These are underground labels old and new, with no illusions of legitimacy.
Blind Boy Grunt
Responsible for a re-issue of An
Evening with ... Frank Zappa & Captain Beefheart, and a yet unknown
bootleg called Crush This Box, probably with Crush
All Boxes material.
Cheekbone Crush Records
Quality-conscious do-it-yourself CD-R label in Stockholm, Sweden, with a CD of the
vinyl mix of Cruisin' with Ruben
& the Jets to its name.
Copied Does Humor Belong
in Music? and the Mystery Disc from
the Old Masters Box I (perhaps also the second).
Do-it-yourself CD-R label guilty of a Big Mother Is Watching You
One or two separate labels. The first seemed to release these bootlegs starting
in the very late 1990s:
First two letters for artist, third and fourth letters for concert location.
The second released two double CDs in 2001, Zappa
in New York 81 (FZ17111981-1/2) and The
Mothers Down Under (FZ24061972-1/2). This is also a system, of course; it's
the concert date, although it's the wrong date on FZ24061972.
HEAD is responsible for the original An
Evening with ... Frank Zappa & Captain Beefheart; Head (and they may be
the same) have put out Time
Sandwich and a Captain Beefheart bootleg (Out Here, Over There).
K&S Records was a Canadian copycat label operational in the
mid-70s, making cheap copies of glossy product from quality-conscious labels such as TradeMark of Quality:
Mud Shark sounds like a Zappa-only label. The additional labels Raw
Sound and Nocturnal Records appeared on some of the Mud Shark boots.
- Necessity Is ... / Rustic Protrusion (MZ 3601-D, circa 1979)
- Easy Meat (MZ 3602, with Raw Sound)
- Conceptual Continuity (MZ
- Project-Object (MZ 3604)
- Could This
Be ... Joe's Garage Acts IV & V Live? (MZ 3605)
- Fred Zappelin (MZ 3606, with Raw
- A Token of His Extreme (MZ
3607 - "Nocturnal Records" listed on label)
- 20 Years of Frank Zappa (12-LP box,
containing The Basic Primer: Z-A, The Soundtracks, The Cucamonga Era, Gas Mask, Hotel Dixie, The Grand Wazoo Orchestra, Show & Tell, The Night of the Iron Sausage, Warts & All I, Warts & All II, Soup & Old Clothes and Advanced Study: World Pop
Domination - MZ4801-4812)
NTB - Nifty, Tough & Bitchen Records
NTB Records was one of many labels set up by a very major bootlegger,
identified in the book BOOTLEG by Clinton Heylin
as "Richard", and "Next to the Beatles, his great love was the cantankerous
Frank Zappa". "Richard in his time was to be responsible for one ten-album set,
one four-album set and ten single [Zappa] albums, including the legendary 'Tis the Season to be Jelly".
(The ten-album set is the Mystery Box, but the
other albums are never identified.) He is quoted (on page 195) as saying:
I'm a big Zappa fan. In fact my Mystery Box got
Zappa as upset as Columbia got over Ten of Swords [a Bob Dylan
bootleg]. Zappa in America has a hotline for his fans to call and he went so far as
to have the woman who does the hotline ask for help in tracking down the perpetrators of
this heinous boxed-set, and Zappa called the FBI and the FBI didn't want to be
bothered ... I guess the problem was that Zappa was doing his You Can't Do
That on Stage Anymore, his ongoing series that has just ended, and Mystery Box was a giant You Can't Do That on
Stage Anymore. A lot of reviews were saying that Mystery
Box was better because it was chronological and didn't jump all over the place and
didn't have all these stupid edits in it. That kind of thing can annoy you if you're an
artist putting out your own thing ... Zappa's reasoning behind that was that he was
losing tons of money and in fact he wasn't losing any money. Most people who do Zappa
bootlegs do so because they like Zappa. They don't do it for the money. I can imagine
people making money off a lot of other bootlegs but not Zappa.
Two more "Richard" quotes - from page 185:
I figured that rather than do bootlegs in the style of bootlegs I'd rather do real
records that you can't really [get], something closer to what you'd consider a real record
in the way it looks [and] in the way it sounds.
And from page 186:
Luckily, through connections I [was able to] work at the second-best studio in South
California, a real place that had real quality control standards with real mastering
engineers. At first I did it in conjunction with an engineer, I would say how he wanted it
to be and he would twiddle the knobs and do it. But after a couple of albums he would take
a nap or leave. After I knew how to run the board I would clean everything myself.
