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StoryTime: Panasonic Tape Recorder

I was 9 years old. My older brother just started playing guitar and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I told my mom I wanted to be a musician too. So she said “well then you’ll have to learn”. And she started me off on a journey that I’ve yet to stop. She got me weekly guitar and voice lessons. I was hooked. My guitar teacher showed me 4 chords (1-6-4-5) and I wrote my first song. Naturally, it was time to record. My brother and I shared a hand me down Panasonic tape player from the 80s. It once belonged to our older half brother and boldly stated “K.Hicks” on the side. One day I decided the song was ready to put on tape so I grabbed the old Panasonic and a fresh tape and pressed the record button. I played my little 9 year old heart out. Then rewound the tape, played it back, and listened to the crinkley, rough sound of the old tape machine. I was amazed. I caught the sound. And I remember yelling “I hate my voice! I don’t sound like that! That sounds terrible!”. Fortunately I got used to it. No matter how I felt about it, it was my voice. And I learned to be happy and develop with that. And that’s how this recording bug started. It has since lead me to studios like Ancient Waves in Nevada City, CA, Hyde Street Studios in San Francisco, CA, Disher Sound in San Francisco, CA, and countless amazing home studios around the world. It’s allowed me to follow through with opportunities to work with countless artists and engineers at all stages in their career. What started as a curious exploration has turned into a passion, a career, and all of my best stories. I’m very thankful for that old Panasonic Tape Recorder.

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