My Dad’s CDs:A Retrospective

By Sam Clark (he/him)


One of my core childhood memories is sitting on Takapuna Beach under the pōhutukawa trees with my dad. He would always listen to his Walkman, dressed in 2000s staples - a Mambo shirt, 3⁄4 boardies and dad cap. Little did he know, that look would become cool again in 20 years. It’s a very pure memory of father-son bonding. Looking back, I think it’s the moment he started to drip-feed me the likes of Bob Dylan, The Cure, Lou Reed, Talking Heads and The White Stripes. That same Walkman is now on my shelf and is perfect for when I feel like boycotting Spotify. CDs can also be a really nice way to listen to music, especially if you’re too broke for vinyl, like me. It encourages you to listen to the album all the way through. You can admire the artwork, flick through the leaflet, read the lyrics and learn more about the album. But it’s definitely an obsolete piece of technology. It’s annoying to use, it makes a huge beep when you turn the volume up or skip a track, but that makes it kinda cool. It’s also special because it was a gift from my dad. He handed it down to me like an heirloom, with an accompanying CD folder. This folder was packed with late 90s and mid-2000s gems, mostly bootleg copies that my dad burned and marked up with Sharpie. Although, I seemed to have misplaced it somewhere along the way. I was eager to find it and revisit some of these albums which were so formative in cultivating my taste in music. I went over to my family home to find this fabled CD folder. My younger brother Jimi had apparently raided it as it was nearly empty, bar three albums. But we were able to put our heads together and recall what some of those albums were.