So, Zappa bootlegs by "Richard":
- 'Tis the Season to be Jelly
- Mystery Box (10-LP box containing Pigs & Repugnant, Son of Pigs & Repugnant, Beyond the
Fringe of Audience Comprehension, Zut
Alors, The Rondo Hatton Band,
A Token of His Extreme, Chalk Pie, Crush All Boxes, Return of the Son of Serious
Music and Randomonium)
- An unknown four-album set
- 9 unknown single albums (three of which are probably the Trick or Treat, The Ark and We Are the Mothers & This Is What We Sound
Like! LPs, which are on a "Bizarre" label, just like 'Tis the Season to be Jelly,
which is a confirmed "Richard" creation)
Confirmation from JWB:
'Tis the Season to be Jelly,
Trick or Treat, and The Ark were ALL made by
the same person. I have all three and they have identical custom labels and similar
run-out groove etchings. They also all have superb and similar-quality artwork. The labels have the OFFICIAL
Bizarre logo on them.
NOTE: The double LPs Dweezil
Has Messed My Mind Up and Snake
Hips Etcetera are also on "Bizarre" labels, but according to Heylin, those
are not not by "Richard".
Other bootlegs that "Richard" made include The Beatles vs
the Third Reich and Elvis Presley's Greatest Shit. He left
the business when CDs took over.
On Stage / Sarabandas
CD pirates that put out a counterfeit of the Fillmore East, June 1971 CD,
called Little House I Used to Live in
(CD 12026, 1992). From JWB:
The ON STAGE/SARABANDAS series was an ENTIRE SERIES
of pirated albums. I also remember seeing pirated copies of live albums by Cream, Jimi
Hendrix, The Doors, Bob Dylan, and many others.
They were very common in American record stores in the early '90s, but it has been
quite a while since I've seen one. What sets them apart from regular pirates and bootlegs,
is that they were inexpensive (around $8 per disc). They were pressed in large quantities
in some European country, and imported into America ridiculously cheap (or maybe traded
for planeloads of cocaine). It is very rare to find pirated CDs in America, but this
series was very popular due to these cheap prices. They only cost half as much as the
original CDs that they were pirated from. Plus the artwork was very professional, and
probably intended to fool as many people as possible.
This might make it easier to understand why Little House I Used to Live in is a
copy of the original CD and not the vinyl. It is hard to understand why someone would
pirate original CDs, change the title and artwork, and sell them cheaply as an exclusive
"series". Once again, my cocaine explanation comes to mind.
From BOOTLEG by Clinton Heylin, page 133:
A whole series of American bootlegs were now [1977/1978 - Ed.] being
released with Ruthless Rhymes labels on the records (the logo consisting of a gun pointed
at the HMV dog's head). Seemingly unconnected 'companies' were attributed to each Ruthless
Rhymes release. One Ruthless Rhymes label, Audifon, was responsible for one of the most
deluxe packages in bootleg history [Life Sentence, a Bob Dylan
bootleg - Ed.].
