what's the deal with taping shows?

i kind of dig that folks tape shows. if the idea is to get music out there, taping helps! most of the tapers i have met have been very nice and freaky music fans. as far as i'm concerned, tape all you want, just eat all you tape!

my feeling is that if you are concerned about losing money on letting someone tape your show, you are in the wrong business. and don't let your knucklehead friend that's an armchair music manager tell you otherwise.

it took me quite a few years to understand this concept.
i wasn't aware of how the economics of the system actually worked in real time. i'm a slow learner and it took awhile for the empirical evidence to mount up. tape away tapers! send me a copy so i can study my own work.
give a copy away to anyone you think would dig what i'm doing.

do certain people steal music? of course
is there anything that can be done? no sir
are the majority of folks pretty cool about the whole deal? yes

also, giving stuff away is a sure fire way to cut down on stealing. you can quote me on that one!

consider this:
if an artist is under contract, there is a proviso to take money from the artist and pay for sending out music promotionally. in my experience, very little of the product sent in this way produces very much. yet the artist pays for all this out of their end...well EVERYTHING gets charged off to the artist so never mind the significance of that. the point is that typically one has to pay quite a bit of money to send out stuff in bulk that more often then not either winds up in the trash or in the used record store.

taping gets music out at no cost to the artist.

also if you ask me, dude, if you don't hassle me up, and come to see a show, i don't care if you build a doghouse out there! taping is the least of my worries jackson.

i asked my friend mark burgin to write a little about what he thinks about taping, why he does it and stuff like that. he's a friendly, knowledgeable funny cat. it's great when you load into a show and you see him getting his gear out. he's a good friend to have around. you know that one guy at least is going to be really into the music. and if you need an extension cord or a mike stand or something, he can be a lot of help. it's inspiring when he's there because you want to do a good job since lots of folks listen to his tapes.

DB: Why record shows?

Mark Burgin: I record because I truly enjoy live music and I want everyone else to enjoy it too. To preserve a series of moments in time. In my case, that would be an auditory representation or documentation of those series of moments. Like a photographer will document a single visual moment in time or a videoagrapher will capture a series of visual moments in time, we document the auditory side of history. To review those series of moments in time to bring back other memories of that moment, day, week, month and year of my life, the people around me at that time, and the experience had. Why document live music, or tape? Because live music is alive! No two performances are the same and each performance has it's moments of genius that will forever be lost if not documented. Something magical happens on stage in a live setting that can't be reproduced or captured in the studio. I think it's important to document the creativity of humanity. Some people don't really care about music but I think it's one of the most important creative outlets that humans produce. It elicits such a strong response from so many people and it's so easy to make a connection with it. When I go to a show and there is something amazing happening on stage, I like to know that the "amazingness" of it is captured so people can listen and re-listen again and again. When I listen to a show that I attended and taped, it's almost like I invented a time machine.

DB: Why do artists allow you to tape show?

MB: Many reasons why bands allow us to tape. Several of these would be the free promotion that this creates to furthering their own fanbase by free circulation of performances. To keep fans interested by having each tour documented and in trade friendly circulation. By entertaining the fans by allowing them to take home a memory of that performance. The band also gets an aural document of their chosen profession. Just a few reasons, I'm sure the list is limitless.

DB: How does the taping/trading community act to regulate the illicit sale of recordings?

MB: By self policing our own and shutting down known bootleggers or reporting them to the appropriate powers that be for future shutdown. I think the main way that tapers regulate bootlegging is to educate people. At 95% of the shows I tape at, I have at least one person ask me why I'm taping and if I'm making any money off of it. It's so foreign to people that someone would spend their own time, money, and resources to record a show and then not try to turn a profit on it. As a taper, I think it's your duty to explain the paradigm of taping to people and what the spoken and unspoken rules are. I usually tell people "The cardinal rule that you never want to break is that 'money should never exchange hands'."