The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Simple Pleasures …
September 6, 2011, 6:12 am
Filed under: Comment

When I was a kid, I got a Hitachi tape recorder for my birthday.

It came with a faux leather cover, had a built-in carrying case and ran on electricity or batteries … and I loved it.

It wasn’t just because it let me listen to music, it let me record stuff.

Very few things can come close to the excitement I use to feel pushing down the ‘REC’ and ‘PLAY’ buttons so it would go into ‘record’ mode.

There’d always be a pause before I said or did something because I’d have to stare through the smoked perspex cover to make sure the little wheels of the recorder were going around, but after that, it was a free for all.

Of course, what I recorded tended to be utter pants – but that didn’t matter, because while the content might have been rubbish, the emotion that was played back was sheer youthful energy and optimism.

Laughing … bad jokes … fake interviews … singing … giggling … it was an infectious and addictive, or at least it was after you got over the initial shock that the voice coming out the machine bore no resemblance to the voice you thought came out your mouth.

Of course another pleasure was the fact that while listening back to what you were playing, you could half press the Fast Forward / Rewind buttons and hear yourself speak as if you’d been sucking on nitrogen … which guaranteed hours of fun, at least if you were a single child growing up in West Bridgford, Nottingham.

I’ve talked previously how I think old technology made people feel good because they made us work hard to master them and recently, on a trip to Japan, that belief was confirmed when I saw this …

… yes, it was an olde-worlde tape recorder.

Sure it was in Japanese and had an ultra-modern ‘tape counter’ built in to it, but it was basically the same thing and it immediately took me back to that place as a kid where life was nothing but fun and bright and recording pointlessness was meaningful and enjoyable.

OK, so that could be more about my frame-of-reference rather than this tape recorder being soooooooo amazing, however for a man who is obsessed with technology, the fact I can get so excited about something that is based around decades old tech is quite interesting – which is why I can’t understand brands that just want to talk about their technical features when people are moved by emotions, excitement and possibilities.


60 Comments so far
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Electricity or batteries? Do they have special non electrical batteries in Nottingham then?

Comment by john

That’s over pedantic even for you John.

Comment by DH

I was overwhelmed with grief at realising that these seminal recordings are probably lost to us.

Comment by john

sadly this blog isnt. or the shit he played on in the past. or him. understand all that doddsy but you were still a twat with that comment. still, at least it wasnt one of your attempts to be serious, they truly give us the fucking shits.

Comment by andy@cynic

Well that’s put John in his place hasn’t it.

Comment by Rob

And while I agree with you about technical features being over-promoted, I can’t help thinking that the person making the point is the biggest gadget collector on the planet.

Comment by john

Nice.

Comment by DH

Tape recorders are top technology – not too much to understand and none of the severe overhead and distraction required to record your own sounds these days. A Sputify playlist could never contain the energy of a mixtape built up over days.

Also, they sound much better when they go wrong, overload, stretch, wrap themselves enticingly round the pinch head roller mechanism.

Comment by Chris

depends on who did the fucking mixtape doesnt it chris. 45 mins on each side of queen shit doesnt fucking fill me with excitement. more like thoughts of fucking suicide.

Comment by andy@cynic

10 paragraphs about a tape recorder to justify 1 small paragraph about advertising. Yep, you’re a planner.

Comment by DH

But you know he’s good planner because he kept it to just one paragraph about advertising, rather than another 20 paragraphs, some graphs, and a couple of tangential stock photos pilfered from Getty.

Comment by Felix

thats like saying a good murderer is some bastard who kills with one blow rather than fucking 20. still a fucking murdering fucker. and campbell steals all his fucking photos from getty. all of them.

Comment by andy@cynic

Like a ‘good builder’ who only takes a month later than they promised

Comment by Northern

What were your fake interviews about? I’d like to hear that more than I’d like to see your infamous “drunk in Denmark” video and I used to view that as the epitome of everything.

Comment by DH

2/1 he used to pretend he was a member of queen. I want to hear those tapes. Just think how much I could blackmail him for.