- Wax Flags (Ruthless Rhymes /
Raring Records Rarities FZ500)
RXZ Records are a very active, overt and public high-profile bootleg
label in Italy, started in the 1990s, run by a huge Zappa fan, who for some reason hasn't
been busted by the police yet. They seem to be on the one hand re-issuing classic bootlegs
and on the other hand making new lavish boxes and basic, one-show titles:
- The History & Collected
Improvisations of Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention (10-CD box re-issue, RXZ
- Norwegian Rhapsody (2-CD box
re-issue, RXZ 311-312/A)
- 20 Years of Frank Zappa (12-CD box
re-issue, RXZ 313A-324A)
- The Untouchables (2-CD set
re-issue, RXZ 325A-326A)
- The Godfather in
Full Metal Jacket (2-CD set re-issue, RXZ CD 327A-328A)
- An Evening
with Frank Zappa & Captain Beefheart (re-issue)
- Trance-Fusion Demos
- Mothermania (it says (a)RF Records on it,
but RXZ Records have advertised it, and may have copied it, or even made it under the name
of (a)RF Records to begin with)
- The Godfather Meets the
Untouchables (3-CD set re-issue)
- Broadway the Hard Way in USA (6-CD box,
RXZ CD 332A-337A)
- Broadway the Hard Way in Europe
(6-CD box, RXZ CD 338A-343A)
- Bongo Fury El Paso
TX (RXZ CD 344A/355A)
- Uptown in
Chicago Part 1 (RXZ CD 346A)
- Milwaukee State Fair 8-Oct-1984 Part 1
(RXZ CD 347A)
In August 1999, they promised to release the following new bootlegs in September:
- El Paso 25-May-1975 (2 CD) [listed now, as Bongo
Fury El Paso TX]
- Chicago 27-Oct-1981 (2-CD box) [first disc listed now, as Uptown
in Chicago Part 1]
- Milwaukee State Fair 8-Oct-1984 Part 1 [listed
in May 2000]
- Philadelphia 12-13-14-Feb-1988 (6-CD box)
- Hartford 16-17-Feb-1988 (4-CD box)
- Columbus 6-Mar-1988 (2 CD)
- Towson 23-Mar-1988 (2 CD)
- Uniondale 25-Mar-1988 (2 CD)
- London 18-19-Apr-1988 (4-CD box)
- Wurzburg 22-Apr-1988 (2 CD)
- Lund 26-Apr-1988 (2 CD)
- Torino 3-Jun-1988 (2 CD)
They obviously seem to concentrate on the 1988 tour, and quite a bit of their material
overlaps, since they issue the same shows both as separate CDs and as parts of boxes.
Their motto: "RXZ Records is going to give you what UNFORTUNATELY we
can't find from the official lines!" This does not stop them, however, from
bootlegging stuff a few months before it's supposed to be officially released
(the Trance-Fusion guitar-solo album was scheduled for release in fall
1999, but postponed, for mysterious reasons), or from re-issuing
bootlegs that have officially released material on them (even if everything on a bootleg
has been officially released).
All RXZ records are CD-R. The label is mostly based with the picture of FZ on
"Fred Zappelin" ... it's a papersticker.
An American label of the mid- to late 1980s.
TMOQ - TradeMark of Quality
TAKRL - The Amazing Kornyphone Record Label
SODD - Singer's Original Double Disks
ZAP - Ze Anonym Plattenspieler
IMP/IRW - Impossible Recordworks
TradeMark of Quality was one of the legendary bootleg labels in the
very beginning of the 70s, established in 1970 or 1971 by two bootleggers known as Dub
and Ken. They were quality-conscious perfectionists who pressed all their
albums on coloured, virgin vinyl, and perhaps the first bootleggers to start doing real,
printed picture covers, and later colour picture covers (printed - not inserts in the
shrink-wrap!). Their original logo stamp was a realistic-looking pig with the words
"TRADE MARK OF QUALITY" around it.
From BOOTLEG by Clinton Heylin, page 85:
With TMQ's foundation, all pre-TMQ releases were assigned numbers in the 71000 series
in approximately chronological order. Though the first real TMQ release was Frank Zappa's 200 Motels [Live with Zubin Mehta &
the LA Philharmonic], 71001 was Dylan's Stealin' ...
After a while, Dub's dad moved into the business and fired Ken from
TMOQ. Ken set up a rival company, which he also called TMOQ, using a logo with a cartoon
pig smoking a cigar, still surrounded by the words "TRADE MARK OF QUALITY". Ken
started making his own "stamper" plates from Dubs original "mother"
plates, working in cahoots with "the lady who owned and ran the pressing plant",
and every time there was a new release from Dubs original TMOQ label, Ken's TMOQ would
have an exact copy out on black vinyl and with a cheaper cover. Dub then modified his logo
to say "Accept No Substitutes".
Ken shut down his TMOQ in late 1973, and set up another label called TAKRL -
The Amazing Kornyphone Record Label with another bootlegger, "Dr Telly
Phone". Dub shut down his TMOQ in 1974, after some unnerving investigation from the
FBI, and took a short break from bootlegging. Ken's TAKRL became a major operator, flanked
by many new labels invented by Ken, such as TKRWM - The Kornyphone Records
for the Working Man, SODD - Singer's Original Double Disks,
ZAP - Ze Anonym Plattenspieler, and HHCER -
Highway Hi-Fi Collector's Edition Records, Spindizzle/Flat, and
probably others upon others. These were finally shut down in 1976/1977, at about the same
time as Dub resurrected his old TMOQ for a few albums and then took it back down. Ken
stayed in bootlegging with some new labels, IMP/IRW - Impossible Recordworks
and Excitable Recordworks, using black & white printed covers, and Phoenix
and Saturated Records, who repressed old TMQ and TAKRL
boots in deluxe colour. At this time, Ken was living in Spain, but his labels were all
based in California.
