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Wizardo label

19 October 1976: The Sound Recording Amendment to U.S. copyright law for the first time extends copyright protection to sound recordings. Unfortunately, it combines both counterfeit and ‘pirate’ recordings in the same category as “misappropriated” recordings, “making bootlegs the legal equivalent of any pirate album containing commercially released material in alternative packaging” (Heylin, BOOTLEG, p. 125). In addition, for the first time the owner of any exclusive right (for example, mechanical reproduction) can now claim action for infringement. This right previously lay with the copyright owner of a work exclusively. As a result, record companies could now instigate legal proceedings without the cooperation of the artist.

“Vicki Vinyl was busted, a guy who was distributing Wizardo Records was busted, a number of stores were busted, my friend back east was busted – he was sending me the King Kong and Contraband Records in trade for my records. There were a whole bunch of people busted in December 1976.” [Lou Cohan in Heylin, BOOTLEG, p. 125]

The FBI, however had a lot to learn and were operating on some false beliefs, for example that there was a ‘Mr. Big’ somewhere behind this, controlling it all and in return for talking deals were offered.

“Wizardo, now working in tandem with Vicki Vinyl, managed to wriggle out of a first rap with a little kiss’n’tell. He promptly started up again, assigning new releases to the 500 series, only to be hit a second time. This time operations were forcibly put on hold by court action. Cohan, who was also busted at the end of 1976, was lucky that the FBI did not manage to gather all the available evidence.” (Heylin, BOOTLEG, p. 126)

As Lou Cohen was a volume dealer with an impressive catalog with product sourced from other bootleggers the FBI thought that this was their “Mr. Big”: “As for my own personal bootlegs, the most I ever pressed was 4,000 of any one title, the average was around 2,500 … [but] I would trade my bootlegs with other bootleggers, including a guy on the East Coast [in Darby, PA], so that by the time the FBI busted me in December of 1976 … I carried hundreds of titles, but only about twelve to ffteen of my own. I only made, I think twenty-two bootlegs. Hot Wacks says I made about ten, because I changed label titles, I changed what was scratched in the vinyl, to try and confuse the FBI.” [Lou Cohan in Heylin, BOOTLEG, p. 127]

While Wizardo’s second bust forced him to appear in court and close up shop for good, Cohan paid $1,000 to a lawyer, who made the whole issue disappear. Cohan retired his label name Hoffman Avenue Records and started up again using a pressing plant not listed as such in the yellow pages and continued until the end of 1977.

If anyone deserved the title “Mr. Big”, it was certainly Ken but Ken was never caught. Heylin’s book has ‘Eric Bristow’ recount an anecdote when the California State Police almost busted Ken in Westminster in Orange County, CA when a neighbor called the cops on him claiming Ken dealt in stolen property. Incredibly, Ken managed the cops to only leave with some samples and his lawyer basically blackmailed the police into dropping the case for not arresting Ken on the spot! To the best of my knowledge, a couple of the raided samples are the only items ever to come up for public auction:

 

Dylan CotH police evidence 1

Dylan CotH police evidence 2

Dylan CotH police evidence detail

From the auction description:

“Dylan Police Evidence
Police Evidence Sticker on Back Sleeve
Spine Also has 3 White Labels on It with Bob Dylans Name, LP Name & Cat #

TMOQ Record was A Legendary Bootleg Label Based In Westminster California back in the 70’s
Then when One day the Westminster Police Dept. Shut them down and this is one of the records that
was seized and held as evidence with the label from the police stamped and labeled.

If you check Popsike.com Under “TMOQ Evidence Room” you will also find
some Labels from this same seize and that has the same label from the Westminster
Police with Stamp & Lot #. Which Sold for $577

Labels evidence

The inspiration for the Mushroom logo came from William Stout’s cover drawing for TMoQ’s Winter Tour 1973 / All Meat Music:

Logo inspiration MR

I would place most of the original multi-color releases from 1976 onwards, with re-pressings on Ruthless Rhymes following later.

