Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The Story of the Stolen Cassette Deck

having just moved
i found a bunch of old boxes
with all my cassettes from a couple decades ago
i drive an old caddy
and it still has a cassette player
i've been playing the tapes
and they sound great
because they're tape!

here's a good story about my cassette player
ask me if it's a true story
i'd say that it's true it's a story:

1982
i'm on the road with a top 40 band out of kingston ontario
the band was called self serve
and our logo included the phrase 'pumping it out'
i've done many cheesy things in my life
but this band had the highest limburger content

you used to be able to tour for 6 nights a week
and spend all day sunday driving to the next gig
it was great being young and lost on the road
you would make it like home
thus
i traveled with a full out stereo system
there was no way that i was going to leave my set up unattended for months on end
again - this is back in the day
two big speakers
a heavy receiver
and a beautiful state of the art majestiCAL cassette deck (nikko nd990)

every night the party was in my room
funny
i didn't drink back then
i spent all my time learning and listening to music
nonetheless
half the bar would be in my room at the end of the night
and they were nasty rooms
with some real bukowskiesque elements
but i'd crank out the tunes and everything would be jumping until the sun came up
and then some

one week we pull into montreal
the moustache club
a seedy and nefarious place
the waiters carried rolling papers
dealers hung out in the pinball room
hookers
drunks
and self serve - pumping it out
we had a female singer - holly
she was great
a mix of patti smith and chrissie hynde
her and i liked the more avant guade stuff
while the rest of the band were metal heads
but holly knew how to entice the crowd
she would smirk and sneer at them
we did a killer version of venus
and a crazy patti smith tune called space monkey
she kept the wolves at bay

i started to tape the shows
i would bring down my cassette deck
plug in a couple of mics
and record
then stay up all night listening to the show

so one night at the moustache
i set everything up
come off the stage
and there's my cassette deck - gone!
i freaked
i called for management
nobody liked that
i had a big crowd of staff around me
who all assured me that it would turn up
i sensed bullshit
and told them that i wanted to call the police
everyone went into panic mode
they implored me not to do that
i made the call anyway
and the bar emptied out

the police arrive
and i fill out a report and go through all the motions
the cops seemed to like me
and were impressed that i went to all of the trouble
most people would just write it off as a loss
they told me that the chances of my getting the cassette deck back were slim
but i went through with the report anyway

later that night
we're all up in my room
the rooms at the moustache consisted of a broken dresser
and a mattress on the floor
it was just the band
we'd been on the road a while
so the drummer and i decided to wrestle
we were throwing each other around the room
while the rest of the band cheered us on
and there's a knock on the door
it's about 4 am
well
there's the cop
and he's holding my cassette deck

joy ensued
the cop said he knew of a fence
it was a slow night
so he staked it out
and sure enough - some guy comes trotting along
holding my cassette deck
he's immediately arrested
and thrown in jail

the cop asks me to come down to the station and fill out a report
no problem
sure enough - there in the holding cell
is one of the waiters from the moustache club!
i seethe at him with crinkled eyes
he cowers
he's a scumbag and he knows it

morning now
the cops drive me and my cassette deck back to the moustache club
i thank them
shake their hands
and head upstairs
montreal morning traffic is just starting
i'm weary but too excited to sleep
i hook up the deck
shuffle through some cassettes
and find the perfect tape
'so ya thought ya might like to go to the show?'

craig
july 26, 2012
honeynut cheerios and a banana





1 comment:

  1. Oh, the glorious days of touring in 80's cover bands -- you captured the experience well. Great story Craig, thanks for sharing.

    FYI, the Floyd show last weekend at the Orlando Hard Rock was incredible -- nice meeting you!

    -Chris

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