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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. PrineHootieWho2000

    PrineHootieWho2000 Forum Resident

    Was Cheap Trick the ONLY time you got busted? Video is easier to get busted for (I wouldn't DARE do video) - if I ever record I stick to audio because that's not as easy to get busted for.
  2. Jon-A

    Jon-A Forum Resident

    Madison, WI
    Ornette Coleman in London, 1971, when I was 15. Better sounding bootlegs of other shows from that fantastic European tour have since emerged - but before they did, having my own evidence of a magical gig was gratifying. I tried a few other
    shows years later with mixed results. Note to self: if you are going to bootleg, keep your drunk-ass self away from the mic.
    kouzie, DTK, Shawn and 1 other person like this.
  3. urasam2

    urasam2 A Famous Potato

    Paul McCartney and Wings Hammersmith Odeon May 25 1973 (front row seats!)
    David Bowie May 12 1973 Earls Court, London
  4. rkt88

    rkt88 The unknown soldier

    malibu ca

    i will fed ex you for life ship's ahoy box sets - if you will just send me all of your outlaw debbie gibson stuff!
    Ray29 likes this.
  5. trusso

    trusso Forum Resident

    yep. The only time. I got away with filming in big venues like MSG but the theater I filmed Ct in was like a large movie theater. Very intimate. I planned on recording the entire show on casseteee but brought the movie camera also. After they took out the double a batteries from the camera, I remember taking the batteries out of the cassette recorder so I could continue filming. Crazy. Luckily, I never got caught with the Walkman. Always in my pants. But I was scared because it was a bit obvious.
    ARK likes this.
  6. This. Dumfries 1969 and Lausanne 1970 are the only ones widely available that contain any of the tracks you listed.
    sons of nothing likes this.
  7. trusso

    trusso Forum Resident

    I am assuming you are being sarcastic. I had no interest in seeing her at the time. I was too cool for her when I was 27. But my sister bought 2 tickets for my 6 year old niece. No one wanted to go so I brought her. I figured she would want to her the tape one day. My realistic tape recorder fit snuggly into that cookie pack. That was the most creative and daring I ever got. They didn’t question me because my neiva was there and I had snacks in a bag. That was her tour for the first album. I recorded the Electric Youth tour the following year around Thanksgiving. When Think With Your Heart was released, I saw she was playing at a local Borders Books. I took the same niece with her friend. It was just a piano show. The sound guy asked if anyone knew how to play piano and I told him I could sort of play so he brought me up for a sound check. After her performance, I bought two cds and her her autograph them. I had a video camera too for the show but was told I could not record so I put it away.
    qwerty, ARK, Lonesurf and 3 others like this.
  8. rkt88

    rkt88 The unknown soldier

    malibu ca
    that's a great recollection!

    yes, of course i was kidding. but i'll hold firm on the cookies offer!

    i will not share your story with george tobin or tiffany. i promise :)
    Ray29 and trd like this.
  9. trd

    trd Forum Resident


    My first niece is about 15 months and I’m looking forward to doing fun uncle things with her
    ARK likes this.
  10. Hammer70

    Hammer70 Forum Resident

    Sir, I declare you king of the May 1973 tapers and salute your short career in this field! :edthumbs:
  11. Ryan Lux

    Ryan Lux Forum Resident

    Toronto, ON, CA
    There you go. Due diligence! Shame the tapes went astray.
  12. ceddy10165

    ceddy10165 My life was saved by rock n roll

    Avon, CT
    The other irony is that as phones became widespread and the ability to record improved, the overall attention to detail and quality from the stealth taper days went down accordingly with the number of captures overall.

    an overall fascinating subject for me as a collector and taper. I stumbled on YouTube series recently about concert video recording in the 80s - 90s that is interesting. https://youtube.com/channel/UCmV2KmxLmTevBPuJyU9x5tQ
  13. Harman

    Harman Forum Resident

    I've never tried taping a show,but just want to give a shout out to Mike Millard. I have IMMENSELY enjoyed your recordings over the years. RIP and Thank you!
  14. Jeff Kent

    Jeff Kent Forum Resident

    Mt. Kisco, NY
    My friends and I used to fantasize about it, but never did it. I'm thankful for those who did.