Volume 1:

Young N w. CH Mushr

Re-issue of Phonygraf 1105, original review is linked here.

The first one in the series seems to say “with Wizardo” in the lower right, pointing at a Vicki Vinyl/Wizardo co-production.

These are most of the known variations:

Young with Crazy Horse red

Young with Crazy Horse blu

Young with Crazy Horse orange

Young with Crazy Horse pizza

Young with Crazy Horse RR

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Volume 02:

 

Rolling Stones AMMusic MR mcvRolling Stones AMMusic MR mcv discs

Rolling Stones AMMusic MR mcv mat 2Rolling Stones AMMusic MR mcv mat 1

Rolling Stones AMM MR

Rolling Stones AMM MR blu gre

The Mushroom label designation was added to the bottom of the insert. Compare with original:

Rolling Stones A M M bot

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Volume 03: Led Zeppelin Blueberry Hill

PVC variations:

Led Zep Blueberry Hill Mush red disc 1Led Zep Blueberry Hill Mush red disc 2

Led Zep Blueberry H mcv d1Led Zep Blueberry H mcv d2

Led Zep Blueberry H Mshroom disc 1

Led Zep Blueberry H Mshroom disc 2

Led Zep Blueberry H w lbl

Led Zep Blueberry H w. RR lbl

I wonder when the stamp was introduced (to let prospective buyers know that inside the shrink wrap was not a boring all black piece of PVC).

Cover variations:

Led Zep Blueberry Hill Mush red

Led Zep B H cv

 

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Volume 04:

TGRnRCircus red

TGRnRCircus red 2

TGRnRCircus green

Shades of mcv-green

TGRnRCircus green 2

TGRnRCircus mcv

TGRnRCircus orange

TGRnRCircus RR lbl

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Volume 05:

Matrix: 1826 A/B

Led Zep Mudslide

Led Zep Mudslide 2

Led Zep Mudslide blue

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Volume 06:

Hendrix LA Forum 3

Hendrix LA Forum 2

 

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I discovered this previously unlisted reissue of CSNY’s WOODEN NICKEL, which I would add to the Mushroom series as well. Both confirmed sightings were on blue m.c. wax:

CSNY Wooden Nickel 1833 II

Matrix reported as 1833 A/B.

Taken from the previous Canyon Records issue, also found with Dittolino labels and under the (earlier?) title BLUEBIRD LIVE

CSNY Wooden Nickel CanyonCSNY Wooden Nickel D

Also found with blank orange or green labels.

CSNY Bluebird Live

Bowie MRS dfl

Bowie MRS dfl 2

HPIM1781.JPG

Bowie MRS Crash R

Narrow insert

Bowie MRS RR

Bowie MRS Canyon Recs f

Half-sized insert on a re-issue on Canyon Records

Bowie MRS Canyon Recs

Side 1:  Ziggy Stardust  (Sounds of the Seventies 11th or 18th January 1972) / Waiting For The Man (Sounds of the Seventies 11th or 18th January 1972) / The Supermen (Bob Harris show September 1971 ?) / Queen Bitch / (Sounds of the Seventies 11th or 18th January 1972) / Suffragette City – Top Gear May 1972

Side 2: White Light White Heat – Top Gear May 1972 / Hang Onto Yourself (Sounds of the Seventies 11th January 1972 or Top Gear May 1972) / Hang Onto Yourself / Moonage Daydream / Watch That Man [last 3 tracks Aladdin Sane Tour live at Long Beach Arena, 10 March 1973]

All the BBC tracks probably released on the official Bowie At The Beep.

It is relatively easy to date My Radio Sweetheart due to the dedication to Marc Bolan, who died on 17 September 1977. Note that the name of the record label is “tastefully” listed as “Crash Records”.

