Monday, May 16, 2011

"Give blood/But don't expect to ever see rewards."

The Song: "Give Blood," Pete Townshend. Words & music by Pete Townshend. Track 1 of White City: A Novel, 1985.
When/how acquired: Purchased cutout cassette, c. 1987.
Listen/watch here.

An easy choice today, as I'm giving blood this afternoon. If you can, you should.

I still have a case of cassette tapes in my car, and another big box of them in the spare bedroom. I don't play them -- my car stereo still has a cassette player, but that's the only one I own -- but I can't bring myself to give them away. They were all so precious to me, in their time: hunted for, saved for, purchased when I'd have been better off spending the money on something practical.

This tape I remember buying, though I don't remember exactly when. It was in a cutout bin at the Kemp Mill Records store that used to be at 19th and M Street in Washington, DC. I found it during my lunch break on a weekday. It cost $1.99, and I was as delighted as if I'd found a dollar on the sidewalk.

White City is, as its full title suggests, a story cycle. A video was made at the same time, but I've never seen it. It's similar in subject matter, if not in tone, to another of my favorite acquisitions from around this time, the soundtrack to the 1985 movie Absolute Beginners. Which I also, as it happens, own only on cassette.

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