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Sneaking A Tape Recorder into concerts in the 70s-90s

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by sheeerheartattack, Jun 2, 2021.

  1. sheeerheartattack

    sheeerheartattack Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Recently, I came across a thread, similar to this, and I was fascinated to see and look at all the stories people have about sneaking recorders into concerts back in the 70s and 80s.

    So I decided, why not make a thread similar to this, in hopes that there will be more responses! (There’s not much difference actually, if this thread is against the rules, I will gladly take it down)

    To the main question; Did anyone sneak in a tape recorder into concerts in the 70s, 80s or 90s? I would love to hear your stories!
    Tim Bucknall, tug_of_war, DTK and 2 others like this.
  2. Paul Gase

    Paul Gase Everything is cheaper than it looks.

    I never did but I was part of a group of Neil Young fans who went to see Neil and Crazy Horse at a concert in the mid 1990s. Maybe a HORDE show from 1997.

    Anyhoo, one of the fans brought a DAT recorder and then proceeded to shush us and otherwise tried to demand silence for the duration.

    I was ready to toss that DAT recorder over the wall.

    People and their devices and shows. Yuk….
  3. sheeerheartattack

    sheeerheartattack Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I know tapers can sometimes be annoying, but to shush you throughout the concert? I mean, it’s a concert, people are going to be loud anyways.
  4. sheeerheartattack

    sheeerheartattack Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    What I’m saying is, I don’t understand why they tried shushing you.
    Tim Bucknall likes this.
  5. Mistermono

    Mistermono Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    Sometime in the late 80s a friend and I stood outside an Iggy Pop show in London, ON that we couldn't get into because we were underage and taped the show on a Radio Shack cassette recorder held up next to a window. We made a our own cassette bootleg with handmade artwork called "Old Metal". The fidelity of the recording was, uh, sub-optimal.

    We did get to see Iggy stand up through the sunroof of the limo as he waved to the fans on his way out.

    Not a lot to do in London, ON in those days.
    Ere, redsock, AlienRendel and 24 others like this.
  6. Paul Gase

    Paul Gase Everything is cheaper than it looks.

    I’m not chatty at shows but I hoot and holler. This fella wanted silence. He didn’t get it.
  7. Kris-AOTY

    Kris-AOTY Guard the Spark

    My buddy snuck a tape recorder into a Pearl Jam show in 1998. About 20 years old at the time. We popped it into his car stereo as we were sitting in traffic waiting to leave. As we sat there, windows down, two really attractive girls about our age sidled up to the car and asked “Hey, is that tonight’s show?” And I responded...

    “Yeah, sorry, we don’t bootleg.”

    My friend still hassles me about that to this day. “We could have gotten laid! But no... you gotta say ‘Sorry we don’t bootleg!’”

    I guess I’m alone in my principles.

    But I do tell him “Hey I saved you the indignity of knowing these chicks have a recording of you shrieking tunelessly along to Rearviewmirror.”
    arem, Drifter, Metalhead85 and 26 others like this.
  8. Paul Gase

    Paul Gase Everything is cheaper than it looks.

    I think he felt that there was a greater good at play: capturing a good tape for the tape trading community.

    A few of us weren’t having it. Anyhow, the band wasn’t playing that great until the cranked out a really out of control version of Don’t Spook the Horse. That would’ve been worth taping for sure!
    Tim Bucknall likes this.
  9. ODShowtime

    ODShowtime Swirl Life

    Hats off to everyone with the juevos to bring us the good audience tapes.

    Pink Floyd 5/9/77
    Grateful Dead 8/6/71
    Led Zeppelin 6/21/77

    and so many others...
  10. davebush

    davebush New Test Leper

    Fonthill, ON
    I'm on your buddy's team.
  11. ODShowtime

    ODShowtime Swirl Life

    Led Zeppelin - Long Beach Arena, March 11, 1975.