    One of the funniest bootlegs I have is a Bob Mould show where after it was over they kept taping and there's a whole conversation with a guy who wants a copy.
    ARK, youngchoulin and Zeki like this.
  15. katstep

    katstep Professional Cat Herder

    I bought a Sony D6 and some Soundman OM20 microphones when I was living in Germany in the early 90s. I taped quite a few shows with that rig throughout the 90s. Guided by Voices, Pavement, the Silos, Buffalo Tom, Paul Westerberg, Steve Wynn, Gutterball, Cracker, Sparklehorse, etc. All relatively small venues. Steve Wynn was particularly kind. I followed him and Gutterball on a short leg of their 94 German tour, and he let me plug into the soundboard every night. I guess it helped that one of my friends that went to college with him introduced me to him.
    Between the stress of smuggling gear in, and having to stay in the same spot during the whole show, I finally quit doing it sometime around 2000. I loved having recordings of the shows, but it took a lot of the fun out of attending gigs. It certainly made my wife happy, as she could actually enjoy herself with me at shows again. LOL!
    ARK, trd, Chris DeVoe and 5 others like this.
  16. OnTheRoad

    OnTheRoad self identified, evolved misanthropic narcissist

    Actually I did.

    A few years ago, while talking to an old friend on the phone still in Hawaii, he mentioned that I'd made him a copy that I'd forgotten about. I FREAKED !!!!!

    But he could never find it and I hounded him about it. Other than that...I don't think there are any copies out there of my recordings.

    Oh yeah...I'm fully aware of the importance of the September LZ shows. This was the last one before their Japan tour of which is considered the HEIGHT of their performance life by many Zepsters ! I have the 1970 Honolulu show commonly circulated and I love it but the '71 series (16th and 17th, 1971) are highly sought after and a prime preview of that 'How We Won The EAST' stint. ;)
  17. sons of nothing

    sons of nothing Forum Resident


    Yes. Now the ones that are not widely available. I get it, people want trade bait. But at this point, if someone is holding on to legacy band ROIOs in the hopes of getting something equally rare, then I sort of see it as pointless in this day and age. Like the recent Millard 75 show. Great show, tons of energy, and sounds awesome. The fact that it sat untorrented till this year is a little amazing.
    blacksabbathrainbow likes this.
  18. sddoug

    sddoug Music Aficionado

    San Diego, CA, USA
    Thanks for the US Festival memories. I was there for Heavy Metal day. Quite the experience but some times I wonder how I survived it.
    ODShowtime likes this.
  19. As @Tim1954 already said, that is really sad! It would be amazing (for me, anyway) if the Sabbath recording had survived. Anyway, thanks for taping and telling us about it.
    Tim1954 likes this.
  20. Fully agreed.

    And I wish the owner of the Lausanne tape would share a lossless transfer, but regrettably he never replied to my request.
    sons of nothing and Tim1954 like this.
  21. ceddy10165

    ceddy10165 My life was saved by rock n roll

    Avon, CT
    The single point stereo condensers always did a solid job in my experience. I had a ECM-717 and lived what it could do. If the room sounded good the recording sounded the same.
  22. ceddy10165

    ceddy10165 My life was saved by rock n roll

    Avon, CT
    Lake Compounce had an excellent and frequent concert schedule at its height in the late 80s and early 90s. I’m always surprised that more recordings from the venue never surfaced. I saw a ton of great and diverse shows there. I was young and it was before I started taping though.
    ARK and RayS like this.
  23. RayS

    RayS A Little Bit Older and a Little Bit Slower

    Out of My Element
    I saw Dylan there in both 1988 (Timbuk3 opening) and 1989 (Steve Earle opening). By chance, it poured at both shows. In honor of the 1988 show, Chris Berman did an "all-Dylan" episode of SportsCenter (or was it NFL Tonight?) on ESPN that night. A soundboard of the 1988 show circulated (making my audience tape doubly irrelevant), supposedly through someone connected to a local radio station (or so the story went).
    ARK, DTK and ceddy10165 like this.
  24. I've taped a lot of the shows I attended from 2006 to 2015. Artists include Bob Dylan, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, The Police, Dave Matthews Band, Steely Dan, Roger Waters, Emmylou Harris, Tom Petty and Randy Newman. Not with a tape recorder, but with a Roland Edirol R-09 recorder to SD card. After 2015 I lost interest in doing it, but I still use my recorder for needledrops or digitizing tapes. It's much more relaxed visiting shows these days, not having to worry your equipment gets discovered by security and not having to remain silent.
    ARK, ODShowtime and Zeki like this.
  25. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    Very cool!
    Jon-A likes this.

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