Mix tapes have had an indelible impact on my life. My Friend Henry Oliver gave me a mixtape in 2001. It was on a cassette, titled “Songs for Matthew” and it stayed in the glove box or cassette player of my Nissan Wingroad for the next 12 years. I lost it only when the car was wrecked.
I listened to the songs, Q & Not U, Patti Smith, and some others I never bothered to discover the names of, for over a decade. The tape sounded really good, it flowed really well and was obviously put together with a degree of affection. Perhaps it’s nostalgic, but I feel forever privileged that Henry gave that mix tape to me.
With that in mind, and the launch of our first, and decidedly Rock n Roll collection of running kit I felt compelled to make another mixtape, although I guess it’s not technically a mixtape- it’s a modern day playlist ; being that it’s in a digital format. I am hopeful you’ll forgive an old man his indulgences, I will always refer to a playlist as a mix tape, just like I will always say ‘can you please tape that for me?” when referring to the technological marvel of MySky. (Editors note: Dude are you like 60?! :) ).
The music that I’ve put on my mixtape has been grabbing at me for the last little while. In some cases, like Dogs on Acid’s bass driven Let the Bombs Fall Off, it’s been months. Long Distance Runner and Song 1 by Fugazi have been soundtracking my life for the last 20 years. I started with “Attitude” by DC superstars Bad Brains, and it’s the ultimate runner call to action “Yeah, we got that PMA!” being the battle cry.
All of these songs have a specific meaning for me, from the obvious; the chorus of Refused’s Summer Holidays vs. Punk Routine, exclaims “Rather be forgotten,than remembered for giving in” to the deeply personal; Lifetime’s “Bringing it Backwards” which is 90 seconds of frenetic gallop always makes me think fondly of my wife Rebecca. I don’t know why, it’s not a love song. I guess we were courting when I was listening the album “Jersey’s Best Dancers” a lot. The song has the phrase “I’d die for you” at a particularly dramatic moment, which always appeals to the hopeless romantic in me.
Anyway, I could be here for weeks and really, I have to go and paint our son’s bedroom windows (PMA!!), but I hope that this mixtape speaks to you, it’s loud, shouty, romantic, a bit sweary in places (I make no apologies, but if you have non sweary types around then I would wear headphones) and a cross section of music that helps to get me off the couch and onto the trails, road or track- even though these days I don’t listen to music when I run, I can honestly say that is one of the only times I’m not listening to music. Enjoy!