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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. HelpfulDad

    HelpfulDad Forum Resident

    El Cajon, Ca.
    Love to hear the PFM!!
    psubliminal likes this.
  2. In the fall of 1989 I was going to three shows in the same week.
    The Allman Brothers at the Orpheum Theater in Boston.
    Tom Petty at the Great Woods Performing Arts Center in Mansfield, MA
    And the Rolling Stones at the old Foxboro Stadium.
    I had no experience in taping shows but I badly wanted to tape these concerts.
    I needed something smaller and less expensive than a Sony WM-D6.
    So after a lot of research I decided on this recorder the Sony WM-F200MK III.
    An amazing little piece of audio jewelry. Dual capstan, auto reverse, and Dolby B.
    The problem was how to get it into the venues? They pat frisked males at the Orpheum.
    Solution: the recorder was put in an empty Tampax box that went into my girlfriends purse.
    She was scared to death when they made her open her purse, but they didn't check the box.
    She never let me forget about it.
    The girlfriend is a fond memory but I still have the tapes and the recorder. They sound great after more than 30 years.
    Thanks DeDe where ever you are.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    audiotom, Zeki, kouzie and 7 others like this.
  3. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    I had forgotten about that model. Barely bigger than a tape case!
    ARK likes this.
  4. Fabrice Outside

    Fabrice Outside Forum Resident

    Lots of tapes end up on bootleg cds
    ARK and GerryO like this.
  5. It is really small. It has an optional screw on battery compartment for a single AA battery that will extend the playing time.
    kouzie and ARK like this.
  6. Fabrice Outside

    Fabrice Outside Forum Resident

    Oh yes, a very fine recording of a very good show.
    Rock'n'roll Suicide was played if I remember correctly.
  7. Mollusk


    It'd be a damn fine way to honor a legacy.
    Chris DeVoe likes this.
  8. Fabrice Outside

    Fabrice Outside Forum Resident

    Better late than never.
    Glad you enjoyed yourself, never saw the Kevin Armstrong band myself.
    Our favourite rock stars should also be allowed to age gracefully :righton:
    DTK likes this.
  9. BlueTrane

    BlueTrane Forum Resident

    In 1987, Marshall Crenshaw did a live radio broadcast from the the Ritz in NYC, and another from the Trocadero in Philly. My cassettes of those shows somehow ended up as slickly produced CD-R bootlegs, the latter one cleverly titled Rock Around The Troc. :laugh: I knew they were mine because of the telltale occasional static.
    ARK, GerryO and Fabrice Outside like this.
  10. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    During Bruce's Philly stand on the BIUSA tour, I went to the lav in the spectrum and saw a guy with his pants down, shirt off. His buddy was taping the recorder just above his crotch, and the miles were taped to his arms and wrists. Now that's planning.
    Zeki and numer9 like this.
  11. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    the MC philly show wasn't broadcasted, though I really wished it was. The closing Daydream Believer was totally unrehearsed and turned out into a great sing along. Rockcat made a fantastic audie of the show that many times is mistake=n for a soundboard.
  12. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    Yeah, my friend has never sold a tape, and never would, but I have no doubt several of his tapes have wound up as bootlegs by the less scrupulous.
  13. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe 3 months since last false death report!

    The digital television transition has meant that the all-analog wireless microphones in instrument transmitters that used to occupy unused television channels are no longer legal in the United States. This is meant that all of them have had to be retired (or sold to people in other countries) and the new microphone and instrument transmitters are all digital. It's also meant that they've been able to incorporate encryption.
  14. hobbes4444

    hobbes4444 Forum Addict

    Been taping since 1983. In the pre metal detector days it was always the deck(s) and mic(s) in the crotch area with a baggy shirt and jacket. When wands became the standard it was surveying security looking for the old guy that wouldn't wand down to the ankles where the small recorder and mics would be stashed. Now, the latest Sony recorder is so small it doesn't generally set off detectors or it can be passed off as a phone in a case and just dropped in the tray with an assortment of other junk, keys, wallet, sunglasses, binoculars, enough to distract as they are trying to get everyone through.

    For the big rigs in the olden days, it was usually some sort of distraction like a gym bag with dirty clothes and the gear mixed in with it and a book or two. Sometimes the gear went in the book. Others had security bribed or in cahoots so the gear would be there waiting. Wheelchairs were common as well as crutches, braces, canes...

    My favorite old time story was a friend who taped in the Bay Area in the early 70s. He used to put his mics inside sub rolls/baguettes and crotch the deck. Worked great for Concerts on the Green and shows at Kezar and the Greek...

