November 19, 2004 15:09 | Confession / Culture / Cyborg

My first Sony Walkman

Following a post by Nika, I thought it'd be cool to start a "thing", a "meme" perhaps... whatever. Use the TrackBacks, Luke!
To find your first Sony Walkman, check out Pocket Calculator's Vintage Walkman Museum: Sony

So, "I'll never forget my first Sony Walkman".

It was 1981 (read on for how I "remembered" that), and my parents had won a door prize at some charity ball, and since my father couldn't go, my mother dragged me off on a Caribbean cruise for two weeks. The cruise ship was anchored in New Orleans and just before embarking, my mother jumped into an electronics shop and bought [cue dramatic music] "our first Sony Walkman".

It was the WM-3 (again, interesting story on how I "remembered" that below). She also bought 3 cassettes:
- a greatest hits of Cat Stevens ("Ooooh baby baby, it's a wiiild world, a-do-do-do-do-dooo, and I'll always remember you, as a child, girl"),
- a sort of "addon/plugin" for the Walkman which gave it AM/FM capabilities,
- and, crucially for my remembering, Leo Sayer's "Living in a Fantasy" ("Oooohhohhhhohhhhh Jessee... I love you more than I can saaaay-e... I'll love you twice as much tomorrooow, oooh-ohhhh, I love you more than I can saaaay").

It was a memorable trip in and of itself: flying fish seen from the porthole window of our cabin, playing with the retractable lightsaber in the arm of my Luke Skywalker action figure, getting seasick and throwing up the water I had drank earlier...

My mom, being the indomitable soul she is and having enough of being couped up on a cruise ship with her semi-autistic son and a bunch of old people, decided we should jump ship in Porta Vaillarta, Mexico. We stayed in a nice hotel where I saw my first asian girl (it started young) and from which we still have the table set my mother stole from someone else's room service (a beautiful set of plates and bowls, simply yet beautifully decorated in lush deep blue) which had been abandoned, she said, in the stairwell. Kleptomania was a "thing" with us. She eventually got over that, as did I, after her second misdemeanor conviction: filet mignons from the grocery store. Sheesh. I digress.

After a few days there, we hopped a Cessna to Cancun where she had some friends working as G.O.s at the Club Med there. They let us stay at the club for a few days before hoping a flight back home.

Now, the story of how I "remembered" that.

It has to do with the web acting as "external memory". ;D

Two "keys":
The Sony Walkman itself and the two cassettes mom bought for us in New Orleans.

Searchinbg Google, I found a museum of "antique" Sony Walkmans, which allowed me to visually narrow it down between two models, one issued in 1979 (the TPS-L2) and the other 1981 (the WM-3).

One of the cassettes she bought was by Leo Sayer, which contained the song "More than I can say".
Searching Amazon I discover that the first Leo Sayer album to contain that song was "Living in a fantasy". Further Googling reveals a page talking about Leo Sayer's career, where it is stated "Leo had a new hit in 1981 with "More than I can say"".

Et voila.
I use the web the same way I use my own memory.
This is what I have become. ;)

NOW, how about YOU? Remember YOUR first Sony Walkman?
(This is interesting on several levels! Thank you Nika!)


Hey! I found my original Walkman on that site and linked it appropriately. Thanks Bo-Bo.

I have a couple that aren't on that site though...hmmm wonder if they're worth anything? ;-)

So to confirm what I was saying to Boris on IM. :))))

I never had a sony walkman for myself. The first moving music thingy I had and still have is a MD player, and after I had an ipod that I finally gave to Patrick (

:) Now my music player 12" powerbook. :)

and to continue the discussion... bahhhh Cut and paste

(19:44:38) Karl:
I just sent something on your site
basically it's the same I don't like so much to have music in my head in the streets
because I like the street
I like the voices
the discussions

(19:45:13) Boris:
the sound of the world is far more interesting. it is a big part of "being in the world".

I also said:

i was never "accroc" (sp?) (hooked)... just funny rememebering my first one
even know with my iPod... I NEVER use it when out and about on foot. only for in the car.
but this is not true for millions of people. they WANT to "shut out". and that desire started, or rather, was first first addressed with the Walkman.

Man, my first Sony Walkman was the same one!
However I bought it towards the late-80's in a garage sale or flea market for like $1. :) I bought it cause I liked its design and weight (it didn't seem like a cheap toy), and I then used it for several years.
I can't remember my first tape, but my first own 12" record was Michael Jackson's "Thriller". :)

And well I use my iPod when I'm walking or riding the train, but I don't think it's to shut out more than because I just can't get enough music.

There was a time though at one of my jobs, where the guy next to me just wouldn't stop talking once he got ahold of you, then sometimes I wore my headphones even if I wouldn't be listening to anything, just so he wouldn't start a conversation. Then I guess my headphones were really for shutting out, and being able to get some work done. :)

I remember buying a SONY WALKMAN to listen to Bryan Adams (shhhh) back when I was in my teens. It was quite the adventure to smuggle it in and out of my school bag to hide it from my parents. I played the piano for years and years and the only music I was allowed to listen to was classical. Now I just listen to music on my laptop - and all the rock, funk, techno, rnb etc etc that I want. I still love classical music, but I don't care much for B.A anymore.

"free sony walkmans at the bottom of the indian ocean"
it was nov 1981.i was on the the uss coral sea.i never heard of a walkman before i got on the ship ,it seemed that everyone had one and i thought they were the coolest thing. so i went to the ships store to buy one and they were all sold out. they told me a shipment of 100 was being transported on in 2 days via un-reps (that is taking on ship supplies at sea, the transfer is made over the water while moving via cables )well in 2 days i went up on deck too was all going smoothly untill they lost a piece of cargo in the ocean. i jokenly said to my buddy "there gose all the walkmans" ha,ha,.well i turned out to be right. when i went back to the ships store to buy one they told me they went deep six all 100 of them.but they could order me one via mail that would take about a mounth. well i did and finaly got one it was a wm-3 and it cost me about $125.00. but worth every penny.