Portable music has been with us a long, long time. We’ve had singing bards, balladeers, and brakemen. We’ve had boom-boxes and now iPods. I even remember an old co-worker of mine at the Parrish Memorial Library on the University of New Mexico campus who had a 1956 Chrysler DeSoto that came factory stocked with a turntable. Best used when parked. Nothing though compared to the Sony Walkman. I owned the exact one pictured above. I’m sure you did too, a blue million were made. It was the brainchild of Sony Chairman and music fanatic Masaru Ibuka. Blogger Robert Hoffer, tells the story that when questioned if anyone would buy a portable cassette playback machine Ibuke replied, “Don’t you think a stereo cassette player that you can listen to while walking around is a good idea?” The disaffected teenager in all of us says, “yes.”
The Walkman was about freedom. Freedoms just another word for I sure hope these batteries hold out until we get to Aunt X’s house. The Walkman was about escape. It gave solitude when there was seemingly none to be had. Run DMC was bankrolled because our parents couldn’t hear what we were listening to.
Listen and tell me you still don’t love this sound:
As much as I take my iPod for granted is equal to how cherished my Walkman was.
Favorite Walkman moment: Marty McFly melting his yet to be Dad’s brain, “I’m Darth Vader from planet Vulcan.” Van Halen baby! It all still melts my brain too. Thanks for the good times Ibuka!
P.S. – Thanks Mom and Dad for buying me one.