Bolancrash

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The live tracks were left overs from a mediocre sounding audience tape supplied by future bootlegger John Wizardo that he had lent out in 1973 to TMoQ, which released the following album from it in July of that year (I wonder if this was around the time that Take Linda Surfing and Miracle Muffler were made on Wizardo’s behalf by TMoQ?). It should be noted that by this time, TMoQ’s last contemporary release had been Bowie’s In America among a glut of releases presenting concerts/outtakes recorded at least two years ago or more. I can see Dub welcoming this new tape to satisfy buyers looking for something other than older Grateful Dead/Deep Purple or Hendrix. … Fast forward to late 1977 and Vicky Vinyl had some time to fill on her latest Bowie release and her old friend suggests the tracks that didn’t make it onto the TMoQ disc way back then…

Bowie TAAB insert

Bowie TAAB big pig

Bowie TAAB green lbl

This album still has held up well in value and still goes for a good price, even if the cover is Vg-, stained etc . I will eventually review the TMoQs but it needs some pre-studying unlike these other labels.

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The following was taken from a reconstruction job of the Long Beach material available on both vinyl bootlegs:

David Bowie
Long Beach Arena
Long Beach California
March 10 1973 REMASTERED

Lineage: Vinyl LP’s “All American Bowie” & “My Radio Sweetheart Dual

This parial show is compiled from 2 lps of various quality.  I do not know the reasoning behind the packaging of these lps. Most of My Radio Sweetheart is from a Sound of The Seventies broadcast with the exception of the 3 tracks plus Ode To Joy from LB. The sound is different between the 2 sources

Flaws of All American Bowie
1. running order of tracks all over the map
2. fade ins
3. various sound quality
4. Aladin Sane picks up on Garsons solo

Flaws of My Radio Sweetheart
1. Speed problem
2. A lot of high end, bad eq job

The set list is probably not in order, it is presented this way without having to switch back and forth between sources as much.There is a lot of hiss on these sources, … .

Performance is fantastic. Rono as usual is on fire and Garson’s solo in Aladin Sane is insane.

Tracklisting: *from My Radio Sweetheart
01 ‘Ode To Joy’ Intro
02 Hang On To Yourself
03 Ziggy Stardust
04 Changes
05 Moonage Daydream
06 Watch That Man
07 Panic In Detroit
08 Five Years
09 Aladin Sane (comes in on Garson’s solo)
10 My Death
11 Width Of A Circle
12 Time
13 Suffragette City

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Bowie Ziggy 2 II

Bowie ziggy 2 dfly

Bowie Ziggy 2 half

Bowie Ziggy 2 II

On 3rd of June 1971, David and his band, Mick Ronson, Trevor Bolder, Mick Woodmansey, Mark Carr Pritchett plus George Underwood, Dana Gillespie and Geoffrey Alexander (aka Geoffrey MacCormack) went into the BBC’s Paris Studio in Lower Regent Street, London, to record an episode for David Peel’s In Concert radio show. It was first broadcast on 20th June 1971 on Radio One from 7PM – 8PM and repeated three days later.

The recorded songs were: Queen Bitch / Bombers / The Supermen / Looking For A Friend / Almost Grown (lead vocals Geoffrey Alexander) / Kooks / Song For Bob Dylan (lead vocals George Underwood) / Andy Warhol (lead vocals Dana Gillespie) and It Ain’t Easy (lead vocals David Bowie, Geoffrey Alexander and George Underwood)

Other Info: The rehearsal and recording started at 15:30 and ended at 24:00 on 3rd June 1971. For ‘It Ain’t Easy’ David Bowie sings the first verse, Geoffrey Alexander sings the second and George Underwood sings the third. ‘Oh! You Pretty Things’ was also recorded but dropped from the broadcast due to time restrictions. The original master tape to this session has been lost or wiped.

Four tracks ‘Bombers’, ‘Looking For A Friend’, ‘Almost Grown’ and ‘Kooks’ also appeared on the 1988 ‘Bowie At The Beeb’ (Cat. No. CN 5155/S) set of three BBC Transcription Services discs backed with three sides of ‘Bolan At The Beeb’. [All of this info taken from http://www.bowiewonderworld.com/collectors/bbc.htm%5D

Ziggy 2 is rounded out by David’s short musical appearance on the last episode of Bolan’s TV show Marc, filmed on 7 September 1977, but not broadcast until after Bolan’s funeral on (20 September 1977), which was also attended by David Bowie.

