A couple of weeks ago, when I last blogged about this topic, I talked about how I planned to catalog my Duran merchandise. I decided that this would not only help me just keep organized but would also be good if I ever wanted to add to my collection. After all, I wouldn’t want to miss something awesome that I don’t have while getting something that I already have. I’m sure that some of you are thinking: How could that happen? Does she have *that* much stuff? It isn’t really that. You see I had a collection as a kid that did not survive past a significant family move minus a few precious items, including some I gave to a friend for safe keeping. So, sometimes, when I look at various memorabilia, I am not sure if I have it now, I had it then or if I just remember seeing it. This is why cataloging seemed like a good idea. The next question, however, is where to start?
I opted to begin this process by picking a spot in my office/Duran room next to my closet, figuring that I would just circle the room until I finished. This area next to my closet holds CDs, specifically bootlegs. Many of these bootlegs are recordings of concerts but some of them contain demos and remixes of album tracks. The live recordings are in chronological order and the demos/remixes are next to the albums associated with them. When I first got back into the Duran fandom, I tried to collect as many bootlegs as possible. If I couldn’t be at shows in the past, I could, at least, listen to them, right? That being said, there is a special place in my heart for those live shows that I attended, personally. I would listen especially for moments that I knew were extra special, whether it was a great performance of a song or a cool introduction. As far as demos/remixes go, I wanted to hear anything and everything. I wanted the complete picture of the Duran musical history. To say that I was obsessed would be an understatement.
Now, I know that bootlegs are somewhat controversial. After all, the band did not release them. They didn’t necessarily want those demos out there. Recording live without their permission feels a little like stealing work. Of course, at this point, it would be very difficult for any artist to limit videos and recordings because of the cameras on cell phones, etc. YouTube is filled with lots of examples of recordings of every artist you can imagine. When I focused on collecting bootlegs, they were done through trades. I didn’t want to make any money off of the band and no one that I traded with did either. It was about listening to more of the band and feeding the energy of live shows. (I know of other fans who did try to sell them. I was not down with that.)
These days I’m not as excited about bootlegs as I once was. I would still love getting copies of shows that I was at but I don’t feel it necessary to chase these the way I once did in order to get as many shows as I could. It isn’t because my opinions of bootlegs changed. I still think the band could and should sell recordings of their shows and make some good money there or could include them in VIP packages. I do not believe that the existence of bootlegs hurt their bottom dollar in any way as my concert going did not stop or lessen because of listening to bootlegs. In fact, I might say the exact opposite. They only got me more excited to go to shows.
What are your thoughts about bootlegs? Do you love them? Hate them? Do you collect them or not?
Like you, I never liked when people sold them because they are making money off something they likely got free. However, back around the day of the reunion there were several sites where you could download bootlegs so i would do that, or exchange them with other fans. I then started burning them to disk if they weren’t already and cataloging them. I created an Excel spreadsheet just for them that include titles of bootleg (if there is one), name of song, how long it runs (important when I would make copies) and anything else, like version 2, live, etc. I store them in huge CD wallets and a few in a CD wooden case. Since I am very particular, I know what bootlegs are where and can go to them when I want.
I love bootlegs and I’m not going to hide that fact, but I’m more into the actual video show bootlegs than the audio one. What I decided to do, for my only 4 Duran Duran concerts that I have attended in my life, is to find as many videos of the concert I was at, on YouTube of course, download them and make my own DVD Concert of my show for memory sake. I am very lucky that I was able to do that with my Windsor concert in 2021 and actually there is a video recording (from afar) that you can see when Roger handed me his drum stick, so memories like that, I am all about bootlegs. I agree that we should NEVER pay for a concert recording because like us, that is something that you are getting for free so you should never make money out of it.
I, too, have downloaded videos of shows that I have attended. I probably have missed some and should go back to do that! There is something amazing when it captures a significant moment. It might not mean a lot to random viewers of the video or to the band but to the fan, it means the world. ❤️ -A
If the band released either a music cd of their concerts, or a video DVD, I would gleefully buy it from them. But if they didn’t, I would love to get a copy from another fan. It is only that their live perfomances are so joyful to me, and I’d like to listen any time .I used to dub copies of things not commercially available for other fandoms, and all I asked was funds to purchase quality videotape (I just dated myself) and cover return postage. No profit, so I think it was done ethically .When a few of the things I supplied became available professionally, I ceased copying mine Duran should consider getting i on the fun. I’d bet they have at least audio of quite a bit of their live stuff. .
Your comment reminded me of when I was a kid and would try to tape record songs off the radio or would borrow records from the library in order to record them on tape. In reality, all of those actions as well as recording live shows are about how much love there is for the music. People did and do those things because they cannot get enough. They want more that just going to the concert. They want to remember each and every detail or as you say, every moment of joy. -A
I have found clips on YouTube of concerts I’ve attended. My daughter and I have taken pictures and video, too. She has the better phone, so the quality is better. I don’t believe in paying for bootlegs. In the old days, it was audio only. Now we have video bootlegs. I have to remind myself that if I am spending more time on my phone at the concert, watching the concert through my phone recording, I am totally missing out on the entire experience of the concert. The memories and moments made, the experience itself, is what is most important to me. The best collection, in my opinion, are the sum of these from the concerts I’ve attended, people I’ve met, connected with over our shared fandom, and a deeper relationship with my daughter, who has ASD. Duran Duran became a way for me to share my interest with her, and to be a part of her world; a world of Duran Duran fandom that is special for us.
I like how you said, “The memories and moments made, the experience itself, is what is most important to me.” Exactly. I truly do believe that people take pictures, record video, seek out bootlegs and more because they want something to remind them of that experience. In most cases, with the FANS, it is not about making money but about those magical memories. -A