Wednesday, February 28, 2007
WFMU Aircheck Tapes
WFMU began archiving shows online in 2001, & that was the end of the aircheck era for nearly everyone. Those DJs who keep personal copies of their shows now can download an mp3. But what about all those pre-internet analog years? I'm hardly the most disorganized WFMU DJ, & having been to some of their homes, I know I'm not even much of a pack rat anymore. Putting the matter to the staff, these responses came back:
"ohhhhh yes. bags of em. sitting in my car-- the only place with a cassette player. lost the playlists long ago."
"Yeah, I got my demos and 1996-2000 tapes under the bed. "
"Oh, yeah, 60 minute cassettes all over the place, in boxes, in piles, on the floor, just about every show i did from '94 to '05..."
"I've got hundreds. many are undated or labeled. I think I may have my very first show somewhere."
'From 1992 to 2001, in a couple of giant Hefty bags in my basement. Some of the cassettes are actually still in their cases."
"Only since 1985."
"Thousands. I recently threw away several hundred of them in a fit of materialist disgust. I also threw away a few hundred records and CDs. No regrets."
"I have crates of cassettes and, more recently, mini-discs that I put into storage. Like Rix, I never listen to 'em but can't seem to let 'em go. I envision myself on my death bed - think a rheumy-eyed Claire in the final episode of Six Feet Under - bequeathing the entire lot to some starry-eyed young soul who has a crazy dream of reviving the outdated occupation of deejaying. Thus making me even more rheumy-eyed."
Unlikely, but a swell fantasy.
Then WFMU Manager Ken made this reassuring suggestion: "If anyone ever decides to throw away old WFMU aircheck tapes, donate them to the station instead."
Nice to know, but it'll require a warehouse if everyone decides to do it.