Neil Young catches a record store selling bootlegs of his music

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I recall going into Wazoo Records in Ann Arbor back in '87, and being amazed at the selection of bootlegs being openly sold with their own section and everything. I always wondered how they got away with it, I had assumed that stuff was sold on the down low, by word of mouth or small ads in the back of magazines.

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The Original Gangsta!

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The Grateful Dead got famous by fan made bootlegs albums and tape. They encouraged it, and as a result their live shows were always sold out, and people followed them around the country just to attend every show on a tour.


Dick’s Picks, volumes 1 - 36

ETA: that’s a lot of Dick’s Picks


How long before the video gets taken down because the music wasn’t licensed?


They got off easy. The owner was lucky that he didn’t get caught by David Crosby.


Who is that clerk?

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i love this so much. the young Neil had such style… i really want that scarf. it’s funny that he thought that removing ONE bootleg from circulation was going to help anything, haha.

also, what a TINY STORE. how in the world did such a tiny space survive on sales of new & used records & 8-tracks? so crazy.


I’ve got bootleg vinyl.
I got rid of The Dead stuff though.

Oh, and, no Young… sadly.

Sweet voiced bastard.

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Sometimes I pick at mine.

I gave my dad a Craig tape player for his truck, he was happy.
It never got installed though.


Selling bootlegs probably helped.


Dick’s Picks and others were all officially licensed. All the rest (as far as I know) were traded. Sure, everyone was taping them but they were being traded around for free. If you go look on the internet archive, for instance, and listen - it doesn’t cost you anything. So the difference here is that there’s someone recording, pressing, and selling. As an artist, if someone is profiting off of my work without my permission, that’s sorta bothersome. It’s like - The Pirate Bay vs. some streetside bootlegger who is selling the same pirated movies.

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I recall a story of when Led Zeppelin were on tour somewhere in North Africa (I think, I’m hazy on the exact locale) and Jimmy Page discovered LZ bootlegs being sold in a market stall. He just angrily swiped them, but an embarrassed Robert Plant went on to pay the merchant.


I still have the vinyl of this 1982 Australian bootleg:

Just look at the band list. I found it at a market stall for $5.


I can’t think of a decent record store that didn’t carry bootlegs.


I love bootlegs. When new things were being discovered, like a slew of Led Zeppelin soundboards, it could get pretty exciting. The combination of illegality, discovery, digging deeper into a favorite artist’s music, funky packaging, colored vinyl, scarcity, and collectibility all made it a fun experience.


it’s A-tracks, not 8-tracks. If they were selling 8-tracks, now they’d be in trouble.

Obviously, how they survived was by selling “special” stuff. I remember at a time, bootlegs used to be very illegal and rare, unlike today where personal computers and the internet have changed everything about how unlicenced music is distributed and perceived. At concerts, security would search you specially for recording devices. Nowadays, everybody has one in their own pockets all the time and the industry just settled to rip off content creators on YouTube to compensentate for not being able to stop the flood.
Times really have changed a lot.