The other day, I was trying to explain to my nephew about tape/record clubs. Naturally, he looked at me like I had 19 heads. I knew I was in even deeper trouble when he barely understood what cassette tapes were, but that's for another sad, sad post.

I was telling him when I was a kid, you had to go to stores to buy music. There was no YouTube or Spotify. There was no way to preview anything, unless your friend owned it first. Which usually would turn into dubbing that tape off your friend to save you a couple bucks. He could relate to this because I told him it was like burning a CD. But again, that's for another sad, sad post.

In my youth, I played all the angles to the maximum amount of music I thought I could get away with from the clubs. If you ordered your tapes for a penny, you were supposed to buy X-number more tapes at regular club prices. As soon as I paid off the required number, I'd stop ordering and fill out another card with a totally different name. There was no way to trace it back then because there was no easy digital trail. So I'd just make up names and order more tapes.

It always worked out that you basically ended up getting 20 tapes for the price of 8. I had friends who wouldn't even order more. They'd fill out the app, get the free tapes and never pay up. Then fill out a new one with a new name, and get more free ones. I was always afraid somehow I'd get caught. Looking back, yes it's dishonest, but I should have done the same thing. I'd have the biggest collection of outdated plastic on the face of the planet!

But since my meager allowance was the financial source of my music addiction, I could just go out to any old record store and get tapes. I needed the sweet deal that Columbia House, or whoever, was always just too ready to give. They were like drug dealers for music. The first taste is free, but the second will cost you!

Sadly, I don't have any more of the tapes left over. All my Van Halen and Kiss tapes are gone. They've all been eaten by my walkman, or stolen by friends, or I just simply outgrew them. And once I got into high school, CD's had become so prevalent, that there was no point in buying new cassettes. I was way too snobby for that.

There is a bit of a renaissance in the record club, with people actually buying new vinyl records. So it's literally a record "club". But they look kind of pricey since vinyl is making such a comeback. A new piece of vinyl costs $20-$30! A far cry from the Kiss album I bought at a yard sale for $1. But that's also for another sad, sad post.

Nowadays, there's so many places to get music for free, that it seems sometimes people don't have the appreciation for good tunes the way they used to. They only want certain songs by an artist, or they only listen to 30 seconds of each song and not appreciating a piece of art in its entirety they way we used to.

But again, that's for another sad, sad post.

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