When I was a kid, compiling a mixtape was an art form requiring careful preparation and skill.
The first mission was to source a blank cassette or one that could be recorded over without triggering domestic warfare. Tapes with the words “Test Match”, “Pink Floyd Live” or just “dad’s,” were best avoided.
Once you’d located a suitable tape, the real fun started. You had to be absolutely certain of the songs and artists you planned to feature and the desired running order. I’d normally scribble a list on paper then cross things out, add things and re-add things until it was unintelligible to anybody but the most adept cryptologist…. “Does that say Steely Dan or Stevie Ray Vaughan?”
Next you had to locate your source material and begin recording. Some tracks would come from vinyl – Count the gaps between tracks, hope you had the right one, lower the needle and quickly hit record/play on the tape deck.
Then there was the tune you liked on the radio but didn’t own, that was a huge challenge – Choose the show it was most likely to appear on, sit attentively by your ghetto blaster with your mixtape at the correct point on the reel and your finger ready to strike the record button swiftly and accurately. You generally had to put up with a couple of seconds of Mike Read or Bruno Brookes at the start of, or worse – talking through, the song but it was a small price to pay to get that track.
Some songs came from other cassettes so you required a double tape deck. For a long time I had to go round to my neighbour’s house to use his “hi-tech” machine to get that material.
All in all, it could take days/weeks to put together a good mixtape and, even when completed, there were always imperfections. You’d invariably cut bits off the end of songs, particularly the one at the end of a side. Between your songs there’d generally be snippets of whatever was previously on the tape – I remember Barry Manilow and the shipping forecast providing strange interludes in one of my mixes.
Anyway, I was thinking of the hardships of being an amateur DJ in the late 1980s because last night I threw together a quick playlist on iTunes for my daughter Flora. It took about 15 minutes to choose 20 tracks and get them in a sensible running order. The mix plays seamlessly with no crackling or interruptions for traffic updates.
After producing that playlist my mind ambled, as it generally does, towards golf and how fantastic it would be if you could compile and play a golfing playlist – a selection of 18 of your favourite holes. Actually, as this is purely hypothetical and would only be possible in a simulator or if we develop the technology to teleport, it wouldn’t need to be 18 holes, it could be a five-hole or 50-hole playlist.
You could have different types of playlist –
“All time greats” – The Road Hole, the 12th at Augusta, the 17th at Sawgrass, the 10th at The Belfry etc.
“My top rated” – holes that you love to play on the courses you regularly visit.
“Most bogeyed or most birdied” – the holes you’ve struggled or excelled on during your playing career.
“Hits of the 90s or 00s” – great holes from courses you visited through those decades.
“Seminal moments” – revisit holes where you’ve made golfing breakthroughs: your first par, your first draw off the tee, your first up and down from a bunker, hole-in-one etc.
“Great beginnings or Happy endings” – the best opening or closing holes in golf.
This sounds brilliant. I’m off to scour the internet to see if anyone’s close to inventing a teleporter and to create a music playlist entitled – “Tunes to play my favourite holes to.”