Walking Through The Genesis Of Portable Music — The Walkman

By Servo Jefferson - 
Walking Through The Genesis Of Portable Music — The Walkman

We’re pressing rewind on the long-gone days of the Walkman with some great tattoos.

Imagine, if you will, a strange parallel world. In this world, everything is exactly as it is in our world, except for one small difference — there was no portable music. In this universe, there are no headphones to jam in your ear canal to block out the sounds of the real world. You must walk to work to a soundtrack of car horns, construction, and the voices, the god damn voices coming out of these other human beings around you. Sartre was not wrong when he told us that other people are hell.


Are you ready for the twist? A twist so unforeseen that even Rod Serling would nod in approval? The nightmarish hellscape of a world I’m describing has a name — the 1970s.


In the late 1970s, Sony developed an incredible piece of technology that completely changed the world. We’re talking, of course, about the Sony Walkman. This device singlehandedly introduced portability to music. For the very first time in the history of our great species could we drown out the cacophony of the world around us wherever we were.


The Walkman worked by using magnets to read magnetized tape and electronically turned this information into sound. It honestly seems like magic. The idea of tiny musicians living inside a plastic box seems just as plausible to us.


Sony’s invention  was an instant hit with the masses, and became a cultural icon of the 1980s. It’s no wonder that in this world full of people walking around with thousands of albums on their phone people have chosen to memorialize this simpler, but life altering technology with tattoos. Let’s hit rewind and take a look back at the past through the magic of tattoo ink.

Did you know that you can also use a Walkman to fashion a simple tattoo machine? Truly, the Walkman is a miraculous device. For more cool tattoos of the Walkman, please flip this article to Side B.

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