Motorhead's No Sleep Til' Hammersmith was the first cassette I ever played. I didn't have a ghetto blaster, twin deck or anything fancy like that. Nope my cassette player looked like a packet of tissues. You'd load the cassette into where you'd pull out the tissues by pressing the eject button, which shot open a darkened plastic compartment to place your cassette into, the strength of that spring opening mechanism was lethal. Cassettes would be spat out at you on a regular basis. You would then press the loaded cassette down into the box and then you would have five buttons to choose from. First button was the stop button/eject button, the second was play, the third was fast forward, the forth was rewind and the final one was record. Interestingly enough the record button didn’t record when you pressed it, you also had to press down the play button with the record button at the same time. Then you were sorted in so far as you could record people speaking but not really music as the quality would be terrible. If for example you were recording anything off the radio because there was none built into my cassette player, you'd hold it alongside the radio and tape the song off that. So I had to make do with cassette player until my mate got a Walkman....the game changer! It was an even smaller version of my cassette player about twice the width of a cassette box and about an inch longer complete with headphones. The modern age was upon us metallers. Of course I wanted one straight away but being broke had to wait till I eventually got a cheap shitty one out of saving up stamps from my dad’s petrol purchases until 8 pages of stamps later I got a Walkman. It was black and had round orange foam earphones which were held together by a thin metal band that cause the earphones to push away from the fucking ears!!! Still the improvement on sound was noticeable and I was really looking forward to wearing them along with my new black orange Dunlop runners as I headed out to the local hangout; an amusement park called Perks. As soon as I met up with the lads I got slaughtered....dunno which was worse, the slagging over the orange/black runners or my new orange headphones.... although I did manage to brazen it out trying to say this was the new look, they cost a fortune and were smuggled bask from the U.S because they weren't released yet in Europe. No one believed me and because it definitely wasn't helping my chances scoring with a girl, I headed off home cursing my poverty as Lemmy belted out "Overkill". It reminds me of another fashion faux pas, imitating Keifer Sutherland whom I spotted on Empire magazine wearing jeans, white t-shirt and a black dinner jacket. The following weekend I arrived out minus the Dunlops to the amusement park wearing jeans, slip on shoes, cream t-shirt and my dad’s blue tweed blazer......fuck me what was I thinking....absolutely slaughtered again and early exit home. Getting back to the cassettes we found an older dude called Donie to make us up cassettes with all of the coolest metal albums on them. One clear memory is of me and my mate Timmy standing near this big generator overlooking the whole of the beach and amusement park with his stereo blasting out Manowar's "Fighting the World." We thought we were kings of all we surveyed, that was the effect metal had on us. Powerful music blasting out, fists in the air, adrenaline coursing through our bodies, ready to fight for metal! Seems kinda corny but those were the feelings of a sixteen year old metal fan. Cassettes were really cheap as well. You could get a 120 min, 90 min, 60 min or a 30min one if you were really broke. 90 mins was the preference because you'd get an album copied on each side and maybe a bonus song also. Compilations were a real pain in the ass for the person making them because it meant swapping vinyl for every song, same if it was on tape and it was a twin deck. The hardest part was when you simply had no cash and you had to choose a cassette to tape over an already copied album. A lot of the cassettes had these tabs at the top where you'd break the tab off it couldn't be recorded over. To get by this you'd stick on a piece of Sellotape over the tab and you were ready to record again. I know I actually did this to original cassette albums definitely my brothers Bob Dylan ones but the result would always sound like shit which was ironic considering I hated Dylan anyway. My favourite copied cassettes were in no particular order Iron Maiden's Live after Death, Metallica's Master of Puppets and Sacred Reich's Ignorance with on the other side Indestructible Noise Command. I often think of a teenage me, putting a few of my favourite cassettes in the Parka jacket, ready for a beach walk with my shitty Walkman.