    Mike knew what he was doing.
  12. Mistermono

    Mistermono Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    The irony is that, with the ubiquity of smart phones, "bootlegging" is now widely accepted. At least the tapers didn't ruin shows the way dumbasses and their phones do these days.
  13. oneslip17

    oneslip17 Forum Resident

    I got busted trying to tape shows, on two different occasions - both Dave Mason concerts.
  14. sheeerheartattack

    sheeerheartattack Well-Known Member Thread Starter

  15. tdcrjeff

    tdcrjeff Forum Resident

    Hermosa Beach, CA
    I started regularly recording shows (not counting Dead shows from the official tapers section) in 1988. Dunno how many I've done, somewhere between 100 and 200? More than 10 a year in many of those older years, but very few in the last 7-8 years.
  16. Old Fred

    Old Fred Forum Resident

  17. CybrKhatru

    CybrKhatru Music is life.

    Los Angeles
    Millard and Lapinski... bless 'em.
    Comet01, emmodad, mando_dan and 11 others like this.
  18. dave-gtr

    dave-gtr Forum Resident

    Many times, using a Walkman Pro ($700 back in 1983!). I have some great tapes from that machine. I STILL use it today, but my days of sneaking a tape machine (front of baggy jeans, loose flannel shirt over it....or in the girlfriend's underwear under a baggy skirt!) are long gone. But I guess it didn't scar her that much...we've been married nearly 35 years! That tape machine also was there during my brief time interviewing bands (Robyn Hitchcock, Dave Davies, Bangles).

    It does suck that a box of MY tapes (David Gilmour 1984, Clash 1985, a bunch of Simon Townshend 1984) were lost (read: stolen) several years ago. Many of those shows are not in circulation. Oh well, it was a fun hobby while it lasted.
  19. bluejimbop

    bluejimbop Percussionist

    Castro Valley, CA
    Drifter, edvj, frightwigwam and 12 others like this.
  20. fuse999

    fuse999 Forum Resident

    Old Fred, thanks for sharing the video, very interesting.
    Old Fred likes this.
  21. Drew769

    Drew769 Buyer of s*** I never knew I lacked

    I remember when Rerun tried to tape that Doobie Brothers concert and the tape recorder fell out of his pants. Man was he embarrassed, and I think Michael McDonald was very disappointed in him. But, what a fool believes, you know?
  22. MonkeyMan

    MonkeyMan A man who dreams he is a butterfly?

    I used to regularly record the Colorado symphony, only for my own enjoyment. I never made any copies for anyone. This went well until early 2002, when I got caught. They didn't really do anything about it except to ask me to leave and not bring my gear in again. I used a small DAT recorder, custom Oade mic preamp and AD converter, battery pack and DPA mics.

    I had a way of placing the mics in a hat, and used baggy clothing with big pockets for the gear. I ran the cables through my clothing.

    I was outed by someone sitting near me. They told an usher. The concern initially actually wasn't that I was recording the performance. As this was shortly after 9/11, I can totally understand why a guy with wires and electronics sometimes showing a bit was concerning.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2021
  23. Old Fred

    Old Fred Forum Resident

    You're welcome. :tiphat:
  24. davmar77

    davmar77 I'd rather be drummin'...

    clifton park,ny
    One of my favorite taper stories was about a friend. He went to record Robert fripp with the league of gentlemen. Fripp is notoriously anti taper. My friend hid his recorder in a hollowed out book. Apparently fripp was watching folks entering the venue and stopped my friend because he noticed the book and was a fan. Fortunately for my friend fripp did not ask to look at the book more closely.
  25. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    Told this one before......

    In the 90's a major Crimson collector took a book and hollowed it out to put his recorder and mikes inside. He gets to the venue and Fripp is there with the ticket takers, pointing out people to be searched (God knows how he decided who was fishy). Fripp sees the collector and zeros in on him--not cause he's fishy, but to discuss the book. Turns out the author was a favorite of Fripp's. The taper bluffs his way through the conversation and goes right in and tapes the show. I wondered what Fripp thought if he saw the show was circulating after all he did to stop taping.

    See? we both know the story.

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