    Getting caught, that only happened a couple of times in a couple hundred shows, and was usually the result of some rat fink neighbor. That happened to me at a Springsteen show in 1999. I think we were sitting in front of a row of people who had record company/ band tickets. Venue security called us out right before the show started and confiscated the gear. Got a claim check and said we'd get it back after the show. They were actually pretty reasonable as far as Philly security goes and let us go back to our seats. A few songs in we got another tap and were led backstage where we were greeted by Bruce's personal assistant, Terry McGovern. He read us the riot act and then suddenly all the venue security turned their backs. He then tried his best Peter Grant impersonation, which worked out OK in the end bc the mark he left on my face got my gear back from Philly cops. As we were thrown out of the venue we went to the security door and asked for the police because i wanted to file assault charges I asked for some ice for the swelling and then told the undercover cop if my gear was returned I wouldn't press charges and would be happy to leave. About 5 mins later Sony DAT and brand new DPA mics were returned. Not a fun night...
    Ere, Ken Wood, RebLhoj and 8 others like this.
  15. tdcrjeff

    tdcrjeff Forum Resident

    Hermosa Beach, CA
    Fabrice Outside likes this.
  16. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Marple, PA, USA
    My mistake, the show I'm thinking of was 1986. The '87 one was the one with the 5's 'Tonight'.
  17. WillieDaPimp

    WillieDaPimp Not angry, just disappointed

    Philadelphia, PA
    Who saw the thread title and instantly thought of the What’s Happening episode with the Doobie Brothers? :laugh:
  18. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Out of My Element
    If Dee had a quarter for every time it’s been mentioned, she could buy the whole gang sodas at Rob’s Place. :)
    Comet01, Rochdale3, lambfan68 and 5 others like this.
  19. tdcrjeff

    tdcrjeff Forum Resident

    Hermosa Beach, CA
    Only a half-dozen times .... and counting.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
    Ere, showtaper and Chris DeVoe like this.
  20. Slackhurst Broadcasting

    Slackhurst Broadcasting Forum Resident

    I remember seeing them sold as specifically for recording speech rather than music.
  21. Chief

    Chief Over 10,000 Served

    I’m not the guy who taped that show. That guy was my friend though. He taped thousands of shows around town. I was his helper from time to time and he’d send me to shows when he was double booked.

    I think he was in the third row on the right side for that recording.
    Tommy Jay and ohnothimagen like this.
  22. BlueTrane

    BlueTrane Forum Resident

    Correct. Love the cover of “Tonight”, he played that every night in ‘87.

    Cool postscript: my friend took a photo at that ‘87 Troc show that Marshall included in the artwork of Live…My Truck Is My Home. It’s a heavily cropped photo taken from the balcony; MC is wearing a blue jacket with red details that make it look Nudie-ish. Thankfully, a great version of “Tonight” was included on that release.

    (I was also at the show - that week, I dragged my tape deck to a friend’s house and persuaded him to record the broadcast so I could attend the gig.)

    My friend also took the photo on the Live tray card, at the Ritz in ‘87 (gold Strat, left foot on the monitor, with monitor cropped out).
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
    Zeki likes this.
  23. urasam2

    urasam2 A Famous Potato

  24. Fabrice Outside

    Fabrice Outside Forum Resident

  25. Isaac McHelicopter

    Isaac McHelicopter Forum Resident

    Cumbria, UK
    I’ve been a concert taper for almost fifty years, having started in 1972.

    With varying degrees of success, I’ve recorded: Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, ELP, Van Morrison, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Arthur Lee and Love, John Mayall, The Peter Green Splinter Group, Alvin Lee, Dr Feelgood, John Otway, The Kinks, Jack Bruce and Robin Trower, Ray Davies, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, Page and Plant, John Paul Jones, Julie Felix, Roy Harper, Canned Heat, Peter Sarstedt, Edgar Winter, The Kursaal Flyers, Mark Knopfler, Paul Weller, Rick Wakeman, Gentle Giant, Eddie and the Hot Rods, It Bites, Jethro Tull, Procol Harum, The Groundhogs, Oasis, The Priory of Brion, Gary Moore, The Manfreds, Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings, Tony McPhee, Jeff Beck, The Who and more classical concerts than I care to remember.

    Two of my recordings have turned up on bootleg silver CDs (very annoyed!) and one on an officially released CD (very proud!)

    I’ve been caught and thrown out of a venue just once in all that time. Not bad for almost half a century of covert recording.

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