A View From The Cassette Deck

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Who says you need a DeLorean to time travel? Lately, my various former jobs in radio have given me the ability to relive past times in my life. I never realized how weird it is to listen to old shows of mine where we discussed stuff that is now extremely dated. Listening to these recordings is sort of like time traveling.

It all started when I noticed that there were about 30 cassette tapes in my closet (yeah kids, I said cassette tapes, look it up on Wikipedia) collecting dust and begging for attention. I was finally able to connect my old Aiwa stereo to the computer properly and started plowing through some of these tapes. Hearing these shows and clips have been quite a trip. Some of the highlights I had completely forgotten about and some of the low-lights still stick in my head.

Some of the guests were sort of depressing. One guest author talked about his recent book all about “new” digital music technology including mp3s and Napster which made me feel super old. Another guest, a lead singer of a band that was signed nationally, was promised the world by their label, but their CD tanked and they were never heard from again. Aside from this, much of the banter was fun to listen to, in fact, the best parts came when my co-host Sharon and I discussed the news. Even listening to old news is still entertaining if it’s broadcast by hosts engaging in whacked-out conversations. Even the most ridiculous back and forth couldn’t stop me from thinking how time really makes such a difference. Back then I taped these inconsequential shows for no other reason other than to make more clips for use in future shows, never thinking that I’d be going back and listening to them so many years later.

The content of these old tapes made me wonder, “am I where I’d like to be in my life?” I followed the radio career as long as it took me, but ultimately I wound up in a completely different field making an adequate salary. I figured that not everything in life could be as fun as goofing off on a radio show. Life is what you make of it, and a lot of people do indeed LOVE their jobs, one of whom is a former classmate. He was just an all around good guy and I admired his positive outlook on everything. It was because of his hard work and positive attitude that he accomplished his goals.

I thought of him because he popped up on a random installment of my old college radio show that I had been listening to. Before I went on the air one day I asked one of the younger DJ’s if he wanted to stop in and plug his own show that he had recently started. Justin was sort of an odd man out because he had no shame about his love for pop and dance music at a station that was crammed with hard rock tunes and WSOU wannabes.

Justin did his radio show because he was motivated and because it was fun, but his main goal was being a weather man – a feature he incorporated into his show. As we fast forward to present day we can see Justin’s progression. The young college DJ playing mainstream music in a world of rock went on to work as an actual TV weather man for FOX 2 in Detroit! He no longer works for them, but basically lived his dream and he told me he’s still pursuing it. Will he still be a weather man when he’s 55? Who knows, but he can still go back and smile at the fact that he did it, and he did it well! The Sexy Armpit is very proud of you Justin! Perhaps you could use his success as inspiration in your life. Now to continue my cassette tape trip back in time!