Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Places where the cassette still lives

At one time in the 1980s, the pre-recorded cassette was the best-selling format for people looking to own music? For all intents and purposes, the pre-recorded cassette is dead here in the West (except for those who insist on using it as a souvenir or collectible) but it’s still very, very important in other parts of the world. India, for example, is very be into the pre-recorded cassette. Same with Indonesia and large swaths of Africa.

And then there’s Afghanistan where cassettes are still hunted by the Taliban.

Back in 2006, ten Taliban fighters in an area called Spin Boldak started stopping cars and confiscating their cassettes in an effort to clamp down on evil music.  Villagers then banded together in a gunfight to protect their music.  Final toll: one villager and two militants were killed along with nine wounded. Today, though non-religious music is again illegal in Afghanistan and cassettes are on the hit list.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38550 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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