Comment by Billy Whizz

He wears sandals in public and writes posts about his love of queen and his best friends penis. He is unblackmailable. Trust me, I’ve tried.

Comment by DH

So what you’re saying is my dress sense is the NORTON of blackmail threats. Thanks. I think.

Comment by Rob

It’s the videos of Brian May air guitar I want to see

And the sticklebrick cars with a Nike logo on

Comment by Northern

Your childhood sounds like it was a laugh a year.

Comment by Billy Whizz

+ like.

Comment by DH

Sadly, I like that too.

Comment by Rob

How does someone who gets excited about pressing play and record get to be a loaded landowner with a hot wife and head of a department at w+k, even if its a crap one like planning?

Darwin needs to do some more work on his survival theory because Rob has proved it’s rubbish.

Comment by Billy Whizz

What is it with parents giving their children tape recorders? I got one for my 10th birthday and you’ve perfectly captured what I thought of it and what I did with it.

I’m sure your point about certain brands failing to realise the importance of emotion, excitement and possibilities is driven by their need to talk about what they’ve been doing and how they did it because it not just justifies what they’ve been doing, it makes them feel more important inside their company. Ego over benefit so to speak.

Comment by Pete

I thought it was because they hired FCB as their agency.

Comment by Billy Whizz

evil.

but accurate.

Comment by andy@cynic

this is exactly the same fucking post as that shitty one with the fax machine, just replacing one shit product with another. youre becoming like a fucking some mid level fucking brand manager making a big fucking deal out of nothing.

then you are a fucking planner.

Comment by andy@cynic

…Brands talking about the technical features instead of the emotion of what those features allow you to experience – this more widespread than just technology companies. Take any Australian fashion shoot – it will always show the dress/suit/whatever, but very rarely will convey any kind of feeling of wearing the dress. Ok, the viewer can see all the folds and ripples and colours and whatnot, but they’d see that when they try it on as well.

The consumer wants to damn well feel something instead of just been told the facts. Apple does this magnificently, although whoever came up with the ‘magical’ bit of the copy for the ipad deserves to be eviscerated with a rusty spoon coated with rabies.

Comment by Alex

I agree with you Alex … though [sorry Baz] when Apple started selling their iPhone as “the funnest iPhone yet”, I started to despair.

I’m not against technical features being a focus, but I am against them being presented as the benefit when they are simply there to induce/create the benefit.

Comment by Rob

another reason to place campbell on the “no more free shit” list baz.

Comment by andy@cynic

On a related point, what I always find odd is the consistent question I get (well, all photographers get) – ‘what camera did you shoot that on’. Who cares?! Does that make it a greater or worse image? It seems some people need to have the validation of the tech specs to understand the image/work/product. The problem is, many of those people are our clients.

Comment by Alex

Don’t you think it’s because people are looking for a justification [at least to themselves] why they can’t take photos of equal quality.

A friend of mine once told me the only reason banks have financial advisors is so people can blame someone when things go wrong because when things go right, they take all the credit.

Don’t know if I agree with all of that, but there does seem to be some sense of truth to it.

Comment by Rob

What about simple annoyances. Billy?

Comment by DH

I know what you’re trying to say, so here’s what I’m trying to say to you. Fuck. You.

Comment by Billy Whizz

Are you suggesting that we create the iCapture?

Comment by Bazza

That even sounds like an Apple product name. Scary. Of course, it sounds more like a camera than a tape player – but I get your drift. Maybe if you named it the iVoice I’d be more likely to buy it.

Comment by Rob

You bought it, didn’t you?

Comment by Marcus

Am I that transparent/stupid?

Comment by Rob

Let’s just say, that the feelings you described above are feelings that men of our age usually want to have back again.

Comment by Marcus

That explains the new Raleigh Chopper sitting in my lounge.

Comment by Rob

Those recorders are fantastic for people wanting to learn guitar; record a few minutes of chords, then rewind, and practice your soloing over the top. Nice.

Comment by Age

Where have you been???

We need to catch up young man.

Comment by Rob

i know, skype soon?

