The Return Of The Lowly Cassette Tape

Cassettes are coming back into vogue.

Not in a big way, but a small but growing fascination with the audio format is…well, almost audible.

Used cassette decks, once objects of fascination and inventory items that re-sellers had trouble unloading, have soared in price, at least in Toronto.

Often these recording and playback units are selling for as much or more than the original sticker price when they were brand new, some twenty and thirty years ago.

A non-scientific straw poll of re-sellers suggests the fascination with the decks started when younger music fans discovered a wealth of music titles by bands such as Nirvana available on cassette for a dollar and change at outlets such as Value Village.

Then cassettes started to take as novelty items that DIY bands could manufacture on demand to sell at gigs.

Now a quartet of bands in Toronto plans to record portions of their sets at Lee’s Palace this Saturday and have them dubbed before the final set ends and handed out to fans before they leave the Bloor Street concert venue.

The event is dubbed Summer Bootlegger and upstart duplicator The Dupe Shop is charged with the quick turnaround on 40 copies using high-speed duplicators.

Mark Streeter at Now magazine has the complete story.

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