In the summer of 1969, in a small cluster of Los Angeles record stores, there appeared a white-labelled two-disc set housed in a black cardboard sleeve. This was “Great White Wonder”, a motley collection of unreleased Bob Dylan recordings. It was the first rock bootleg, and spawned an entire industry dedicated to making available to the fans unofficial recordings, usually live performances or unreleased out-takes from recording sessions. In this book, Clinton Heylin tells the whole story, from what defines a bootleg and its complex legal status, to a full history of their production and distribution. With virtually no crossover into soul, punk or rap, or indeed into the more lightweight forms of pop-rock, it is the great figures of rock music who dominate the market: the five most bootlegged artists remain the Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen and Dylan himself. Though the record industry claims that it has lost millions of pounds to the bootlegger, Heylin seeks to debunk this notion. This book tells a story of individual enthusiasm and creativity as much as big business. Clinton Heylin has tracked down and interviewed most of the important individuals involved since 1969 and the result is this account of the bootleg business.

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