Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Buddhabone

The magic of bootlegging...

Recommended Posts

I remember being 16 years old in 1985 and I had just purchased the book "Blinded by The Light". I was looking forward to attend the fall L.A. Coliseum shows. I loved the setlists in that book as well as the listing of all the old bootlegs from the 70s and 80s, I was fascinated and wanted to hear all the old bootlegs. Later that fall at a small independent record store, I saw the "This Guns for Hire" bootleg of the last Philly show in 84, it was expensive at around $45 if I remember right. I wanted it so bad. I struck a deal with the owner for him to record it for me on some TDK SA 90 cassettes. He also recorded the Stones Hampton '81 show for me, which I was also obsessed with in those days....

I also remember seeing Backstreets magazine and seeing the classified ads for tape trading. I wrote to one guy in Pittsburgh who sent me his well typed out bootleg list.He had every show imaginable from 1972 to 1986. It was amazing. He said I could send him blanks (2 to 1) I saved my money and then went to my local Warehouse and bought a brick of Maxel Metal tapes and sent them along to him and I waited what felt like weeks for him to return my tapes.

In my 1st batch, I got Stockholm '81 night 2 with Run Through the Jungle (a mysteriously wonderful song!!) The Bridge benefit show, and Winterland. I loved those tapes, they gave me a key to  a treasure trove and a hidden universe of this man's music. I loved getting those packages. I miss those days now, although I embraced the way we get boots now. I loved going on the Stone Pony server and being able to download so much great music. I loved the community back then, and still love this one here.

I'd love to hear your stories of obtaining those magic tapes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had tapes sent to me from far and wide. They know who they are and I'll be forever grateful. In turn, I'd send copies off to friends who sent them to their pals.

Special days, special friends - some of whom I never met. Most of 'em I did, though. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found them probably via Lucky Town Digest while in college. I remember getting a list of available boots and I sent $60 cash (What was I thinkning as a college freshman? It must have only been my first semester.) to some stranger and I got Roses and Broken Hearts. I think I then bought The 73 Main Point show.  I found some at a local record shop and wouls the trade back for others. Then I discovered trading and then internet downloads. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is more or less the same story, but I can't remember where I found the adresses of the first ones who sent tapes, but remember when i received the first list, as you say Bud, with lots of shows from 69 to 85. (Got the official list on the Dave March book, not translated in French at this time!) I just wondered how was it possible to get all these tapes and then the trade 2 for 1 began.

But i clearly remember when we took the train with 2 friends, 2 hours ride, to Paris in 85. There is in Paris a place called "les puces", at this time it was a market with old things or rock shops (perfecto, ear rings, records..). When I asked a recods sellers if he got some Bruce "pirates" (french for bootlegs), the man bent down, handed a big case with lots of records and they were all Springsteen "pirates", but expensive. My first choice was Winterland 78. I really loved this time but I can't listen to my old records with dull sound.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The first bootleg I knew about, and saw, was Winterland. I was down in London for one of the '81 shows and somebody was selling the LP. As I'd never heard of them before, I thought it was too much money to spend ... I was to get it later, on tape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How I got started - 

 

then 2 days later - 

 

 

the next installment will come in a few days

I'll come back with some more stories of taping later :) 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At the 1985 show in Paris a friend taped the concert holding a walkman in the air, so unpro, the only recording of the show for years till the video came out. In the process of exchanging, sound quality of the tapes would sometimes lower a lot...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A lad who used to do a lot of taping wore dark glasses to the shows - hidden recorders. Clever stuff back then.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi 

my first experience was trading videos it was about 1998 when i met a guy at a record fair in Sheffield. I was looking at bruce videos and got talking he mentioned largo 78 and 80 which i never heard of.He was from chesterfield i would send u2 bryan adams oasis any videos i had to trade with him. He helped me build quite a collection (forever grateful). I also bought all my boots from record fairs or mail order foe extortionate prices

How times have changed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do kind of miss the trading days. I started before I had a computer so it was all through handwritten letters. It was fun to contact somebody and get their list in the mail. It was like looking at a menu. Cassette led to CDR which led to torrents and downloading, it's a different landscape now. It certainly did open up a whole new world of music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i definitely miss the swapping of lists choosing what u liked then the wait for them to arrive through the post

 

good times

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You people are all so lucky to have these fabulous stories 

I got winter land off the Internet 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Daisey Jeep said:

You people are all so lucky to have these fabulous stories 

Yes.:)

But now I sometimes wonder what to do with those close to 200 Bruce Springsteen shows on cassette tapes.:o

(Which are, with the longer shows 3 tapes, and also tapes with studio outtakes, soundchecks, club appearances etc., somewhere between 400-500 tapes).:P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Started on Henderson Row, Edinburgh. Early eighties. Invested, some may say squandered, my student grant on vinyl loveliness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So in 1987 I visited a record fair for the very first time (like everything, there is a first time for that, too:lol:).

