I watched Dan Rather interview Bob Weir tonight on his very insightful show The Big Interview. It's on AXS TV. He interviews all the great stars of music and does it as well as anyone ever has. If you get a chance to watch, I highly recommend it.
One of the questions Dan asked was how come they allowed tapers at their concerts, especially the taper section. The answer he received was very enlightening especially for that time and era especially when all the record companies were against it. The Dead's label was also against it but nobody had the balls to wade out into the crowd and tell them they couldn't tape.
What struck me was Bob's very clear vision as a young musician that these tapes would be passed around to the taper's friends, sons, daughter's, etc. and make them even more fans.
Myself I think it took a little while for Bruce to come around to that point of view, if in fact he has fully embraced it.
In my mind, the bootlegs did for Bruce Springsteen exactly what they did for The Grateful Dead. The boots spread the word about this great live band and the passion of the fan extolling the greatness of these live shows and tapes reinforced those feelings.
All of the above got me to thinking about this. A lot of the older bootlegs were shall we say not meant for audiophiles, they left a lot to be desired. As technology evolved and the years passed by they became much, much better.
We have IEMs, ALDs, Matrix's of both.
Now we have Official Live Downloads with the best soundboards available and the best sound engineers behind them.
My question to you is this: Do you think these official downloads are being passed around and making new fans the same way it happened for us?
Or is it just another official release, they're not being passed around and it's only 2000 die hard fans listening to them. Is Bruce making new fans with these live downloads or is it too late in the game?