Thursday, March 14, 2019


Y'know, I still have dreams about visiting some outta-the-way record shop I would just chance upon whilst walking down the street (or in one of 'em walking up a steep incline in San Francisco) and finding a bountiful bevy of records I either haven't seen for years or in some cases haven't seen before in my life. Of course this is just right before waking up and feeling so gol durn FRUSTRATED that the whole thing was just a deep-down reflection of how I wish things were today and that the era of outta the way record shops with things like walls of cutouts, imports and bootlegs were howshallIsay LOOOONG gone. Occasional cruises through the ebay bootleg listings help (best results are usually found by typing "TMOQ" in---that'll somehow take you to most alla 'em up for auction since these dealers cleverly describe bootleg items as "not TMOQ" hint hint nudge nudge as if the authorities are still keen on prosecuting guys selling beat up copies of ROYAL ALBERT HALL this late in the game), but frankly it's no substitute for combing through bins of albums you never knew existed while the guy behind the counter eyes you ever-so-suspiciously (like they always usedta do with me!).

As far as the classic era of bootlegs went, it seems as if the Beatles ones were the kind that you tended to see the most of. As I once recalled, the first actual Beatles boot I can recall laying eyes upon was that BEATLES IN ATLANTA WHISKEY FLAT which my addled teenbo mind interpreted as being live from the Whisky A Go Go just like you would have expected from a neo-autistic suburban slob such as myself. The one with the GET BACK sessions that had the deluxe color cover also stood out, but with things like Mothers of Invention and Patti Smith live platters competing with 'em all was I gonna dish out the $4.99 for a mere Beatles boot? Not on your depression-era wages nellie, bub!

This "Beatleg" book might help out those of you who are serious Beatle buffs but I didn't really care that much for the fanabla. Too late inna game what with the 1997 publication date, as if rock as it's meant to be appreciated hasn't existed since 1981 at the LATEST. Information on McCartney live albums complete with generic covers really doesn't do much for this punkoid who definitely is more interested in seeing the bootleg covers of the early-to-mid seventies---y'know, back when this stuff seemed to have a more earthy meaning for guys just gettin' into it all comin' off like pure gold in all their cheapness. And while I certainly applauded the bootleg coming of age in the late-seventies what with the abundance of platters with professional color covers that put the major labels to shame I sure would have liked to have seen repros of those old paper insert efforts which were wrapped with a plain white sleeve and usually banged to all heck once they made it to the record shops. After all, it was no-class like that which got me interested in these delectable booties inna first place!

Of course it ain't complete given the throngs of booty that I'm sure has surfaced in recent years, but as far as giving us a twinkle of what those early punk rock days were like up thru the neatened Brian Epstein suit and tie version of the group before everything (well, most everything!) seemed to get a little too lovey-dovey for my tastes to the point where you'd think that the only people who like this version of the Beatles still read DOONESBURY, well man this book will help one out. Still, I woulda just preferred seein' all those old insert sleeves and some labels while yer at it plus more detailed reviews as to just what was so good or horrid about---say---YELLOW MATTER CUSTARD before I decided to spend my money on one of these illicit wonders or an Eno cut out. All the while with that guy behind the counter starin' at me out the corner of his eye...

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