A sixth form quality ode to Hey Sholay’s cursed tape

(with apologies to everyone)

Let me tell you a little story

in horrible sixth form heraldic poetry

the story of a horrid pink tape

and all the lives it ruined.

Some say it’s what got The Stig fired

and that the pole shift will be because of it

all I know is that since I played it

Chemtrails over Sheffield doth appeared

I first gawked at it with mouth agape

At a little show at the Harley

Many a week passed until the skate holiday came

When the man with the golden voice gave me one

What a strange thing?” I thought

While holding the strange, furry tape in my hand

Inside, a pink tape, a tracklist and an old photo

With a d4 and the head of a toy horse

Alas, none of my acquaintances had a tape player

Even my Scottish friends said no

As their beloved tape deck

by a bunch of Neds it got wrecked

Soon it was time to go to sunny Mexico

Where technology stuck somewhere before the Falklands fell

I tried it in my dad’s Kenwood modular stereo

A monolith to trash it became afterward

Amplifier’s valves snapped, crackled and popped

And a fire I had to put out.

“Just my luck” I thought, after the smoke cleared

“Burning was the track missing in the mix”

Another stereo, an old Sony

In my brothers’ room waited patiently

Both were out and I sneaked in.

It was wrecked too, so I sneaked out.

Then my father’s car beckoned

A Toyota stereo, surely it can take it?

A screech, a squeak. Was it part of ‘Dreamboat’?

No, it was the sound of my doom.

After re-spooling the tape

An old walkman in my drawer waited

Do I really need to say what followed?

Spool the tape again, I did.

So it was back to England I went

When a friend from Cymru gave me a bell

I could run it through a stereo proper

It has survived tapes by Eddie Izzard

And so went the pink tape in a biohazard manila folder

To the lands of Wales and yonder

A few days later, an email was received

Digital copies from that jinxed cartridge

No names were attached, but the songs I enjoyed

The one with ‘Sparrows’ an earworm delivered

While the one about Satan tempted me into repeat

As dessert, I sailed a showboat into a sandbank.

And so ends the story of the horrid pink tape

Which set asunder a few vintage apparatus

But enrichened my music collection

And gave me another reason to press play.

Words: Orestes Xistos

Photos: —Sam


Hey Sholay

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