And there was a vendor who had many (that is: MANY) Bruce Springsteen vinyl bootlegs!:)

Some of them I knew from the Blinded By The Light Book. Yes all those famous bootlegs from the Blinded By The Light book really existed!:) You could actually look at them and touch them and smell them!:) (For a real diehard vinyl junkie, what I already was then, the smell of vinyl records is part of the addiction, too:D) You could even BUY them!:)

Yes, buying them. A little problem: they were horrible expensive.  So what to buy?

Finally I did not buy one of those famous bootlegs, but You Better Not Touch, a vinyl bootleg of the Mountain View (Bridge Benefit) Show 1986. With the advantage of it being somewhat cheaper than other bootlegs because it was a single album bootleg (but it did contain the whole show). I bought it at the recommendation of the vendor-and he was right.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, rocknrollcrook said:

I found them probably via Lucky Town Digest while in college. I remember getting a list of available boots and I sent $60 cash (What was I thinkning as a college freshman? It must have only been my first semester.) to some stranger and I got Roses and Broken Hearts. I think I then bought The 73 Main Point show.  I found some at a local record shop and wouls the trade back for others. Then I discovered trading and then internet downloads. 

60 was the number :). Here in Italy we paid 60.000 Lire for two 90 minutes tapes  and 70.000 for 3 tapes.

The most expensie vynil bootlegs I bought was ''all those years'' and 'follow that dream'' .

When vynil was overcome by  CD I stopped to collect the audio shows

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never been able to buy All those Years", way too much expensive and also the one with the top of the card box covered with leather (and so ugly). And yes I do still have the smell of it (not the leather but the bootlegs in their plastic bags.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everybody's records in Cincinnati always carried bootlegs on vinyl and he focused on the high quality releases.  My dad and I bought a lot of great Bruce stuff there.  Winterland was the first One he bought.  Also WEBN was a big Bruce station and routinely played full shows on their Sunday Supplement so we recorded a lot from them on FM.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first bootleg was Great Dane Records' Live in the Promised Land.

R-2083385-1263052225.gif.jpg

I spotted it in a used music store, and balked at the $50 pricetag. I was a regular, and it sat there behind the counter taunting me for weeks. I finally asked to give it a listen, and when I got to the epic Prove it All Night, I was immediately hooked.

Over the years, I met a ton of people through various forums who were more than willing to trade, and a few who were giving enough to offer their copies for blanks and postage. But once I finally got high-speed internet, it was "bye-bye, b & p, we were aaaaaaaiborne!" Sites like Dimeadozen and The Traders Den fed my addiction, but I hit an all time high when I found Jungleland.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started collecting bootleg records in 1991, any I could find in local record shops, although it was Dylan I was obsessed about at the time. Eventually I gravitated to fanzines and started tape trading. Talking about it now in the internet age makes you sound like a dinosaur, and at times makes the whole process sound more romantic than it actually was. Yes, some good friends were made tape trading, you had to write letters to communicate, imagine that! There's also something to be said for having to search for what you want and/or wait patiently for a recording to surface and then arrive in the mail.