COMMENTS: “A funny gig from BBC’s “In Concert” series, with Bowie and a couple of friends singing their favourite songs as well as songs from the coming album HUNKY DORY. A very interesting version is ANDY WARHOL sung by Dana Gillespie! The sound quality isn’t very good, and QUEEN BITCH is not complete. The last song is from the TV show Marc, and is very short.”

It’s October 1st – I am back and I hope everyone’s had a good September. To my amusement, the blog has had more visitors lately than before my break when I posted regularly. Hmm, what does it mean? … Anyway, this post will present two of my vacation purchases and ask a question.

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Bowie 74 LIVE ss

The Bowie Wizardo EP WR 201. My question is, were they sold like this – is this still sealed from way back in 1975 (obviously, the insert had to be held in place by something, so this must have come shrink wrapped)? Ignore the inventory sticker, which was added much later .

BOWIE 74 LIVE b

Back view.

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And just to show off:

WINGS 505 box

Wizardo WINGS 3 LP box # 505, the only Wizardo release that used the word “limited” on the insert, and this one likely the last sealed copy on the planet (with corner rip).

The seller has another 10 sealed boots of various titles on eBay. I asked where these came from but “I am selling these for someone else” was all he could offer. Someone must have bought from the source pretty early.

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Plus a new addition – probably the finest copy there is left:

 

Firesign 1

All I have found regarding the source is: “Bootleg Of Partial 14 April [some sources say 17] 1974 Berkeley Concert”.

A rare example of a bootleg containing comedy.

“According to LIFE magazine, Firesign were “The favorite comics of the Rock Age.”
They are, in fact, creators of what Stereo Review’s critic Eric Salzman called “contemporary, relevant, multi-level non-linear theater — a kind of verbal electronic opera.” The quartet presents the work in the authentic voice of its author-improvisers of whom Rolling Stone said, “The very least they should get is an Academy Award.”

Bowie74Live EP

Source: Los Angeles Amphitheater – ? September 1974

Side 1:  All the Young Dudes / Cracked Actor                                                                                               Side 2:  It’s Gonna Be Me [mis-titled on cover, bootleggers can, of course, not be expected to know the correct names of album tracks by the artists they are bootlegging]

Quality rating: “Vgs”

First ever Bowie 7″ bootleg. It seems that Bowie only added “It’s Gonna Be Me” to the set list from the LA dates onwards and this is also the first time this track from the Young Americans album became available as a live recording. Exists with at least 3 different kinds of labels (and two different covers): Wizardo, Cat & Dog and white blank with a stamped title.

BOWIE 74 LIVE b

Bowie Wiz EP red lbl

Although the picture sleeve shown above is the one supposed to be found with the second issue Cat & Dog labels, it was also used for the white ones shown here:

Bowie 74 Live white lbl

 

In 1980, someone copied the Wizardo EP but with worse audio quality due to added background crackles.

Bowie 1974 RE

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Bowie LA 74 program

R n R Circus PhonygWith a little help from John Wizardo, I am guessing.

 

A1     John Lennon –     Yer Blues         
A2     Led Zeppelin –     Riverside Blues         
A3     Cream –     Instrumental         
B1     The Who –     A Quick One While He’s Away         
B2     Cream  –     Everybody         
B3     Buffalo Springfield –     We Will See         
B4     Buffalo Springfield –     Down To The Wire         
B5     Buffalo Springfield –     Come On

Quality rating: ‘Gs’ and a notch below that for the King Kong/CBM release shown here:

R&R Circus

Mushroom reissues on colored vinyl – better artwork but why show the Rolling Stones, when they are not even featured on the album?

TGRnRCircus mcv

TGRnRCircus red

TGRnRCircus RR lbl