April was great for my record collecting (and my wallet) because I was able to part with more records than I was purchasing them. My multicolored Stills-Young Band bootleg For What It’s Worth – Summer 76 Tour (one of the crown jewels of my collection) finally sold on eBay, and I traded in a few records to a local record store for store credit.
A few weeks ago I mentioned that I’d be attending the KUSF Rock n’ Swap event in April, but after thinking about it, I decided it was probably best to pass. My spending allowance on LPs was pretty high last month as it was.
That said, I did bring home a few releases.
Mod Lang Record Shop – Albany, CA
This first one I picked up spur-the-moment. Casually passing through Albany while running errands I saw this tiny sign on the sidewalk and did a double-take. I’d never heard of Mod Lang. I parked and headed in.
Inside Mod Lang was an eclectic selection of LPs and CDs of all styles. Despite the great selection, it was kind of a mess. It reminded me a lot of Jack’s Record Cellar on Scott and Page in San Francisco. Dozens of boxes filled with records and piles of clutter (old Rolling Stone magazines, newspapers, cardboard cutout promotional displays, etc.) It was still an excellent shop. About half of the merchandise actually is organized and is displayed in a proper shelf, but many of the boxes are yet to be shelved or are simply left sitting in aisles. I overheard the manager talking to another customer that she had just received a bunch of records that had yet to be shelved – she explained that the shop isn’t usually clogged with boxes.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to sound like the boxed clutter is bad. I enjoy digging, anyway. It’s all part of the fun.
After about 15 minutes of box digging, I had three albums worth mentioning. Among them, a copy of the Pink Floyd dual bootleg Nocturnal Submission: Robot Love from Beacon Island Records.
I already own a copy of this, so I saw no reason to pick it up. This dual bootleg is actually two separate well known Pink Floyd bootlegs packaged in a single album. The two albums are Best of Tour 72 and the original release of Nocturnal Submission: Robot Love from The Amazing Kornyphone Record Label.
Best of Tour 72 is well recognized among Floyd fans and vinyl collectors alike as being one of the earliest (and best) live recordings of Dark Side Of The Moon. In fact, when this bootleg was first being sold in 1972, customers who purchased this album occasionally mistook it for being an official release from the band – on top of the fact that this album was manufactured almost an entire year before Dark Side Of The Moon would be officially released. The recording quality is excellent. To this day, it is still debated if the recording is sourced from the BBC Radio or if it was recorded directly from the soundboard, or if it’s from an excellent audience recording. This LP features a concert recording from The Rainbow Theatre in London on February 20, 1972. A handful of the songs recorded during this performance were never released on Dark Side Of The Moon (like the song entitled ‘The Mortality Sequence’, which was scrapped and replaced with ‘Great Gig In The Sky’). Below is the entire recording.
The other album shares the exact same title Nocturnal Submission: Robot Love. This record was originally from The Amazing Kornyphone Record Label and was also released in 1972.
This bootleg features live performances from Pink Floyd at KQED Studios in San Francisco on April 29, 1970, BBC Radio in London on September 30, 1971, and a few B-sides not available to the US market during their initial releases in the UK (‘Point Me at the Sky’, etc…)
So anyway, the dual LP bootleg of Nocturnal Submission: Robot Love from Beacon Island Records is basically a “buy one get one free” package containing two classic Pink Floyd bootlegs. Like I had mentioned earlier, I already have a copy of this release so I didn’t bother buying it again. Plus, it was also in worse condition than my personal copy.
The other album I found at Mod Lang was a copy of The Grateful Dead bootleg Captain Trips, etc. from The Impossible Recordworks label.
For $20, I kindly declined buying it. It was in decent shape, but I was more content buying a copy of The Grateful Dead’s Fillmore West.
This two disc set was offered to me for $12.95. The general condition of the four sides is VG+. At it’s best, it’s Near Mint. At it’s worst, it’s VG. It’s a pretty enjoyable performance from The Dead playing at Fillmore West’s final night of operation in San Francisco on July 2, 1971.
|A1||Had To Move|
|A2||Me And Bobby Mcgee|
|A3||You Lied You Cheated|
|A4||I Know You Rider|
|B1||Playing In The Band|
|B2||Got No Chance Of Losing|
|B3||Ain’t It Crazy|
|B4||Me And My Uncle|
|C1||Sing Me Back Home|
|C3||Big Boss Man|
|C5||Johnny Be Good|
|D2||Dedicated To Owsley|
Apparently the tracks on this bootleg have been rearranged in a separate sequence than how they were originally recorded. Additionally, there are a handful of songs that were performed but were not included on this release. The real kick in the teeth is that the audio from this bootleg is off pitch – The band sounds slightly speed-up and cartoonish. There’s no real way of knowing the recording quality of a bootleg until you play it back.In either case, I ripped a personal copy of the record, cleaned it up, and resold it on eBay a week later for a little more than $30.
