Cassettes – you don’t know what you’re missing….

The year 1990, the day of my 17th Birthday, 9:30am.  The driving instructor is outside the house; my Dad had already taught me how to drive on some waste ground so I was feeling confident.  The price per lesson £9:00.

Six weeks later, the day of my driving test; seat belt on and superThumb up in car.png nervous as the examiner sits in the passenger seat.  It was a hot sunny day, the test car windows already down and I started the engine.  Another car screeches to a halt to the side of me, it’s someone I know.  With his thumbs up saying…”Good luck Dave!” he then wheel spins off, leaving me thinking “What a Tool…” and then I thought the examiner must be looking at me thinking “What a Tool…”  Yep, he was surrounded by “Tools!”

Within the hour I had passed my driving test and within a week I HVJ88X.pnghad bought my first car, a metallic silver Ford Fiesta Ghia 1.3 ltr, and the registration plate

Silver Fiesta.png

So… it was time to fill the car with some of my stuff

The rear boot – Blanket (I don’t why?)
The rear parcel shelf – Two cushions (I don’t know why?)
The glove box – Torch, can of De-Icer, the ‘not so favourite’ cassette tapes and someFat Willys surf shack empty covers.
The rear window – a “Fat Willy’s surf shack” sticker (It was the trend then) from wherever you’d been on holiday, for me it was Spain.

The rear view mirror needed an air freshener, but not any air freshener….oh no….it was “Feu Orange.”  Feu OrangeThe ones with the little gold chain and pin to pierce the back for the smell in the amber plastic ….and it was lovely, it reminds me of the 80’s and
early 90’s….always happy….always sunny, and not a care in the world!


Then it was time to fill the centre console with your best cassettes….. and I mean the best.  A copy of the latest charts recorded from the Sunday night top 40 count down.  Without trying to record the DJ’s voices (It required a two fingered operation) but you still had the clunking sound of the stop and record buttons between the songs.  This was bad news as it just showed how tight you were; it had to sound like you had just bought the tape from a shop.  This was very important for the girls that you took out for a date (you had to be as smooth as your tape recordings!) that was the rule back then and it took light-finger speed and the pressure was on.

The album tapes in the centre console consisted of

Fleetwood Mac  – Rumours
Tracey Chapman – Fast Cars
Bon Jovi – Slippery when wet
Beautiful South – Welcome to the Beautiful South
Fleetwood Mac – Tango in the Night
Top Gun (music soundtrack)
The Lost Boys (music soundtrack)

Even today I love them just as much, if not more!

And dare I say it, if everything in the Universe aligned to the young single boy’s mind (me), who has just passed his driving test; who thinks he knows it all; but in reality he knows nothing, it would be this;

  • there would be enough petrol in the tank (so the girl doesn’t see that you can’t afford to fill up all in one go and that sometimes you use your change from the ashtray or a fiver borrowed off Mam until next payday), and
  • a hot summers evening driving to the beach, the right girl in the car (that didn’t happen very often) and
  • the two important cassette tapes in the driver’s side door panel at hand that would hopefully have the girl at your command, listening to your every word.  I’ll leave you guess what they are for a moment?


Now, when you put the cassette tapes in the centre console, this is how they had to be

Center consoleOne tape up and one tape down, that way you fitted more tapes in to be at your fingertips and easy to change from your cassette player without taken them out of the covers.  You had the excitement of putting in a tape not knowing what song it was going to be on, and you certainly weren’t going to fast forward or rewind as it took too long and was far too noisy.  Those days, you had to wait for one of your favourite songs to come around again instead of today when you just press a button.

I believe it was a small part in how to teach you patience and to savour every song from the start of the tape to the end, and for the albums you recordedMix Tape off friends.  One album either side, but it was always annoying if the last one or two songs had to go on the other side of the tape and waste the rest (NO I wouldn’t fill it up with other songs) they were only on MIX tapes that were labelled “MIX” on them, and YES I still have them all today.  No one ever touched my MIX tapes, they were my top choice of music and when I played them with the window down, I was the king of the road!

By the way, the two tapes that I thought would allow any girl to be at my command as I put them in the cassette player were….. oh and before I tell you, I now realise that it was only in my young ‘I know nothing at all’ mind, that this could have worked; obviously it didn’t, as I have no recollection of it happening!  Anyway, the cassette albums were

Diry Dancing – (music Soundtrack)

Micheal Bolton – Soul Provider.  Playing that special song – How can we be lovers

Cassette tapes I will never forget you, for all the memories that will stay with me forever!  Because the song is now stuck in my head as I write this.


As ever with the Easy Blend, I thought I’d let you know what I’m listening to, so today it’s got to be  Michael Bolton – How can we be lovers

You can find out more about my book ‘Farrago: Ten Tall Tales’ and buy it here…. (click on the cover)

Full cover single

Until the next Easy Blend blog……….. 

Stay warm and fuzzy……..



Author: davefrantony

Dave Frantony...... born with the 'quirky' setting stuck on full, lives by his own rules, but even he doesn't know what they are! As an actor, VoiceOver artist and inspirational speaker, I took the obvious step into radio and have been writing and presenting my own show 'Dave Frantony's Easy Blend of Music and Chat' for 6 years. During that time, I've written a book of short stories called Farrago: Ten Tall Tales which will be available on Amazon shortly. I've also just finished my first novel which is now in editing. The 'Easy Blend of Music and Chat' has always been a random collection of stories and observations from my beautiful brown eyes so I thought I'd share some more with you through a Blog.

One thought on “Cassettes – you don’t know what you’re missing….”

  1. Loving the blogs Dave. Reading this one brings back a lot of memories of teenage driving, music and air fresheners! Never had a Fat Willy sticker myself, but remember seeing them! Keep up the good work, I’m off for a blueberry muffin!

    Liked by 1 person

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