Origins of “The Derek Tape,” '90s viral phone call recording between record store clerk and hesher


Boing Boing readers of a certain pre-internet age will recall when viral jokes sometimes took the form of prank phone calls passed around on cassette tapes.

One of the finest such memes was “The Derek Tape,” a phone conversation between a very chill record store clerk (Kurt) and an enthusiastic metal music fanatic (Derek) in Los Angeles, recorded circa 1992.

Dangerous Minds has posted a digital copy, and more on its origins:

Derek does most of the talking (there’s a good reason it’s not called “The Kurt Tape”), much of which concerns Derek’s reasons for wanting to put his neighbor, Terry, in the hospital, and his intention to do just that. Once the conversation turns to metal lore, though, and Derek’s enthusiasm kicks into high gear, it is hard not to get carried away with him as he talks about the important things in life: the occult significance of Morbid Angel guitarist Trey Azagthoth’s name; the distinction between “tripping” and “flipping” on acid; the relative merits of guitarists Robin Trower, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, and Ritchie Blackmore; and the comparative belief systems of Deicide, Mercyful Fate, Morbid Angel and the Grateful Dead. If only going to the theater could be more like listening to this.

Once jealously guarded and traded among initiates, the tape has taken on a life of its own on the internet. Recently, it’s even been serialized and animated.

Check it out, bro.