Bike Shaped Objects

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8-Tracks are Go!

8-Tracks, the ultimate anti-status format

As far a musical formats go, I don’t think any was put down as much as 8-tracks. So called for their 4 program “sides,” each with left and right stereo tracks. That’s a lot of data to stuff onto one narrow strip of tape. Hence the rather poor sound quality.

They weren’t all bad though. The cases were tough. Much more durable than cassettes. They was no rewind or flipping involved. Once I fell asleep listening to Moby Grape and when I woke 8 hours later it was still playing. Alas, I lent that tape to a friend and never saw it again.

As collectibles go 8-tracks have passed their prime. A very narrow selection of ages have any affection for 8-tracks and most of us have let it go. Or, in my case, are about to let it go. There are still many tapes and players for sale on eBay, but not many buyers.

I have a collection of 8-tracks and a working player/recorder that the universe is telling me to part with. Never listen to the tapes any more. I can think of no reason to lug them across the country in the next move. So read the details below and add a comment if you live near SF and are interested. They are free to a good home.

If nobody claims them by Monday, I’ll post them on Craigslist.

The Player

8-tracks playerYes, it all works. I had some blank tapes and recorded on them with no problem. One dial is missing but the nub turns easily. The headphone and microphone jacks worked when last used, but sitting may have lent to corrosion.

I would also clean the tape heads before use. They are the great attractors when it comes to dust and grime.

For electronics geeks there is a circuit diagram on the bottom.

I’m guessing that this once a very expensive piece of equipment.

The Tapes

some 8-tracks some more 8-tracks

The tapes shown above are the ones with the best pictures. If you look closely you’ll see lots of peeling and buckling paper. Oh yeah, dust, lots of dust. I have 29 in all. I had 30, but as I said, Moby Grape, YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!

The tapes represent many genres and sensibilities. Here is the list:

The Good

Hot Tuna    Hot Tuna
Ike & Tina Turner    Workin Together
Jefferson Airplane    The Worst Of
Jimmy Hendrix    Band of Gypsys
Paul Simon    Greatest Hits
Creedence Clearwater Revival    Best Of
Johnny Cash    Live at Folsom Prison
The Byrds    Byrdmania

The Bad

ABBA    Greatest Hits vol. 2
Captain & Tennille    Greatest Hits
Slim Whitman    All My Best
The Chipmunks    Christmas
Victor Buelna    Inspiraciones
Zamfir    The Magic Of

The Lame

Al Stewart    Time Passages
Billy Joel    The Stranger
Jim Croce    Time in a Bottle
Neil Diamond    Gold
The New Christy Minstrels    Greatest Hits

The Assorted

Assorted    25 Years of Recorded Comedy
Assorted    Car Wash
Assorted    Movie Themes

The Blues

Billie Holiday    The Real Billie Holiday Story
Elmore James    Screamin Blues
John Lee Hooker    I’m
Slim Harpo    The Best Of

The Elvises

Elvis Presley    A Legendary Performer vol. 2
Elvis Presley    Elvis Country
Elvis Presley    For Everyone! (Still in original plastic)


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