Comment by Age

Yes please. Very soon.

Email me times/dates that suit.

Comment by Rob

The difference back then was that you could see how everything worked. Now it just does.

Also, in a lot of cases the technology was so new that it barely ever worked properly, which meant getting it to work was a thrill in itself!

As someone who made numerous silly tapes though, I know what you mean. The podcast of the 70s/80s…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I like how you say you could see how things worked … I guess you could, not thought of that. Probably explains why people from that era could build a car from a toilet roll and some sticky-tape whereas now they can’t fill the car with bloody petrol.

Comment by Rob

Also, it doesn’t matter if it’s Japanese if it has the universal O > <> II symbols…

Comment by Rob Mortimer

As someone who still clings to his seperates system I like this post

It’s funny how people think I’m quaint in meetings for having a proper notebook, rather than a bloody laptop, but it just doesn’t feel the same.

Anyway, I’m going, The Boy With the Thorn in his Side has just come on work’s Spotify playlist (yes I put that on and yes, it could be my theme tune). Some twat keeps putting on more Queen though……

Comment by Northern

God I am so with you …

I know I am a tech junkie but I love notebooks and I love real books. The techn-shite is fun and it fascinates me, but in terms of productivity or – to be honest – just feeling nice, the old school stuff wins hands down.

Just don’t tell my wife …

As for separates.

I still have the pioneer separates hi-fi my Mum and Dad bought me for my 21st birthday. It’s still in my old bedroom but everytime I go home, I get a thrill turning it on as every element bursts into life and my room fills with a blue digital glow from graphic equalisers and god knows what else.

God I’m pathetic aren’t I … but at least my parents can feel they bought me something I didn’t ‘update’ or ‘break’ within a few minutes, hahaha.

Comment by Rob

I have a record deck still, and lots of albums and shiny coloured vinyl!

Love the sound, especally on early 80s stuff. Maybe that’s why I like Flock of Seagulls

Comment by Rob Mortimer

i have a b&o and i dont give a flying fuck.

and flock of seagulls belong with campbells fucking dress sense. the fucking 80s.

Comment by andy@cynic

So does B&O you designer fop, I dread to think what other overpriced trinkets are lurking in your glorified log cabin shed thing.

Comment by Northern

This is all actually part of something I’m working on right now, to do with men who haven’t lost the love of making things with their hands and being able to sort out things like burst pipes, putting up shelves and brake pads without having to pay someone else.
It’s funny how we think people who know and appreciate how stuff works and can actually fix things are thought of as dull and quaint until we actually need them. I never appreciated how great it was to be relied upon until I became a Dad.
Anyway.

Comment by Northern

I am crap with that sort of stuff … Jill is light years ahead of me … but I love the idea of it which was exemplified by the time I used an electric drill and I felt like I was the bastard love child of Clint Eastwood and Arnie.

It’s probably because I grew up at a time where I saw lots of people doing such things [like my Dad] and the impression it left on me was that the people who can “do” are not boring, but the foundation of all that is safe and secure in the World.

Dependability has a bad rap … I’d certainly rather hang out with those sort of folk than some ADD riddled hipster who knows a lot of stuff about nothing and talks shit.

Basically 92.6% of Shoreditch.

Comment by Rob

you cant even fucking photocopy something without causing hundreds of fucking dollars damage so dont give me this diy shit.

and the time you used a fucking power drill you made the fuzzball table look like one of billys pierced to shit friends so stop pretending and admit youre shit.

Comment by andy@cynic

If think he’s bad, you should have been there when I got hold of a nailgun.

I’m bored.

Comment by Northern

russell davies type of post.

Comment by niko

Steve Davis type of post.

Comment by john

I prefer Sharon.

Comment by Northern

the good news we have another of the boring fuckers coming out in a few hours. i can hardly fucking wait.

why the fuck are you bored northern? get a nail gun and have some fucking fun. youre in adtwatland, you can blame your violence on being craaaazy.

Comment by andy@cynic

boring twat type of post.

Comment by andy@cynic




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