At the same time bootleg records were hideously expensive, as were CDs later on, and the price was no guarantee of any kind of decent quality. Same with tapes; if you had stuff to trade, great, if not you were paying someone else to copy you stuff from their collection. The first Dylan contact I made charged me £1.00 per C90, plus P+P!  Now everything is available, pretty much for free, at the click of a button.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This post got me to thinking... why isn't that first bootleg that I paid so much for on my iPod? Rectified this glaring error last night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started collecting boots from friends who were Deadheads. Dead shows had been circulating for years, with the permission of the band. They even started selling tickets for the "taping section" behind the soundboard around '84 or so - safest place at a Dead show, surrounded by quiet people intent on making quality tapes ;)  Tapers can identify some shows just by the setlist, or peculiarities in the sound - like the '73 UCLA show on a thread about jam bands (the well-known "symmetrical jam", where the 2d set opened Playin' in the Band => Uncle John's Band => Morning Dew => UJB => Playin' :)), or the Fillmore East show from 2/13/70 with the hiccup in China Cat Sunflower where someone leaned against the reel of the recorder :o

The key things I picked up was an attention to the setlists of shows, both the ones I went to but also those from other places. As in, "Did you hear that first set from the Fox in Atlanta 5/19/77? Awesome!" And, of course, there has to be a meticulous attention to detail if you're going to have any sizable collection, and/or trade extensively with others. Deadheads were incredibly generous - at the Merriweather shows in July, '84 I asked a guy if he'd make me a copy. He said to send him a 10-pack and he'd copy all 5 shows of that leg of the summer tour. I asked him how much, and he said nothing - no extra tapes, not even return postage. As he put it, "How could I charge you for just copying some tapes?"

Collecting some shows, knowing about the Dead taping environment, and talking a bit at shows with some of them, I decided to make the leap to taping Bruce to get some trade bait (see above). It worked better than I might ever have imagined - in less than a year I had built a formidable collection. It was late '84 into '85 - I went to 40 shows of all kinds, mostly in NYC, that year and taped 39. Those masters got traded for lots of cool stuff. One guy I "met" through the classified ads in Backstreets, who I still know today, got my LA and Tempe tapes, and Bruce in London. I got back The Who in Amsterdam doing Tommy, Janis Joplin in SF circa 1970, the full Hendrix set from Woodstock (sbd), the Firecracker show, the Stones at Hyde Park just days after Brian Jones died (I got that one for a buddy who was at the show, but on a multi-day alcohol-and-drug bender so his memory was frayed), Dylan at Carnegie Hall in '65. I learned about low-generation tapes (which made my masters only more attractive to other collectors), and how to make the best copies possible. I lived a block from an electronics store with Maxell XL-IIS 10 packs for ~$17 IIRC.

I started with a Sony D6C Walkman Pro (I still have 2 of them), about the size of a bulky paperback (actually smaller than Atlas Shrugged, I think ;)) with its included ECM-939 mic. Then for the Dead I added a Sony D5 deck and a pair of Nakamichi-300 mics with the CP-4 shotgun capsules and an 8' mic stand (max size for the Dead taping section). With my shotgun mics above the audience it's like being on stage, the sound is that good. I'd even take a portable 4-channel mixing deck, because sometimes the dead would run a localized FM broadcast from the soundboard. Then I'd run one stereo feed off the FM feed and another from the mics and make an on-the-fly soundboard/audience mix :) 

While I encountered the vinyls of the '78 Bruce shows (Winterland, Roxy, Passaic - borrowed from others and transferred to cassette), I was a full-fledged taper. My chosen role was to be an archivist for the shows I attended, to capture those magical live moments and share them with others. Some of you have heard some of my efforts - I've circulated 11/4/84, 11/8/84, 7/3/85 and 9/1/85 (off the top of my head) to this community. I still have all my masters, but all my gear and tapes are in storage at the moment. I hope in the future to revisit those memories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/6/2017 at 10:07 AM, Lampi said:

Yes.:)

But now I sometimes wonder what to do with those close to 200 Bruce Springsteen shows on cassette tapes.:o

(Which are, with the longer shows 3 tapes, and also tapes with studio outtakes, soundchecks, club appearances etc., somewhere between 400-500 tapes).:P

You have to keep them ! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, Daisey Jeep said:

You have to keep them ! 

Yes. Of course I keep them-sometimes I listen to a show on cassette tapes I have not heard since 1995 or so.

Sorry if I got you thinking I wanted to throw them away-of course not. Never.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Lampi said:

Yes. Of course I keep them-sometimes I listen to a show on cassette tapes I have not heard since 1995 or so.

Sorry if I got you thinking I wanted to throw them away-of course not. Never.

Phew :lol:

Because it did read a bit like that 

Thought you were losing marbles (sorry) :D

Because if you ever did (not wanting tapes - not loosing marbles)  I find them a nice home in New Zealand 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites