Thursday, 25 March 2021
Friday, 19 March 2021
Wednesday, 10 March 2021
Lou Ottens died at the weekend. He was 94*. And although I never met him, Mr. Ottens changed my life; he probably changed yours too.
In 1963, Lou, working for Phillips, presented the first plastic encased cassette tape at an electronics fair. Carrying the strap line ‘smaller than a pack of cigarettes!’ his invention would go on to sell over 100 billion units. As well as countless portable cassette recorders which at a stroke consigned clunky reel-to-reel recorders to the glue factory.
And so the playlist was born. Compilation tapes (mix tapes, if you will) become the currency with which everyone in my school - and the world - shared their music. As I've mentioned many, many times here before, the songs I listened to then (and taped off the radio) essentially laid the foundations my life was built on. Seriously; cut me and I will bleed O Rhesus Glam. Rest easy, Lou.
* Some wag on Twitter said they were pleased he got to see 90.
Thursday, 4 March 2021
You may be forgiven for thinking today was just another lockdown day; another identikit Thursday - if Thursdays even mean anything anymore. But today was World Book Day; no, I'm not sure what that means in the context of a global pandemic either. I guess it's all about promoting books, bookshops, writers, writing, reading and anything remotely bookish. With most kids not even in school at the moment I don't know how this year's event reached younger readers. By Zoom, I guess. Like everything else.
For what it's worth I'm currently reading Anne Tyler's The Amateur Marriage and am also dipping in and out of Henry Normal's latest poetry anthology. Oh, and I've just ordered the new Magnus Mills.
If you don't mind sharing, I'd love to know what you're reading right now...