Monday , September 28 2020
As a music fan, you've gotta do what ya' gotta do.

The Rockologist: Giving Bootlegs Some Love

So here's the thing. If you are a diehard music fanatic as I am, bootlegs are a fact of life.

I mean how else are you going to get your hands on that rare Dylan song, or that even rarer soundboard recording from the current Radiohead tour? As a music fan, you've gotta do what ya' gotta do.

My own lifelong love affair with bootlegs began back when I was a kid. The first time I heard that there were actual "unauthorized" recordings of unreleased recordings by artists like Dylan ("The Great White Wonder") and The Rolling Stones ("Liver Than You'll Ever Be") was from the pages of Rolling Stone magazine. What I also knew, as the diehard music junkie that I was, is that I absolutely had to have them.

The way Rolling Stone described these mysterious recordings back then was that they came in plain white sleeves with a stamped label on them. The Who themselves even mimicked this with their Live At Leeds album.

As I grew older, and my knowledge of where to find such treasure increased, I can remember taking bus rides out to Seattle's University District to find such recordings. In the U-District, there was this entire row of record shops, with names like "2nd Time Around" and "Roxy Music" that specialized in such things.

It was basically a goldmine, and I was like a kid let loose in the proverbial candy store.

By this time, I already had my own gig working at my local record store in West Seattle (Penny Lane). But to get what I really wanted these weekend bus rides were absolutely essential.

I mean how else could I find the sort of gold I found there like David Bowie's original "1980 Floor Show," with songs that never showed up on Diamond Dogs like "Man In The Middle?" Or the Pink Floyd songs like "Raving And Drooling" and "Ya' Gotta be Crazy" that eventually morphed into what became the Wish You Were Here album?

When things got really crazy was when I worked in a record store in Bremerton, Washington in 1978, and I could walk right next door, and get boxed sets of soundboard recordings of Bruce Springsteen shows with names like Piece De La Resistence and Live In The Promised Land: Winterland '78. It was pretty much all over for me at that point.

These days, of course, things are much easier.

In fact, you can go online and pretty much get anything you want — from last night's Radiohead show, to next week's Nine Inch Nails studio outtakes. Since Blogcritics doesn't condone such things, I won't tell you where to find them, other than to say that these things come a dime a dozen (and that is, honest to God, the last hint that you will get from me).

They've even upgraded Springsteen's '78 Winterland show with a bootleg remastered Winterland 30 edition.

Now that's some love.

About Glen Boyd

Glen Boyd is the author of Neil Young FAQ, released in May 2012 by Backbeat Books/Hal Leonard Publishing. He is a former BC Music Editor and current contributor, whose work has also appeared in SPIN, Ultimate Classic Rock, The Rocket, The Source and other publications. You can read more of Glen's work at the official Neil Young FAQ site. Follow Glen on Twitter and on Facebook.

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