Kustom Records

Speaking of Kustom Records (as mentioned in my previous post) … a holiday present to us all (thank you, Karl!).


I guess the transmission date is 8th of April’71, after all.

The concert Peter Grant’s talking about was Led Zeppelin’s appearance at Munich’s Circus Krone on 08 March 1970 (no recording has ever appeared of this concert).

It feels like we are watching the moment Pink Floyd’s hatred for bootlegs started.It’s quite remarkable that what is likely their first encounter with one of their bootlegs was the incredibly rare Pinky, pressed in a first pressing run of just 50 copies (matrix: DJ3003),

Pink Floyd Pinky

a UK copy of this Dutch release:

Pink Floyd Big Pink LIFE


Matrix: XA44332/YB44332 – first edition with the misspelling “LIFE” on both sides. Second & third corrections had “LIVE/LIFE” and finally “LIVE/LIVE” on front and back.

Pink Floyd Big Pink lbl 2

“Atom Heart Mother” on side 1 and “Embryo” and “Interstellar Overdrive” on side 2, recorded at the Audimax in Hamburg 1970-03-12


Re. Kustom Records: This is the US cover for the Beatles pirate JUDY

Beatles Judy

Beatles Judy b

It’s preposterous to claim these tracks were copied directly from the original masters from the Abbey Road vault, as the BBC reporter sets up the story and Mr. Collins willingly indulges him (although the claim may of course originated with him).

I still believe that Kustom was mostly a US label and they were only to happy to sell Collins a few hundred records and he had his own b&w knock off covers printed based on the original designs.

Beatles LaShea Kustom


Hendrix Goodbye Jimi blu

Hendrix Goodbye Jimi lbl

Hendrix Goodbye Jimi gree

Also exists with red&white and b&w inserts.

Hendrix Goodbye Jimi gree wh lbl

USA: 2nd half of 1971 to early ’72



Hendrix Goodbye Jimi det

The Infromthestorm site states: “BBC Sessions, London 1967 / […] / Atwood Hall, Clark University, Worcester, MA 15.03.68; 2nd Show / “Happening For Lulu”, BBC TV Centre, London 04.01.69″


The Kustom Records US copy, # 005, released between late 1970 and April of ’71:

Hendrix Goodbye Jimi KR


Hendrix Goodbye Jimi lbl

Kustom Records still confuses me a bit. It’s almost as if they were active on both sides of the Atlantic simultaneously (A Jeffrey Collins can be seen in a BBC report from 1971, stating he imports the discs from the USA and sleeves are added in the UK).

This particular release looks like a US release to me, compared to their European ones, which had printed covers, and was only sold by US-based sellers on eBay.


The UK original live experience 1967 – 68 (‘VOODOO CHILE’), matrix: JHBL A1 / JBHL B :

Hendrix LEX


Hendrix l e 67-68 lbl 1

It came with a leaflet that Kustom Records (and Berkeley) would use for their inserts.


This unauthorized UK release received quite a bit of flak in the mainstream press, likely helping prompt a good deal of financial concern and the BBC report shown below.

Hendrix Row

Above: Melody Maker, UK, 12/1970 – below: Billboard magazine, US, 26 November 1970:

Hendrix 67-68 Billboard

In April 1971, Billboard reports that 13,944 copies were pressed.



Finally, the (velvet) hammer came down – from Melody Maker, April 3rd, ’71:

crunch bootleggers

We know from the BBC report that Jeffrey Collins imported Kustom Records discs without covers from the US and it seems obvious that he passed Kustom a copy of the UK bootleg, which then ended up as their release # 005, shown above.

However, in the end it was all for naught:

Hendrix One bootleg LP

[thanks to for some of these articles!]


Also copied by TMOQ in the US and released around June of 1971 as 71019 (matrix: JH107A/B):

Hendrix Broadcasts purple disc I


CBM copied part of Kustom’s insert for their first version of their RAINBOW BRIDGE release (# 3213) from 1972:

Hendrix Rainbow Bridge CBM


Patti Smith and a copy of Goodbye, Jimi:

Patti Smith GB Jimi




John E Live

HOTWACKS states: Made from the same plates as ‘Live E.Jay’ (Dittolino Discs).

John E KEDAlive 2

John E KEDAlive 3

John E KED Alive lbl

WABC-FM New York radio broadcast – 17 November ’70, officially released on 9 April 1971, possibly after several bootleg titles had already been spotted. This created a unique situation, where for the first time in the history a commercial release had to compete with bootlegs containing identical material, available in sufficient quantities to cause concern.

However, as I have written here before, I am somewhat doubtful of the claim found on wikipedia, taken from Heylin’s book, stating ” It has been said that the release by an eastern bootlegger of the whole 60-minute aircast rather than the 40 minutes selected by Dick James Music significantly cut into the US sales of the live album.”

None of the single LP releases, like radiocord or Keylo’s VERY ALIVE [really a TMOQ release] contained the complete broadcast. The double album shown here would be the only one that fits that description but it is quite hard to find, which is not what you’d expect from a significant seller, even 40+ years after the fact. I don’t doubt that all of these bootlegs combined put a modest dent into sales of the official album (I would be surprised if it was more than 25,000 although whether this was before or after the official release date would have to be looked at in detail), especially VERY ALIVE in its imitation brown leather cover is still easy to locate these days but that is the risk you take as a record company when you release a performance that was already broadcast to potentially hundreds of thousands of listeners several months earlier.