Finally, in the mid-1980s, Ken chaotically resurrected his plethora of labels, along
with new aquaintances (Shogun Records being one) and kept them
going for a few years, mostly doing re-issues in conjunction with a new main label called Toasted
Records that he had set up with "Eric Bristow" (another legendary
bootlegger), in a last prolific burst of vinyl. Toasted stayed in business well into the
90s, doing bootleg CDs (which they first started pressed in Korea).
From Kristian Kier (October 1988):
This is what I found in a german price guide for bootlegs:
TAKRL (The amazing Kornyphone record label)
- USA 1974-1977: US-company with the most bootleg releases beneath
"TMOQ". All records have inserts and are rare now. Matrix
number here is always "TAKRL 1xxx" (single LPs) or "TAKRL
2xxx" (2LP sets). Rather expensive.
- USA 1978: These versions are nearly always re-releases (partly from
own publications in black/white covers. Matrix numbers are always
"TAKRL 9xx"). Not expensive.
- USA ca 1986/87: Late US-items of TAKRL with generetic one-colour cover
all limited to 500 copies. Matrix number is always "TAKRL
14xx" (single LPs) or "TAKRL 24xx" (2LP sets). Not very
- Germany 1988: All records are re-releases of earlier bootlegs with a
simple insert like the original insert. The back is rubber stamped with
"Limited edition of 100 copies only", which definitely isn't
true in most cases. Matrix number is always the number of the original
record. Number on insert is always "TAKRL xxxx" (2LP sets have
"TAKRL xxxx/xxxx" and so on). Some records in coloured vinyl.
Not rare and not very expensive ("Rebirth" Label).
Note from me: The price guide is from 1991. And there was a homepage of
TAKRL not too long ago with trader section and sound samples, pictures of
artists and so on ... maybe it still exists.
Zappa releases from TMOQ (in its several incarnations):
Zappa releases from TAKRL:
Zappa releases from SODD:
Zappa releases from ZAP:
Zappa releases from Toasted Records:
Zappa releases from Spindizzle/Flat:
Zappa releases from IMP/IRW:
Zappa releases from Phoenix Records:
Zappa releases from Shogun Records:
Additional informants: Craig
John Wizardo was a very serious rock bootleg collector of the very
first generation, who hunted down copies of every bootleg released anywhere
in the world up to the early 1970s - when he decided to start making his own instead.
And did he ever! He quickly became one of the major players, and for parts of the '70s, no
other label, except maybe TAKRL, put out more bootlegs than Wizardo.
He kept finding new artist to bootleg, and was responsible for the first ever (or some of
the very first) bootlegs of artists as disparate as Captain Beefheart, Kiss, Roxy Music,
Curved Air, Alice Cooper and Lou Reed. But he was first and foremost a Beatles fan, and he
stayed in the business long enough to make some of the first ever CD bootlegs of the
His logo was a wizard with a pointed hat, a long robe and a staff above the letters
"WIZARDO". He was to put this logo on at least one Zappa bootleg, Metal Man Has Hornet's Wings
(Wizardo 365), and in 1984 a European bootlegger using Wizardo's logo put out Scandinavian Nights Part 1 and Scandinavian Nights Part 2 on
the fake-Wizardo label Faboulous Wizardo Records (FWRMB ZX 50-1/2).
Little is known about the ZX label, other than that it made the famous
10-LP box The History &
Collected Improvisations of Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention (not to be
confused with the many-LP box
by the same name that Zappa himself planned but never released), a 10-LP box of Ultra-Modern Stringbean, Nifty, Ein Monster in der Musikhalle,
If You Get a Headache, Frank Zappa vs. the Tooth
Fairy, A Token of My Extreme,
I Was a Teenage Maltshop, Petrouska, Zurkon Music and Back on the Straight and
Narrow (ZX 3651-3660).
Protection-Gap Labels from the Early 1990s Boom
These are labels that emerged in Europe (in this case Germany) in the late '80s and
early '90s, when the advent of CDs co-incided with new possibilities to exploit gaps in
the copyright laws of several European countries, which often were only protecting
recordings of foreign artists that were less than 20 years old. By that time, more and
more classic rock recordings were becoming 20 years old or more. These companies were
actually working within the limits of the law, or at least in a grey area of it, and they
hurried to make some quick money before the laws were to be changed later in the 90s. In
the meantime, however, they discovered new and revolutionary legal loopholes ...
Armando Curcio Editore
This legitimate Italian label exploited the early '90s protection gap to
release some Zappa records:
From Oscar Bianco:
Armando Curcio is one of the bigger low-budget CD publishers in Italy
(especially for classical music), this kind of CDs are always sold in newspaper
and book shops.
German/Luxembourg-based protection-gap re-issue companies of the
early '90s boom, perhaps with earlier underground roots. Flashback seems to have had a
picture/shape-vinyl profile in its day:
And Tuff Bites made at least one Zappa re-issue:
From somewhere in Nordrhein-Westfalen:
Flashback and Tuff Bites are based in my hometown. I know two of them, one
of them was in jail in the US by this famous party police catch some years
ago. They first had Flashback, and then split from some of the other guys
involved. One part of them formed Tuff Bites then.
They've retired now. One of them is a video collector, and he sold all his
private stock of the bootlegs for low prices to friends (I bought some of
them). He now has a regular job. The other one has a little record
distribution, still bootlegs though. They had their stock here in Germany, but the record companies were
registered in Luxembourg, for legal reasons.
I was introduced to one of them (the video collector) by a friend, who
knows him for many years. That was around two years ago. I knew him from
seeing him sometimes at my preferred pub, but wasn't aware about his job. I
was told that he wanted to get rid off his private bootleg stock, and so I
made a date with him at his home. I entered his home, and he had a lot of
shelves on his walls. But all empty ... so I asked him what's this all
He was an employee of that company (I think Flashback at that time), who
was something like a driver, responsible for the transportation jobs. He drove
a small van, which was registered in Luxembourg, for tax purposes and because
their company was registered there. At one day he had the van full of empty CD
trays, bringing them from Luxembourg to their stock here in Germany. Right
after he passed the border he ran into a police control. Sure the police
wondered about his load, but they let him go. So he drove to his stock,
unloaded the van and drove home. What he wasn't aware of was that the police
followed him secretly, and so knew where the stock was! A few days later (or
maybe even the next day) our customs search officers and police paid a visit
to his home in the early morning hours ...
He [was put in] prison for two months, his entire video collection and his
stereo equipement got confiscated. His record collection remained untouched.
Maybe they had no desire to carry away such a heavy-weight collection, it was
still there when I visited him. After two months he got free from prison, and
got his stereo back, but all damaged. Must be their personal revenge, or
something ... He was still waiting for his videos. (You see, I met him
shortly after he got out of prision).
And now their stock: They confiscated their stock, too, and probably
destroyed it (steam-roller?). They unloaded the house the stock were in
completely ... but haven't found the second one in the house next to it!
Now, the problem was that they probably still were under observation from
the police or customs, so they weren't able to get their hands on their
remaining stock. I don't know if they [ever did].
I can't remember the cicumstances why I met the other one, but somehow
managed to get a date at a local pub here. We talked about this and that, and
sure I asked him about his bootleg buisness. He never told me precisely what
his job was really all about, but have the feeling he's one of the main
bootleggers, if not the bootlegger of Flashback and Tuff Bites. I felt
his responses to my questions were really "careful". But he told me
about him getting busted in that "faked bootlegger party" in the US,
which seems to be known as the counterblow against bootlegging in the
USA. But he wasn't running into details too much. The only thing I remember is
he was in US jail for about half a year, and that US justice wasn't be able to
get their hands on him for a longer period since his buisness was outside the
US and officially legal over here (as long as such a buisness is based in
Luxembourg). "Too much exaggeration is made out of this in the
media!" was his comment, "They really had nothing much on their
hands to bust the European bootleggers."
Great Dane Records
Legendary bootleggers of the 1990s and late 1980s who put out the deluxe Zappa box Apocrypha, perhaps the world's most popular bootleg among
Zappa fans. From Clinton Heylin's BOOTLEG, page
Rinaldo Tagliabue: Great Dane consists of a group of collectors. We
select artists using our 'heart', [and] we select our production considering three things:
popularity of the artist, quality of available tapes and the sales potential. There's
nothing original in this, except that we consider Europe as our market.
Great Dane, powered by Tagliabue and "the Lawyer", were the
first label that realised that it was legal in Italy to release live recordings that were less
than 20 years old - you didn't need permission, you just had to pay the performer
"fair compensation". In reality, though, far from everything Great Dane released
was legal even in Italy - just look at Apocrypha
with its various forms of material.
Live & Alive
Living Legend Records
Imtrat was the distribution company for Living Legend
Records / Live & Alive, based in Landshut, Bavaria. A major
protection-gap company, who were exploiting loopholes in European copyright law in the
late 1980s and early 1990s, dumping their usually fully legal but unauthorised CDs on the market in mass
quantites at throwaway prices, and making enemies of every conventional record company
(and bootlegger!). Live & Alive re-issued The Ark as Live USA, with bonus tracks, on LP and
CD; in fact, their very first CD. From BOOTLEG by Clinton Heylin (pages 320-321):
A German gentleman by the name of Wolfgang was the most mercenary, and
undiscriminating, of this new breed of underground merchant ... Live & Alive was
the most shamfeul Wolfgang incarnation. By 1990 there was no need to copy vinyl bootlegs.
There were so many CD bootlegs that could be cut up and edited, in short disguised. The
quality of the items he appropriated was usually excellent. Wolfgang, though, was not
interested in competing with his fellow labels. Live & Alive was strictly designed for
supermarket shelves, in huge numbers by bootleg standards ... of course, he might as
well have been selling baked beans or fake Levis to the Russians.
Mr Toad [a bootlegger]: [Live & Alive] is crap, real bottom of the
foodchain stuff ...
Later on page 321:
The most erratic of the vinyl copyists, though, was Torsten Hartmann, whose Living
Legend was by 1989 providing cut-price competition for Bulldog and Early Years. Hartmann
lacked the necesarry source material to put out good product most of the time, but when
the right tapes came his way the results could be impressive ...
Torsten Hartmann: [The MCM] tried to put pressure on dealers to stop
them selling our reportoire. But we have good lawyers and we offered legal advice to the
dealers who were threatened by the major companies.
And on page 325:
Required to fight legal battles to stay in business, and unwilling to go back
underground, companies like Living Legend and Live & Alive's parent company, Imtrat (who between them were responsible for the cut-price crap
polluting the European market in 1991-2), were now merely biding their time before a chink
in copyright law was closed, and they were forced to burrow back from whence they came.
Zappa bootlegs from Living Legend:
As European copyright law was straightened out through the '90s, this kind of
"protection-gap" labels, who were not illegal underground operators but
exploited loopholes in the law, faced harder and harder times. Living Legend probably
closed shop before the end of the decade.
Older address for Imtrat:
The Nota Blu label made a series of protection-gap albums called The Easy Rider
Generation in Concert, for example one volume called Frank Zappa & Mothers of Invention, and a
compilation volume called The
Flower Power Hippy Years where they lumped Zappa together with flower-power hippies.
Teddy Bear Records
Teddy Bear Records was an Italian protection-gap re-issue CD label
from the early 1990s, with reported ties to the Italian Mafia:
TSP - The Swingin' Pig
From BOOTLEG by Clinton Heylin, page 226:
In Europe, the Germans and Italians had really hit overdrive between 1984 and 1987,
churning out hundreds of bootleg titles. The German labels, particularly those run by one
Dieter Schubert, had developed a reputation for deluxe, coloured-vinyl releases from
quality source tapes. Best of the bunch were the Royal Sound double-albums and a handful
of titles on a label that revived the logo, if not the name, of TMQ -
The Swingin' Pig. As a vinyl label, The Swingin' Pig issued a mere fifteen titles. But Mr
Schubert was just gearing up for the next bootleg revolution.
One of those 15 vinyl releases from Swingin' Pig was the Zappa bootleg Freaks & Motherfuckers.
