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Steve Bartels



So you put a blank cassette in the tape machine, you slap some vinyl on the turntable, record 'Train in Vain,' that hidden cut on The Clash's London Calling, change the LP, record another, maybe Jimmy Cliff's version of Toots and the Maytals' 'Pressure Drop' and so on. After playing the role of DJ, producer and, after you hand off the fruit of your labor to Susan, promoter — and violating a couple dozen copyrights — here you are with a mix tape, a testament to your taste, individuality and, most importantly, coolness.

Susan loves it, she falls in love with you (thinking all the while how cool you are), you get married, you have kids, life goes on and all is well.

Well, Greenwich's Steve Bartels made tons of mix tapes as a kid, for himself, for his friends — probably for a few Susans here and there — and, later on, for his Hofstra University basketball teammates. His labors over the TDK cassette deck resulted in something other than landing a wife — though the Riverside resident has one, Eileen, and two children. They ended up guiding him through a career in the music business that last May culminated with him being named president of Island Records, the legendary label that most prominently brought the reggae sounds of Bob Marley to the world in the 1970s.

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