March 31, 2017
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I purchased my first bootleg, via cassette from a street vender on Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley, way back in 1983. It was a Grateful Dead show (obviously) from their 1981 European tour. Specifically, it was the Copenhagen, Denmark show from October 8, 1981. It was the second set only, and an audience recording. I didn’t care. I was so excited. I was just shy of 13 years old, and I knew that I was in possession of some serious contraband. It thrilled me. My heart was racing. I had to hide it away. I didn’t want to get busted holding something that I knew I wasn’t supposed to have.
Looking back on that, it’s so sweet I thought that way.
Shortly after that I began to hear tales of a store near my San Mateo home, in Burlingame, “The Record Man”, who had a three ring binder full of shows, called “the bible”, that he would pull out to show you if you asked nicely. I can picture him to this very day. I bought the brilliant June 18, 1975 Pink Floyd show from Boston Garden. This is an audience copy as well, but the quality far surpassed the 81 Dead show I had. This Floyd show had early versions of Sheep and Dogs, with their original titles “You’ve Got to be Crazy”, and “Raving and Drooling”, respectively. I was floored. By now I was totally and completely obsessed. I knew that I couldn’t keep spending money on boots, since I didn’t have a lot to begin with, having no job at 14. I had to think of other ways to find this golden booty.
I go into much better detail about my obvious addiction in a previous post, which you can find here.
I download an average of 12 shows a week these days. This year I’ve taken to featuring many of these shows during my second hour, but tonight I thought I’d take both hours to share what I’ve found recently. Sometimes two hours just is not enough! It’s a mix from rock and blues, to jazz and reggae. There’s some Americana and psych thrown in for good measure. As always I put the date and location for your edification.
In a few months I’m hoping to host another Rock Fight, where I go up against another bootleg collector and beat them to a pulp (aurally speaking that is) for about four hours. This time around, sound engineer John Karr will be joining me. Look towards the month of June for this show. I’ll keep you posted.
In the meantime, sit back, put on the headphones, close your eyes, and let me take you to many venues and many nights of live musical magic.
Rastaman Chant: Bob Marley and the Wailers (The Paris Theatre, London, May 24, 1973)
When the Music’s Over: The Doors (09-18-68 Television-Byen, Gladsaxe, Copenhagen, Denmark)
No Speak, No Slave: The Black Crowes (06-11-92 Tokyo, Japan, Nakano Sun Plaza)
Incident and Neshabur: Santana (09-23-74 University Arena, Albuquerque NM)
Orange Was the Color of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk: Charles Mingus Sextet (64-04-14 Store Sal, Odd Fellow Palet, Copenhagen, Denmark)
Judy is a Punk: The Ramones (02-11-80 Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
I Know You Rider: Janis Joplin (07-28-66 California Hall, San Francisco, CA)
Hunt For Grandpa: Goober and the Peas
No Expectations: The Rolling Stones (alternate take)
Round and Round: OP8
Gloria: Patti Smith (06-25-2005 Royal Festival Hall, London, England)
Graveyard Shift: Uncle Tupelo (08-15-90 Off Broadway, St. Louis, MO)
I’m Losing You: The Faces (05-13-71 John Peel Sunday Concert, Paris Cinema, London, England)
Careful With That Axe, Eugene: Pink Floyd (05-09-77 Oakland Coliseum, Oakland, CA)
Salty Dog: Procol Harum (05-05-77 Hofstra University Playhouse, Hempstead, New York)
Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere: Neil Young and Crazy Horse: (02-25-70, Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio)
Black Diamond: Kiss (09-05-77 Tarrant County Convention Center, Ft. Worth, TX)
Johnny B. Goode: Chuck Berry (09-1967 Fillmore Auditorium, SF, CA)