Bureau of Lost Culture

The Rise and Fall of the Bootleg Record

October 12, 2021
The bootleg record was a phenomena that emerged in the heady days of the late 60s and survived to the early 80s - a kind of countercultural entrepreneurial activity that was rendered completely obsolete by the internet.  Bootleggers, often a cross between music fans and black marketeers, were practitioners of ‘disorganised crime’ distributing music illicitly on vinyl, cassette and cd whilst being pursued by record labels around the world from Compton to Camden.

In this episode (a reboot of a Soho Radio show from 2018), we are joined by cultural commentator and lover of all things vinyl, Travis Elborough, to dig deep into the wild world of the dodgy pirates, counterfeits, unsanctioned outtakes, demos and live recordings that included the music of artists from Judy Garland through to the Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan and from The Sex Pistols and Television and to Elliot Smith.

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