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    • CommentAuthorBBH
    • CommentTimeMay 23rd 2009
    As many know I love the bootleg side of collecting. Has that got anything to do with they are to be had for free? Well initially maybe that was a reason for me to take notice and find out more about this concept. Whatever my initial reason was that soon changed into a genuine interest and apreciation of the bootleg. To have a piece of history from Heep from the perspective of the audience is just fantastic. I know quality varies from awful right through to excellent and this is the main reason many don't have a love for bootlegs. If you can see past the quality for the history side of things I believe bootleg collecting to be very rewarding. For instance where else could you get a recording from Lee's last show or the time he was hit with an orange. Power cuts, mistakes along with some witty comments all add to my desire to collect more.

    From Heep's point of view I can fully understand why they are against such things as there will always be people trying to sell bootlegs illegally. I have never bought or sold a bootleg in my life. True traders only trade for free and with all the hope in the World I cannot see Heep being a massive market for illegal bootleg trade. Other bands have taken advantage of the bootleg and released their own bootlegs for sale to their fans. Sadly Mick has never even considered this as a possibility. With the long 10 year wait between albums I believe the bootleg side of things helped to keep many fans from leaving Heep forever. I know quite a few fans with similar thoughts.

    The title Stealin' kind of indicates that bootlegging is just that but I truly believe the bootleg has helped Heep keep fans onboard whilst the long wait for new material went on. I'm not saying Heep should welcome it with open arms but their apparant disgust towards basically an extension to a Heep fans collection does not seem just in my opinion.
    Bootlegs? Never understood the fascination with them, sorry. Oh I have some but ... well I guess I just don't get it.
    • CommentAuthorbsmuheep
    • CommentTimeMay 24th 2009
    At first, I was excited by bootlegs. It was really interesting to hear how the band sounded live in the 70s. Esspecially I got excited by the Berlin 70 boot, since Salisbury is my all time fave track. That's why I downloaded the two recent Swiss boots, even if I don't care for boots anymore (Iain, haven't listen yet to the stuff you sent;-))) )
    And sometimes boots have interesting developments in them, like the Buffalo 73, where you can hear Hensley playing the RTF theme during the Gypsy improvisation. But the sound was so bad on most, it took away all the enjoyment of listening. So I basically lost interest in boots. Now I wear only sneakers;-)))
    Is it stealing? Probably not these days. But I believe it was in the 70s, as they were sold, and even pressed on vinyl ( I'd love to put my hands on some Heep bootleg vinyls, if there were any). Probably this is the reason why Mick or others don't like the idea. And also the bad sound and "mixing", which might give a very bad impression to someone who's not a fan.
    As for releasing official "old" bootlegs, there might be other problems then just not liking it. It needs some "remastering", which costs money. How good this remastering will be? It needs an artwork. It needs promotion, distribution. Again, money. There might be some legal issues, like do they need to license the songs from whomever owns the rights (Castle?). Do they have to pay royalties as well?
    They current lineup could probably release an official bootleg, like the Electrically Driven, for each tour. But I guess Mick wants to work only through a proper record company, and not dealing with all that stuff on his own.
    And actually, there are at least DVD "official" bootlegs, like the Classic Heep Live from the Byron Era, or the Inside Heep. The Wizards and Demoms book/DVD.
    As it was said before, the poor sound of most of the bootlegs keep my away from listening them more than one time in most cases. Of course it's interesting to hear different line-ups doing songs or hearing songs live, which I never heard live at a concert or official release. But when the sound quality is more a kind of torture than enjoyment ...

    As far as I know, Mick/Heep tolerate bootlegs, as long as they are traded for free. And it's very understandable, that they don't want release poor sounding recordings under their own flag.
    To be honest, I don't like the idea of recording every tour and make an official release of it. It would be more interesting to me, when they would compile some very special live versions, versions which differ a lot from studio recordings or official live releases.
    I have thought about this some more, and came to another conclusion: It would be nice to have recordings of the lesser known Heep lineups, as well as the ones which went away quickly - such as when they had Stef Fontaine.
    • CommentAuthorbsmuheep
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009
    There are some bootlegs with Fontaine and with Sloman, Rita.

    And Manfred, there are no special, different, versions. Heep, these days, don't really improvise, and hardly change the way they play older songs, year in, year out. What was interesting is those older songs, that were added during the last years to the setlist, like Pilgrim, or So Tired, etc. That's what makes an official "bootleg" for each tour/year interesting.
    • CommentAuthorBBH
    • CommentTimeMay 31st 2009
    I agree that present day bootlegs don't have the same impact but once you start it's hard to stop ;-) Eras with Fontaine and Sloman sadly aren't the grestest quality in general but still of much interest to me. The Byron era had many different setlists and qualty of performance. Many shows depended on how much David had drunk that day. From amazing to awful David always gave something to each show.

    M&M should you want to hear more of any certain era just let me know.