The original broadcast had consisted of:

I Need You To Turn To
Your Song
Country Comfort
Border Song
Indian Sunset
Bad Side Of The Moon
Take Me To The Pilot
Sixty Years On
Honky Tonk Women
Can I Put You On
Burn Down The Mission (including My Baby Left Me & Get Back)
My Father’s Gun (encore)


KNOCKINEM DEAD – ALIVE / LIVE (E JAY) is the only bootleg that contains the whole show (but not in the original running order):

Side 1: I Need You To Turn To / Your Song / Bad Side Of The Moon / Country Comfort
Side 2: Can I Put You On / Border Song / Sixty Years On
Side 3: Indian Sunset / Honky Tonk Women / Amoreena / Take Me To The Pilot
Side 4: Burn Down The Mission (including My Baby Left Me & Get Back) / My Father’s Gun



A similar situation to Deep Purple’s H Bomb, which was available with the same type of stamped cover, either with Dittolino or ‘title’ Kustom labels:

Deep Purple HB stamp KustDeep Purple HB Dittolini

This points to a rather close working relationship between Kustom and Dittolino Records. Both were mainly copy labels, with Kustom focusing on European releases, and both operated at the same time, from 1971 onwards, when this Elton John title taken from his radio broadcast was released. I do not think however, that Kustom was a side label run by the same people who did Dittolino Records.


Kustom Records Discography [Deep Purple, Beatles & Elton John titles also produced by Dittolino]:


– DEEP PURPLE H-Bomb   ASC-001, Matrix numbers on vinyl: side1: 2001-A; side 2: 2001-B

DeepPurple H Bomb K

Live in Aachen, Germany – 11 July 1970. Probably a copy of this 1970 Italian bootleg – possibly the first to be produced in Italy:

Deep Purple Space vol 1

– THE BEATLES – Live At SheaThe Only Live Recording  ASC-002,  Matrix: SHEA – 1/2 

Beatles LaShea Kustom

– THE BEATLES – Judy  ASC-003, Matrix : A/1 2002 – A / B/2 2002 – B [all pirated officially released tracks, with every song title changed by the bootleggers.]

Beatles JudyBeatles Judy b

– ASC-004 ?


– JIMI HENDRIX – Goodbye Jimi   Kustom 005

Hendrix Goodbye Jimi 4

A quality degenerated copy of the UK White Cover Folks bootleg # 723:

Hendrix Goodbye Jimi WCF 2

“[WCF’s] most successful title was a superb Hendrix collection, Goodbye Jimi, drawn from BBC Top Gear radio sessions, which apparently sold some 9,000 copies.” [Heylin, p. 148]

 Dittolino also issued this title as LIVE EXPERIENCE(S)

Hendrix Live Experiences

Hendrix Live Experiences insert

as did TMOQ did under this title in June of 1971 as JH-107 / 1841 / 71019:

Hendrix Broadcasts purple disc I

– ELTON JOHN – Goodbye Knockin’ Em Dead – Alive  006

Deep Purple Prisoners of Rock

Side A:             Mandrake Root                                                                                                                         Side B:             Wring That Neck                                                                                                                      Side C:             Black Night                                                                                                                               Side D:             Paint It Black

When Deep Purple took the stage at the rock festival in Aachen, Germany on July 10 1970 an enterprising individual(s) had managed to run an extra line into the soundboard and a recorder was running out of sight. The resulting recording became the first DP bootleg: 

Deep Purple Space

“Some information about the bootleg origin:
The first pressing was titled simply “Space” and was available in late 1970, either as a double (two discs in a single cover) or as two single discs. “Mandrake Root” was split over two sides of the second disc. The second pressing was called “H-Bomb”, which a more professionally produced single album which lacked “Mandrake Root” and also had slight edits to the other songs. “Kustom Records” (ASC 001) was the (Bootleg-) Label which distributed the disc across Europe and UK in early 1971.”

From what I have gathered so far, Kustom Records seems to have been a US bootleg label, so the above comment is perhaps a little exaggerated.

DeepPurple H Bomb K

Deep Purple H Bomb

Meanwhile in the US, the decent quality – for the time – made it an easy target for copying:                    Deep Purple HB Dittolini

Deep Purple SZ CBM ss

Deep Purple Sonic Zoom 1 Deep Purple Sonic Zoom 2


Contraband advertized this as “Live In Chicago” – but that’s OK as some DP websites still list the source as being a Swedish concert.

Deep Purple Sonic Zoom 3                                                Deep Purple Sonic Zoom lbl


And before “Prisoners of Rock”, Ken apparently had already copied this single album containing the Aachen recording before:

Deep Purple Darker Than Blue

Originally on Purple Records:

Deep Purple Darker TB P lbl

Deep Purple Darker Than Blue


Deep Purple SZ TLB

A Vicki Vinyl produced version with a This Little Bird label on one side and an Idle Mind logo label on the other.


Deep Purple LFEurope

This sealed copy sold for a remarkable $131.50 in November of 2013

Deep Purple LFEurope detail

Deep Purple LFEurope lbl

Found with 70’s style GLC labels.


The band officially released this title, mastered from a bootleg source, in 2001 as Space Vol. 1 & 2 – on the Sonic Zoom label no less, so CBM got a nod as well – and again in 2006 as Live in Aachen with a cover showing all the bootleg LP’s this appeared on earlier.