And More...

It’s rather amazing to realise that just fourteen years ago this internet thing was something that plenty of people had heard about but not too many had actually experienced.

Since Apple was running an ad campaign along the lines of The internet - discover it on a Mac! I needed to start doing a bit of exploring for myself. As a confirmed music freak the avenues I was likely to investigate were obvious. The first thing I found were email list servers that provided music fans an avenue to keep in touch with each other and discuss matters of mutual interest. 

Never being one to do things by halves I signed up, in rapid succession, to lists devoted to Little Feat, the Allman Brothers, Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix and Richard Thompson. There were others, but those five had a great deal to do with what happened over the next couple of years.

The next thing I discovered was these lists were populated by the sort of music fans I’d been looking for since the end of The Underworld Years, and it was like coming home.

Even better, the lists put you in touch with developments in the world of music almost instantaneously, and I found myself reading about concerts, recording sessions, rumours and the like as they happened. The perfect example was the series of stealth shows Neil Young and Crazy Horse played at the Old Princeton Landing and other small venues around the Bay area in May and June 1996. 

First off I read the rumours. When they turned into fact I read the night by night accounts of how various fans who were lucky enough to live nearby got into the shows, and shortly afterwards there were set-lists, first-person accounts and all manner of commentary and speculation. Even more interesting, each night members of the audience managed to smuggle in stealth recording devices and those recordings were soon in circulation.

So, in other words, you could not only read about the shows - before too much time elapsed you could hear them as well.

Which brings us into the murky world of bootleg recordings.


B© Ian Hughes 2012