Bootleg Homages – Official Material Packaged Like A Specific Bootleg Label

TAKRL Homages:


Japanese Psych Band Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso UFO with their 2003:

Acid Mothers

and their 2005 LP raising the bar considerably in this category. It does not get much better than their Goodbye, John Peel LP:

Acid Mothers JP

Right down to the actual disc and labels:

Acid Mothers JP lbl


Nashville based trio CHEAP TIME released this LP in 2009


CheapTimeLive small


TAKRL look for the insert and TMOQ look for the front for this 1984 live album by Australian band Cold Chisel:


Bark Spid bBark Spid


Canadian punk band “The Smugglers” went ‘all TMOQ’ for their 1992 LP:


Smugglers LP

Smugglers sticker

The label name was Popllama – hence the chosen animal. I believe this is the only time the label did a ‘bootleg-themed’ release.


Smugglers lbl 1

Right down to the labels!

Smugglers lbl 2

There is also a two page insert but it doesn’t look very ‘TMOQ-ish’. Not surprisingly, it’s much easier to do this as a relatively unknown band.

Smugglers insert



Even though this is a CD, this solo effort by Irish “musician, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist” Marc Carroll, deserves to be included. Even the title was lifted from the famous 1985 Dylan bootleg box set:


10 of Swords

10 of Swords b


Ten of Swords box

He also did a live album:

Carroll Marc RFH




Greenhornes lbl


All day I was thinking “were have I seen this before?” … and then I found it:

Led Zep Live in Seattle 1973 Tour II


2013 Record Store Day release by this Cincinnati garage band.




Another 2013 release:


3 o clock LatOW3 o clock LatOW disc

  1. Karl said:

    Another contender is Marc Carroll – Ten Of Swords (even the title is a bootleg reference)!

  2. wow! i was just expecting stuff like live at leeds- this is brilliant

    great musicians are always hardcore music fans- the sort of people who would own bootlegs and appreciate their worth

    could PiLs Paris Au Printemps be in this category?- the fantastic cover art complicates things but renaming the titles in french and the rough editing is very bootleggy (in the best sense of the word)

    • Will check that one out as well, Tim. … OK, looked at it, it did not make the cut as in my humble opinion, there was no attempt to pay homage to a known bootleg label or release.

      • Craig Jones said:

        No probs

  3. Karl said:

    Another one to add: Acid Mothers Project London 2004

  4. Andrew said:

    With regard to the Smugglers release: my old band was on the same label as our good friends, the Smugglers, when they put out Atlanta Whiskey Flats and it was Scott mcCaughey, who worked at Popllama at the time, who came up with the idea. Scott is the leader of the Young Fresh Fellows, Minus Five, Baseball Project and was hired gun with REM for years. He’s also a Beatles fanatic who had bought AWF as a teenager back in the 70’s. I always though it was a brilliant idea, being a longtime bootleg nut, but I’ve still never heard the original Atlanta Whiskey Flats.

  5. Erik T said:

    I suppose Zappa’s Beat the Boots set doesn’t count, although I read somewhere that Zappa was sued over the cover art to T’is the Season to be Jelly. One other Zappa l.p. – Live at the Fillmore East- was obviously meant to look like a bootleg, although Zappa hated bootleggers. Funnily, I don’t even know if there were many Zappa boots out at the time-1971- the first I believe was 200 Motels At the Olympic, the Rotterdam 71 might have been out in Europe, pre-Takrl reissue, but it wasn’t like Dylan or Someone with tons of bootlegs competing for fans’ dollars.
    How about Cabaret Voltaire live at the YMCA or Minor Threat Live at Buff Hall? I don’t own either one but have seen them around forever.
    One that certainly counts, I have the album but not a scanner, is Thee Hypnotics LiveR than God, spelled like LiveR than You’ll Ever Be, and with classic Takrl style handwriting on the back. Great live album in the spirit of Kick Out The Jams, by the way.

    • Erik, I was aiming for albums that were not just going for the bootleg look but also copying the look of one of the famous bootleg labels; so upping the ante in that regard.

  6. John said:’re right bout the sue of Frank. He lost that case…!!
    Think Ken can sue all of this musicians and bands for using his logo’s and cover idea’s.
    Why the hell does someone try to copy a bootleg cover and/or labels? First try to get yourself a proper place in the music bizz and hopefully for you there are other people who wil bootleg you!!
    I also do dislike the so called ‘official ‘ bootlegs…(Aerosmith..f.e…and even Bob does use that ‘holy’ ( for me 🙂 word.)

  7. Andrew said:

    Why the hell does someone try to copy a bootleg cover and/or labels? Why not? It’s a tip of the hat, a tribute. When my current band put out our first lp I stuck a quote from the Stones’ Bedspring Symphony liner notes on the back. There’s also a song on it called For Badge Holders Only. The song really has nothing to do with the famous Zep boot, just thought it would make a good song title and those that do know that iconic bootleg might go, “hmm, look at that.” Like I said, I just see it as a tip of the hat, an obscure reference.

  8. John said:

    hey Andrew….you’re right in your opinion….and i do understand it ….!!
    Right now at the moment i’m designing a cover for a release of a new born artist…my first idea was to make a ‘bootleg’ idea outfit. For the vinyl so called ‘insert in shrink wrap’..with or without stamps and for the silver the same idea. ( see the Tarantura releases of some Zeps.). But i deleted that idea…although it was a great design. To be honest…the recordco’s i’ve spoken with were not to pleased with the idea…( even that the people which we had contact were a lot of youngsters..from the new music sales generation..and they didn’t have any idea or clue what Takrl or Tmoq was and i have to explain them a little bit of boot history. Not only the meaning of that folks…but me myself an i did make some boot vinyls in the past and i ‘lend’ the Takrl style of writing….and even now after many many years..i do feel ashamed for using their ‘standard style’ idea of designing their releases. Why the hell did i use their idea??…don’t now… As for the official releases ment in this is not a kind of adoration of the famous Douglas period!!it’s just pirating a piece of important history…!! Let’s keep it that way!!..let’s keep the Original TMOQ and TAKRL for the place in music history they deserve!!

  9. Erik T said:

    I just wanted to add another one for posterity- another Canadian act, but they might prefer to be thought of as Québécois, the Ville Emard Blues Band released their first album with a rubber stamped cover, recorded live in Montreal, released around 1972 I think,not to be confused with the double album by that title they recorded in 1974. I don’t have a copy, unfortunately, but I have seen it in Montreal, and apparently it occasionally shows up on eBay.

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