Neil Young catches a record store selling bootlegs of his music

An old friend of my dad’s was an English musician from way back. He let me copy a bootleg of Space Oddity which he had on tape, but unfortunately its gone missing in the decades since.

No…those are 8-Track. In 1972 that was good business.


True. My bad. I just looked it up. Spent half a life thinking those were “A-Tracks” as opposed to 4 Track recorders who would have had double capacity as 8 tracks.

You live, you learn, eh!


Obligatory XKCD here:


I want it!

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Here in the UK, the most reliable source of bootlegs was record fairs; very few record stores sold them. I think the first ones I ever saw were in ‘House on the Borderland’ in Peterborough, which was a great record/ comic/ hippy-tat shop.

Clinton Heylin’s book ‘Bootleg’ is well worth reading for a comprehensive history of bootleg records. It is, of course, easy to find an unauthorised pdf download.


ooh - check out the Gentle Giant poster!

they couldn’t sell THAT many in a store that size, haha.

i think that was a poster for Nektar, too. not sure.

I have always liked Neil’s music and have most of his records, but he could be a real dick. This is a case in point.

Hassling an obviously small time record store - it looks pretty quaint and meager even for 1971 - about a bootleg is just grandstanding for the film crew. Obviously doing one of his “Shakey” projects to whine about not getting paid for bootlegs.

The real reply by the clerk should have been - “The people who buy these bootlegs are the hard core fans who already bought all your records and can’t get enough. Instead of getting all bugged by the bootleg, maybe you should release more records for them to buy directly - instead of being a tool for Atlantic records and David Geffen.”


8 track tapes “doubling the capacity” by playing a loop of tape in both directions. It does not compare to 4 track or 2 track recordings on studio reel-to-reels.

The 8 tracks for an 8 track cartridge were the second “side” recorded so they would play when the tape loop reversed and the head moved to pick up the tracks going by in the opposite direction.

In a sense, this video could be considered a Beatles bootleg

The store looks like a pop up. The clerk is a terrible actor, Neil is acting odd. Im calling the whole thing a fake.

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Always thought Jerry Lewis should have recorded a cover of “Green-Eyed LADY!”

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Neil has always been a happy little mutant. This video is great. Love the record store, love the gimmick and love the background music.

I am only in my mid-50’s but I remember going into little shops that only sold music; tapes, vinyls, gramophone parts, and new fangled stereo after market play back machines. At the young age of growing up in the 70’s in Albuquerque, Seattle and Los Angeles, these types of stores were everywhere.

Later in life I realized that there are some real dick’s out there, and Neil ain’t one of them. Most dicks like the Led.


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