day and age they don’t impress anyone.
Where the hell have I been? Once I leased the junkstore for a pot shop it’s like I fell into a coma, sure there have been 8 track tapes out there but I really don’t think anyone wants to hear about the cool Conway Twitty tapes I’ve found at sales or the JC Penny all in one players out there.
I guess the big 8 track news last month is how Capital phased out their “buy 13 CDs for a penny” mail order service. Soon we’ll (and by we’ll I mean me and 3 other people on the planet) won’t have a reference to the obscure 80s carts that are so much fun to find. On the plus side they might go down in value and The Culture Club may join the ranks of bands like Toto for $2.99 plus shipping, it’s like the late 90s all over again.
Last week I found a blank cart
with Cat Stevens on it, but what I really like about it is it is a clear tape and you can see it in all if its 3 and 3/4 inches per second goodness. I use to like this fad and yard sales have taught me that this is part of a bigger family, including V8 engines
I’ve had several of these and have gotten unintently high on the airplane glue they use to use as a kid before it got odorless and less adhesive.
Even 8 track players
I’ve coveted the clear Pump players for years and am pretty sure I won’t find one at a good price but one day hope to unit this tape in one and see the ground split in half leading to an underground 8 lair once the music starts.
8 Track sighting- Hawaii 5-0 season 11 episode 12 the old one, not Hawaii 5-0 SUV. Rival discos and organized crime get together, with lots of club music, polyester (even MacGarrett is spotted in a light blue suit) and bad dancing, but what makes it fun is early in the first part they off one of the club owners by rigging a bomb to be detonated when the 8 track goes in the player. It looks like an RCA Victor yellow cart (Did any disco music make it to this cart it seems like this went out by then).
Went to the annual fairgrounds sale this weekend and it surprisingly had several vendor selling 8 track tapes ranging from $5.00 to the bargain basement price of $.50, guess which booth I spend my money at. When I spread out the tapes on the floor to roll around in them I noticed a few of them had the name Dave Burke written on the back in thick black felt-tip marker. I had a déjà vu moment and realized I have a small Dave Burke tape collection I got over 13 years ago from a antique deal store that was once a Kmart and today has since been retro fitted as a Wal-Mart. It’s humbling to know that will all this so called progress these tapes from the mid 1970’s are still here making the rounds and being enjoyed.
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