Sony’s Walkman hit the United States 35 years ago this month, and to celebrate, EW asked seven different artists to reminisce about their first cassettes, and what it meant to be able to take your favorite music with you, wherever you went.
“The funny thing about cassettes is that they were such a threat to the music industry back then,” Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl told EW earlier this year. The Walkman helped revolutionize music listening, as fans could pop in a store-bought or homemade cassette on-the-go for the first time.
“I thought it was so great that I was given the freedom and opportunity to make these compilations of my own,” Grohl said. “I mean, if you think about it, the cassette gave the listener the opportunity to do whatever they wanted to with the music. You could make your own cover. You could make your own sequence. You could customize this thing to do what you wanted it to do—which is probably why the industry was so f–king threatened by it.”
Below, artists like Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba, T-Pain and Joss Stone share stories about their first cassettes and memories of the Walkman.