Here’s one of my favorite bootlegs of all time, Robert Fripp with his Guitar Craft disciples, the California Guitar Trio, and Chapman Stick player Trey Gunn (at that time – he would soon defect to Warr Guitar). This is basically the soundtrack to an official laser disc that was only released in Japan, and was sold as a shorter VHS everywhere else as Live In Japan from the King Crimson label, DGM. I’ve got my copy of the videotape somewhere at home. One of these days I’ll have to dig out that “ancient technology” and check it out again. Seriously, DGM would do us fans a big favor and re-release this stuff on DVD – especially in the original format that Japan got with that laser disc.
As such, bootleggers got a hold of one and recorded the audio for a pristine bootleg they could sell for ridiculous amounts of money. $25 was the going price for one disc boots ($50 for two disc boots, naturally.) It was quite a racket for them, and quite a habit for us music junkies to support.
I got this back in 1995 when I worked at a very small music-paraphernalia store that sold bootlegs, and as employees we got a small discount on these things. I bought a lot of bootlegs, and when Ebay became all the rage a few years later, I made a lot selling them as the bootleg market began to dry up after many countries went after the manufacturers of these “grey market” items. I kept copies of the best for myself, and this was one of those.