Dieter Schubert [managing director, Swingin' Pig]: The basic
philosophy of Swingin' Pig is to make available historically important, previously
unreleased recordings which would otherwise never see the light of day. Take, for example,
Ultra Rare Trax by The Beatles ... The Beatles themselves say they
don't want them out because they feel the outtakes are not up to normal standards. The
public obviosuly has a totally different opinion ... The tapes are over twenty years
old now, some nearly thirty. Twenty more years in the archives would possibly destroy the
tapes, like many outtakes from the fifties, and they'll be lost forever. So even if the
quality is sometimes not up to today's digital standard, this is not the point. 'Casual
listeners' should, by all means, avoid buying Swingin' Pig releases; they will only be
The swingin' pig in the logo snapped his fingers and wore a fedora. The lable soon
became infamous for using the NoNoise noise-reduction system, which caused most of their
CDs to sound not so good in my people's ears [this was a typo; meant to read
"many people" - but when I discovered it, "my people"
looked so good that I kept it in]. They were also among the first to legally
release unauthorised contemporary recordings, exploiting a loophole in the Rome convention
that made it technically legal, in countries that had signed the Rome
convention, to issue recordings, without permission, from countries that hadn't
signed it, and the USA hadn't signed it. Their first such release was Atlantic
City '89, a triple-CD box of the Rolling Stones, put out in 1990.
Also with the moniker:
Labels of Which Very Little Is Known
Angry Taxman Records
The real Barking Pumpkin was a real record company
that Zappa himself set up, but several bootlegs have been issued on one or more fake
"Barking Pumpkin" labels, some in conjuction with Pax Records:
NOTE: The Mystery Discs from the Old Masters boxes 1 and 2
were counterfeited on vinyl before they were officially re-issued on the Mystery
Disc CD. The original Mystery Discs were on the real Barking
Pumpkin label, and the counterfeit Mystery Discs were on a fake
"Barking Pumpkin" label, which has nothing to do with the fake "Barking
Pumpkin" albums above. A bootleg called Solo
on Guitar, with material from the offically released cassette The Guitar World According to Frank Zappa,
was also on a fake "Barking Pumpkin" label and is likely unrelated.
Black Label Records
Black Panther Records
The Live in Europa LP was on Black
Panther / Electrecord ELE 03899, claiming to come out of Roumania; it was re-issued
on CD as Live in Europe
1966-1968 CD, in "Japan", and then The Ark was re-issued on CD as Live in Boston 18 July 1968
in 1991 by an Italian protection-gap company called Black Panther (BPCD 014).
This label also issued an 1960s bootleg called Caress Me
Live in Europa and Live in Boston 18 July 1968
have identical cover designs; the only difference is that Live in Boston 18 July 1968
has a picture of Zappa and Live
in Europa has Jimmy Carl Black.
Guilty of Live in Brest, France
(Part 3) / 79 BREST ZAPPA PT 3
(ATR FZ 79 Guilty) and the triple LP Broadway the Hard Way (Guilty /
Diamond Sound / Bullshit) ... perhaps?
(This CD re-issue label seems to follow a strict pattern with their catalogue numbers:
FZ for Frank Zappa, UB for Uncle (Penguin) and Brain, NOBA for NO BAcon (for Breakfast)
and LO for LOreley.)
Pyramid and Triangle Records are probably the same.
Safe Records Ltd
The Tangooo records all have catalogue numbers based on the recording
date of the show:
TCC - Three Cool Cats
Three Cool Cats seems to be a CD label and Lunar Toones
an LP label, and they appear connected:
A slightly other LP label, Loonar Tunes, who put out Underground Record, may also be
Wind Records of Sheffield, Yorkshire, who made Palladium, New York, 31
October 1981 (VAL02), seems to be the same as Winds Records, who made
Live in Amsterdam 1971 (ZPP
1A/B). Live in Amsterdam 1971
gives the address to Winds Records as "Kentish Town Road, S5 7UF Yorkshire,
A german CD label.
(Zinc Alloy was an alias used by Marc Bolan, who had said once when he
was young that if he ever got famous he would change his name to Zinc Alloy and wear an
aluminium suit. When he tried to do that, and release an album called A Creamed
Cage in August, the record company got cold feet and made him release it under
the regular band name of Marc Bolan & T-Rex, titled Zinc Alloy &
Riders of Tomorrow.)
There must have been two different Evil Records, one being a
protection-gap outfit that put out Twenty Years Ago ... Again
(EVIL 001, a re-issue of The Ark), and
another who put out Thing-Fish -
The Real Tapes (ER 818), because the two are simply not compatible. (One expolits a
loophole in copyright law, the other is just plain underground illegal.) But they were
both Evil Records :)
This label is not called "smile"; in fact, it doesn't have a
name known to the public. It is identified by the logo, an "acid" happy-face,
which appears on the following CDs: