• Lance Peters

Bootleg Records - Part 2

Onto the main event bootlegs, these have been around since the 1950's (Live Jazz recordings)


So what is a bootleg?


A bootleg recording is an audio or video recording of a performance not officially released by the artist or under other legal authority.


Rock music bootlegs began in the summer of 1969 with the release of Great White Wonder on the Trade Mark Of Quality label, a double album in plain white sleeve with no information anywhere as to what or who it was.

The brainchild of two west coast guys, Ken and Dub, it was about to change the music industry forever.


The original Ken and Dub release
Great White Wonder

The album was a collection of then unreleased Bob Dylan recordings, the Main event was 7 songs from a collection dubbed “ The Basement Tapes” . Dylan had not released any new music in sometime and the album was quickly picked up by west coast radio stations who began playing it in earnest, a review in “Rolling Stone” quickly followed and a phenomenon was born.


It was quickly followed with what would become the seminal live rolling stones album “Liver than you will ever be” recorded by Ken and Dub it is believed to have sold 10,000 plus copies. An unimaginable success and one that did not go unnoticed by other entrepreneurs and the bootleg market exploded. What started as an under the counter trade soon went mainstream with bootlegs to be found at markets and mainstream record stores.




Original release with red stamped cover

Bootlegs were and are illegal as the performer does not receive any royalties, despite the vague arguments about copyright law that the bootleggers used as excuses as to why their product was exempt, a crackdown was looming.

Bruce Springsteen was a early supporter of Bootlegs, as can be heard on some of his historic 1978 Radio broadcasts however when one Vicky Vinyl (Andrea Waters) released two 3 lp sets from these radio broadcasts the shit hit the fan.


Vicky Vinyl had no real interest in the music of Springsteen, the releases were purely to fund her Rolling Stones release's. Springsteen sued and her partner and her were found guilty and fined $2 million dollars. They had both previously filed for bankruptcy.


This set in motion a much harder time for the bootleggers as they came under increased scrutiny from law enforcement.


The bootleg industry continued to flourish for quite a while until CD'S became the preferred media. Within a couple of years Bootleg CD'S would also be available.

Original release bootlegs from Labels like TMOQ and TAKRL can command quite high prices these days especially the coloured vinyl releases.



First Press
Led Zeppelin - The famous Blueberry Hill Bootleg

Disk 2 - Blueberry Hill



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