This thread won’t apply to everybody. For younger record nerds who have come of age in an era when downloads of just about any obscure album can be found for free on the web if you search long enough, there’s little risk in accumulating all the mp3s your heart desires. The anxieties that older rock nerds have experienced may not ring true. It must be nice.
Some of you have already walked down the endless path of the hardcore record collector. There’s no stopping you now, and if that’s the case, more power to you! A part of me wishes I hadn’t been scared off this path, but I was, by two once hard-to-find purchases I made when I was 18: a bootleg of the Sex Pistols‘ last show at San Francisco’s Winterland and Iggy Pop and The Stooges‘ semi-bootleg document of that band’s last show, Metallic K.O. As I said, today you could probably download these albums in the comfort of your home in less than 20 minutes. In 1981, a teenage boy without much cash to spare had to make a great investment of time and money to locate these albums and bring them home, with no opportunity to sample selected tracks for free on some blog. What if this bootleg I’m tempted to spend $20 on sucks? What if I hear more of the dude who illegally taped the show hooting and hollering for his favorite songs than I do the band?
Worse yet: What if the bootleg was a dreaded, DOA board mix, with little more than vocals and kick drum?