Part 145: Cassettes Part I – T-Rev’s Tapes

RECORD STORE TALES Part 145:  Cassettes Part I – T-Rev’s Tapes

I’m sure this comes as no surprise, but back in the day, us Record Store Dudes were expert mix tape makers.  I’ve been making mix tapes since I got my first dual cassette deck, back in 1985.  It was a Sanyo.  Thanks mom & dad.

I made all sorts of mix tapes.  I made mixes of whatever tunes I was into at the time.  I made mix tapes for girls that I liked, sneaking in the odd commercial Judas Priest tune like “Parental Guidance” in order to sway them to the dark side.  I made greatest hits tapes.  I distinctly remember an Ace Frehley greatest hits tape I made, 90 minutes.  The first 5 songs were classic Kiss hits that he sang.  The next 5 were from his first solo album.  Then on side two, 5 songs from Frehley’s Comet and 5 from Second Sighting.   I also made a Kiss hits tape from the post-Double Platinum period, basically all the singles from Dynasty through to Asylum.

When I first met T-Rev almost a decade later (1994), I had met a kindred spirit.  He was doing the same thing!  He made hits mixes for Guns N’ Roses.  The Four Horsemen.  Van Halen.  And so on and so forth.  But in a lot of ways, he had taken it to the next level.

Trevor had an artistic ability above and beyond me, he was really really good at art.  That’s why we used to get him to make all our store signage.  So it probably should have been no surprise to me that he put equal effort into his cover art.  He did a beautiful job on the Guns and Van Halen mixes!

Somehow these ended up in my possession.  I don’t even remember how anymore, but here they are.  It looks to me like not only did T-Rev did awesome cover art, but he numbered all his mixes and must have had a numerical filing system.  The Guns mix appears to be a Part II, and is #34 in his  library.  Van Halen must have followed shortly behind at #38.  I also ended up with an early mix of his, number #14, called What De Hell!!

I’m really glad that I found these!  It brings back a lot of memories of the early days at the record store.  There was no such thing as blank CD’s yet, and even if there was, T-Rev didn’t have a computer to burn one on yet.  Tapes were our canvas, and they even had a longer running time than a CD.  90 minutes was our standard, but you could even go as high as 100 without losing too much sound quality.

Not that there was much sound quality!

Thanks for loaning these to me T-Rev!  If you still have something to play them on, I’ll send ’em back to ya if you want them!

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14 comments

  1. that is fuckin’ hilarious! I do remember giving you those (i don’t want them back, as I do NOT have a tape player anymore…ha ha) I think I still have more! -i kept some of the more “sentimental” ones.
    summer of 2011, we had a garage sale, and i had a bunch of those old tapes out, and my wife’s old ‘sony walkman’ (wooo!) and a little kid wanted to buy the walkman, and his dad asked if i could move on the price (of coarse I did) and I told the kid to take 5 cassettes for free. he was super happy! and I pass the torch down.

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  2. MIX-TAPES! Oh man, that was me and my buddy Brian, too! And Brian is a graphic designer who now works in animation! His cover art was always awesome. We didn’t do mixes of all one artist usually, though. One song per band. Sometimes a theme, but more often just cool shit we were hearing. I know I have some of them around here somewhere – I should dig them out and put them on WOM.

    There’s a big part of my heart that misses the days of mix tapes. The time it took, the care and effort that went into them. These kids today have no idea what beauty is […trails off, ranting about the government with pants pulled up to armpits]…

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    1. i too miss the days of “mixed tapes” i guess i still make “mixed CDS” …mainly for a guys weekend we have twice a year (i am in charge of music) not unlike Mike’s “Sausagefest”…just with less dudes!

      i used to record right off the radio (tuned to the muchmusic frequency) and make tapes of all the current stuff…like when Steve Anthony used to host the “hostess sneak preview” …love that shit!

      long live the mixed tape (in theory anyway)

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  3. yes, i did have one called “sucks to be a rapper” I also did an homage to 97.7 HTZ FM (in St Catharines – i loved the station at the time…it was fairly new) lemme see if i have any more of them…i will try and take some pics

    don’t hold your breath though!

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    1. If you find more, then send me the photos and take a guest shot. Worth it for your cover art alone. I would LOVE to see your photos of the Four Horsemen tapes. Those tapes got me into the second album, for the record. “I got the hottest rod around!” And of course, “Back In Business Again”. Those two songs SOLD it for me. “Song For Absent Friends”…what a great album.

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    1. That’s a hell of a challenge. I have the equipment to do it, and I might even have a tape to do it on. I haven’t made a mix tape since I moved into this place back in 2002. I don’t even have the same equipment to do it with, so I’d be learning as I go. What the hell? Sure.

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      1. I don’t have the artistic skils of some others (I was more known for cut and paste collage) but I am intrigued by the prospect of this. The old habits. The thought that goes into it. Beautiful, really.

        Have we a theme, or does anything go?

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