A week or so later I returned to Mod Lang on the weekend and dug through a few unorganized shelves. I came across this:
This is a New York Dolls bootleg entitled Dolls Live: Dallas ’74. According to the final edition of Hot Wacks (last published around 1992), there are only about 6 vinyl bootlegs of New York Dolls known to exist. It’s from a label known as Smilin’ Ears. The spine of the sleeve claims the record was manufactured in Venezuela. Bootleggers in the 1970’s often claimed their records were manufactured in far-off locations like Venezuela, Luxembourg, or Brazil as an attempt to throw off investigating authorities.
The sound of the recording isn’t particularly great. It’s muddy and noticeably softer sounding (quieter) than most concert recordings of rock and roll / punk bands. Discogs member bryan.white.9 said it pretty well when he gave a review of this bootleg:
Obviously recorded with a handheld cassette player, this bootleg recording documents a show at the legendary Mother Blues club in Dallas, Texas during [their] final 1974 tour, featuring the original line up. The Dolls were supporting the popular Texas band The Werewolves and facing a hostile/apathetic crowd. The band sounds discouraged, as the audience taunts them with cries of “We want the a Werewolves!” through their show, but gamely perform their set. The very poor sound quality of the recording and the “end of the line” feel of the performance-supporting a band most listeners have never heard of-make this a hard recording to recommend. I have no idea whether this was one of the shows performed in red leather & Soviet paraphernalia but it would go a long way towards explaining the audience’s hostility; Dallas in 1974 would have been the worst possible venue for such gear. Fantastically rare, this live album has practically nothing else to offer.
|A3||Lone Star Queen|
|A4||Don’t Start Me Talkin’|
|A5||Lookin’ For A Kiss|
|B4||Give ‘Em A Great Big Kiss (Kiss Me)|
At the counter I was offered the bootleg for $8 after a $10 trade-in store credit (I gave away some records from last month’s failed backyard rummage sale). The recording quality is really mediocre. It was admittingly purchased mainly for the rarity factor. I’ll probably flip it on eBay in a few weeks. Most copies have previously sold on eBay between $25 to $100.
All in all, Mod Lang Records is an excellent shop. They carry new music too!
Record Store Day 2014 – April 19, 2014
I didn’t particularly care for this year’s Record Store Day (RSD). I had no interest in spending part of my weekend participating in the festivities. Out of the 75+ exclusive releases, only two actually appealed to me. The first release being Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin’s double 10″ EP Songs From Common Ground. The other release was a 7″ split featuring Jason Lytle (frontman for Modesto based indie rock group Grandaddy) and Neko Case entitled Satellite Of Love. Both of these titles I ordered from eBay at face-value without having to even get out of bed Saturday morning. I realize it defeats the purpose of RSD to buy RSD releases from eBay, but honestly, I wasn’t interested in dealing with aggressive crowds and long lines early in the morning for two titles.
While browsing the exclusive RSD release titles online, one release from Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band entitled Solar Live 11.15.13 particularly caught my attention:
I imagine most people who see this album probably won’t recognize that this cover is directly copied from (or at least paying homage to) a Little Feat bootleg entitled Electrif Lycanthrope (Be-Bop Deluxe) from The Amazing Kornyphone Record Label (TAKRL).
I see no resemblance between the two.
Last year’s 2013 RSD had a similar release trying to appear like a Trade Mark Of Quality (TMOQ) bootleg with a paper insert. This one was from The Greenhornes entitled Live At Shake It Records – Fall 2001. Note the “Shake It Mark Of Quality” logo in the bottom right corner:
Below is the original Trade Mark Of Quality (TMOQ) logo – sticker’d or printed on every original TMOQ release back in the 1970s – as well as some examples of typical TMOQ releases featuring this logo (just because).
You get the point…
It’s kind of funny how some official releases in the last few years have been packaged to look like bootleg records taken right from the 1970s.