Throwback to a Walkman – When iTunes and Spotify Fail

An app on my Smartphone keeps crashing.

Today, I spent two hours talking to Fido. When the app crashes, my display screen changes. But the worst thing happened for the first time.

One second I was listening to Disturbed on Spotify and – after a reboot – it returned as “ad supported.” My main concern was, “What happened to my Spotify?” and “Can that be fixed?”

Music is my therapy. I need it to work – and basically survive. If you can’t find me, just follow the music. If you see me out at night and say “hi,” and I don’t reply, chances are I didn’t heard you because of my vibrating ear buds.

I write to music. Blog to music. Tunes are playing the moment I’m awake until I’m in bed. There’s nothing better than loud music to calm me down. When I moved back to Arborg for a few years, I announced my return by driving around my hometown, blaring “Uprising” by Muse, vehicle and speakers rattling.

As I remained on the line with Fido, hoping they could restore my music, I thought about my General Electric Walkman my parents bought me the summer after grade four. It’s in my memory box. Collecting dust.

It was the coolest. It had fast forward and AM/FM radio. And equalizers. Music helps me sleep, and I’d fall asleep to Heart and Roxette. However, I didn’t have a concept of volume. My sister would often dangle her head from the top bunk: “Tammy (silence) … Tammy (silence) … Tammy! Gawd, are you deaf? Turn it down!”

The concept of the Walkman was simple. Pop in a cassette and press play. Sure, the magnetic tape might loosen. Tightened that with a pen. Snapped cassette? Use a slice of tape. No customer support required.

I still have a shoebox of cassettes. Richard Marx, Tiffany, Martika, and K-tel complications and singles. Remember singles? Plus loads of mixed tapes and music recorded off the radio. Static or no static. Countless memes are correct. When a long sought after song started, I’d fumble to press the red record and play button down – even with DJ voices.

Then I transitioned to CDs. For Christmas 1992, my parents bought me a boom box. Top load CD. Radio. Double cassette. I almost lost my mind. I stopped purchasing big name cassettes except blanks. My CD collection included Dance Mix ’92, Bryan Adams and the Bodyguard Soundtrack. By time I moved to Winnipeg, I had nearly 130 CDs. Thanks BMG. But CDs were harder to fix. Scratches led to skips and sighs.

Today, it’s an iTunes-Spotify-Satellite radio world. It’s change. It’s progress.

But when the iTunes Store crashes, and Spotify won’t stream, or when I’m in a Satellite radio dead-zone, I pine for that General Electric Walkman.

Because it still works.