Email 17th July 1998

Subject: Fish 98 - More bootleg talk and views!!

Dear Dan (the Elder) and fellow freaks,

Re the Freaks meet in Pontiac and the knowledge of the tapes!

It would have been churlish/uncouth/disrespectful and insensitive of me to say anything at the dinner in the bar! I'd just met a lot of strange new friends/been presented with the shirt and enjoying the meet! To rant and rave about taping etc would have made me out to be a total bore and selfish twat!!!!
I let it go! Wrong place wrong time!

I have bootlegs of the Who, Yes, Genesis etc! They're all crap and I paid a fortune for some because I thought it was cool to own one! I never/never/never listen to them because they're so bad! I would never consider buying one now!! They are a total rip off of genuine fans searching for the copy of their experience. It doesn't exist! The tape will never duplicate the experience! It demeans and devalues it!

The first bootleg I ever bought was a Floyd one in Bielefeld, Germany in 1978. It was called 'the Comet Kahoutek' or something and had the entire Dark Side album live! It took me hours to find the shop and was a bit like buying my first eighth!

I was shuttled to a dismal top floor underground shop where I paid around 18 quid (a fortune in those days) and was presented with the double LP in a brown paper bag!! When I got it back to Dalkeith and played it I was distraught! The quality was shite and not at all what I thought a bootleg was! Apart from some radio broadcasts I have on Cd every boot I ever bought is crap and a total rip-off! You all know the general quality and style! One of the reasons I always put out a Live CD after a tour is that I can deliver a quality item that is EQ'd for a cd, takes in the whole show (including waffle, although sometimes missing some numbers!) and at the same time pays all involved with the writing and performance and allows the fans a chance to own a segment of their own personal experience on the night!
I know of very few artists who's shows differ greatly night to night except for the real live stalwarts!

On this note I'd like to say that the 'Dead' were one of the biggest live grossing acts in the USA! Their album sales weren't equivalent to their audience figures and as their main income was from ticket sales they weren't too bothered about boots as someone from the list has already pointed out!!
The freedom of tape added to the draw!!
I'm not in that position! My gigs are small compared and the main source of income is from selling copies of my material be it live or in studio!

I refuse to advocate Bootlegging (which BTW was started by a librarian at the Carnegie hall who wanted to get copies of operas for posterity and recorded on a cylinder!!) and piracy I detest!

Some have mentioned the %'s with regard to the Record Companies / retail etc
Cd's may be cheap but all the promotion we all complain about as not being there costs money! The recording costs money- SOE was nearly UKp85K at the end of the day!
Bootleggers don't pay or contribute to those costs! It's all clear profit apart from the manufacturing! No royalties, no adverts just feeding of the fan's desire for the fix of the show anyway they can get it! And in the end they don't care about quality or content just the wedge they can pull as they also have no interest in customer loyalty!!
I won't change your opinions and some of you will still want the Fix - Ok! Fair enough! I can't stop you! It's your decision! Don't ask me to sign them, don't throw up web sites with details of how to buy them in full view of visiting artists, don't advocate the qualities of audience tapes and don't ever offer tapes of existing albums! I am an artist bound by various laws and will never advocate or justify bootlegs and am totally against piracy in any form whether money changes hands or not. That is my official position!

I also resent any slur on any of my crew as to their loyalty or attitudes to Bootlegging! They have never sold tapes or traded or allowed tapes to be in the hands of any other persons outside the band! They hate it as much as I do!
Any tape from a soundboard on the US tour was taken without permission. I didn't allow any DAT's to be taken apart from agreed radio broadcast tapes! Any existing DAT's taken from the desk belong to me and me alone. Any existing DAT's from the 97 USA tour are stolen property and any attempt to 'trade' or sell will be met with a strong legal argument!

I'm sorry to be so heavy and continuing a thread that I said I'd not dwell on but after recent posts I felt a return of serve was necessary before the situation became blurred!
Point made and end of story! Same applies as last time! Flame me if you have to, I'm available!

All the beast
Onkel Fish x

Ps Thanks for all the e's recently, I haven't had time to reply to you all but you know the score!!

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