Saturday, February 21, 2004

A Note About Concert Trading

I have written on this blog a few times about concert trading and thought I might elaborate on this a little bit. There is a group of hardcore music fans and collectors who are not satisfied with the officially released output of particular artists and bands. These collectors build up collections of live concert recordings, outtakes and unreleased or out of print recordings and trade them to other collectors. Trades are done on a strictly not for profit basis, this is only to spread great music that might otherwise go unheard.

In his liner notes to Rahsaan Roland Kirk's Dog Years on the Fourth Ring, Joel Dorn writes:

Let me tell you about tape collectors. For decades now, live performances by every major artist in every kind of music have been recorded. Legally and illegally. Radio, TV, concerts and clubs. A very small percentage of the people who make or possess these tapes ever do anything even remotely illegal or immoral with them. Lovers and collectors; were it not for their passion, the real history of 20th century music would be much less complete. They don't do anything but collect the tapes and trade them with other collectors from all over the world.

Some of the more savvy bands even have trading policies on the Internet, this is from the Black Keys web site:


We encourage fans to tape Black Keys performances but only within the guidelines established below:

No live recording, regardless of quality or format of distribution, is to be exploited commercially by anyone in any way at any time without the band's explicit, written permission. In other words, you are free to trade recordings or even give them away but we do not want to see them offered for sale at any price, even if the price quoted is ostensibly only to cover the costs of duplication, packaging, and/or shipping.

Also, one of the major hubs for collectors, Tape Trader Network, states:

The Tape Trader Network caters to traders of non-commercially produced recordings of live musical performances. Individuals who sell tapes or trade commercially recorded material are not welcome here.

It's a fun and interesting hobby. Yes, like everything else in life, there are some people who do not abide by common sense, but thankfully those are few and far between.

Send comments to: Tim