Short List - a summary of the Genesis audio/video collection,
with links to the detailed entries.
Also includes a quick reference to releases by the various remastering
groups (Hogweed, FAde, BURP, etc.).
Wish List - shows I'd like to obtain.
on the way (News page) - recordings I have received recently,
wot you probably won't see listed in the Live Recordings section
Genesis Bootlegs (my picks)
my name is Steven Genzano (AKA Blue Snaggletooth). Email
Welcome to the Live Recordings section! This is really the core
of the site, and details my entire unofficial Genesis collection.
Just to be clear right off, THESE RECORDINGS ARE NOT FOR SALE.
The sale of bootlegs is illegal--I do not buy them, and I do not
sell them. I trade. Or give. See below for trading guidelines and
basic information about live recordings. Otherwise, plunge right
in by clicking one of the buttons above. Enjoy!
LIVE RECORDING GUIDELINES AND FAQ
you've already visited my "Huh?"
page FAQ (the question mark button in the bottom right corner of
the home page), then you'll be familiar with this layout. The questions
are listed directly below, and below the questions are the detailed
answers. Click on any of the questions directly below to go directly
to the answer to that question. If you have a question that's not
on this list, or if you need any clarification, or if you'd just
like to jaw with me about Genesis (and tell me how great my site
is--I always enjoy those emails ;), feel free to email
1a. What is a bootleg? Are there different
kinds? What does it mean when a recording is called "first
generation" or "second generation?"
1b. What is trading? Is the collecting of
2. Can I give you money for your bootlegs?
3a. I just found out about Genesis bootleg
material, and I'm desperate to get some. I understand that there
is a large trading community, but I don't have anything to trade!
How do I start my collection? Can you help me?
3b. How do I stay away from
"bad traders?" How do I tell good traders from bad ones?
4. What is a "weed"? How do I get
in on one?
5. Can you provide a simple list of guidelines
for trading with you, or for trading in general?
6. What kind of CD burner should I use? Is
there any way to exactly copy a CD without adding errors or pauses
between tracks? What is SHN/FLAC/APE? How do I make an SHN disc?
Do you have SHN/FLAC/APE shows?
7. Do you do blanks and postage trades?
8. I have music on tape. Can I transfer it?
Will you trade CDs for tapes?
9. Do you trade video for
audio, and vice versa? Do you only take Genesis, or will you accept
music by other bands? (Also happens to answer the question: What
is a VCD?)
10. I want [insert name
of song or gig here]. Where can I find it? How do I find out if
you have it?
11. I am from [insert name
of home country here]. Where are you from? If we are in different
countries, will you still trade with me? How will this affect postage
12. I have a show, but I'm
not sure where or when it's from. Where can I find information about
bootleg venues and dates of performances?
13. How do you rate the
quality of your shows?
14. How do you feel about
artwork for bootlegs?
15. Do you have a favorite
brand of blank CD? Would you prefer I use a specific brand? How
do you feel about writing on CDs using a marker or pen?
1a. What is a bootleg? Are there different kinds? What does it mean
when a recording is called "first generation" or "second
A "bootleg" in this context is generally a live music
recording (in audio or video format) which was created without the
permission or knowledge of the band involved. Some bootlegs are
more "official" than others (i.e., some are produced and
distributed by record labels with various qualities of artwork included,
and some can even be found in record stores), but by definition
no bootleg is sanctioned by the band and none can really be considered
There are indeed different types of bootlegs.
An Audience bootleg is created
when a member of the audience attending a live show smuggles in
a tape (or nowadays, CD or digital) recorder and records the show
as it happens. These are generally the lowest quality bootlegs,
and are often subject to the most problems involving incomplete
songs and "cuts" in the gig from the recorder being turned
off and on. Other problems with audience shows are ambient audience
noise (chatter, applause, cheers, boos, singing along, whistling
along, vomiting, etc.) and "microphone bumps" (when the
person recording the show shifts his equipment, accidentally rubs
it against something, or--sometimes intentionally--blows into it).
Another, more reliable type of show is a Radio
show. Radio shows can come in several types themselves. When
a band's live performance is broadcast over the radio, a fan can
easily produce his own radio show by sticking a tape in his stereo
and taping the broadcast. Also, sometimes the radio station or the
program has the rights to the performance and releases the recording
"officially"--you can buy it, and no one will arrest you
for doing so. This is basically a contradiction of what I said in
the first paragraph about bootlegs never being official releases.
A bootleg, however, can also be an unlicensed duplicate of an official
release. Radio shows in particular, even if they are sold by the
rightful owner, are usually sold in a limited number and quickly
become out of print and difficult to obtain--which, in my mind,
makes it okay to own unlicensed duplicates of them. It is also possible
to obtain the "master reels" or "soundboard tapes"
from a show recorded for radio broadcast--I don't know how these
things leak, but they do. The master tapes are the Holy Grail of
the radio show world. A radio show generally is much better quality
than an audience show--the master tapes (or the versions called
"pre-FM" or pre-broadcast), which would generally come
directly from the equipment recording the show, are the ideal example
of this quality advantage. However, if a show was just taped off
of a stereo, signal strength and broadcast quality become an issue.
As with any bootleg, the age and generation of the recording can
cause the quality to widely vary. Also, some countries and some
stations are better than others at producing a radio concert (some
Genesis shows from Madrid, in 1987, for example, featured only very
meagre samplings from the band's gigs--and what little there was
was summarily ruined by the commentators' custom of talking over
top of the music!). Some radio shows consist of smatterings of songs
from various venues and dates, with any stories or introductions
provided by the band members removed beforehand, and sometimes the
songs themselves having been edited due to time constraints.
Which leads us to the even more highly desired bootleg type: the
Soundboard show. Of course,
radio shows technically are soundboard shows themselves; the live
performance is recorded to the board and then broadcast on the air
(it can be "simulcast"--that is, broadcast as it is happening--or
broadcast after the fact, often after having been edited or remastered
in various ways, as described above). However, radio shows, again
as hinted earlier, can become severely edited and distorted before
being broadcast. The best way to avoid this meddling is to snatch
the original soundboard reels. Bands such as Genesis did not just
record their shows in preparation for creating live albums or for
broadcast over the radio; they taped them for posterity, creating
recordings of hundreds of live shows in the process which will probably
never see the light of day through official channels. However, through
some magic which is highly illegal, these tapes can sometimes leak
to the bootleg community. A soundboard show is not a guaranteed
perfect, complete recording--probably due to the illegal manner
in which they must be obtained, such shows can sometimes be severley
incomplete, with cuts and edits, or have speed problems due to having
been copied to a lower quality tape before being distributed. Also,
being a very raw capture of the sound of the band's instruments,
soundboard recordings are generally not mixed or "remastered"
in any way and this can result in some strange sound quality. Radio
shows have the advantage of having gone through this process, and
can often have a fuller and more well-rounded sound (IMO). In a
soundboard tape, you will hear little or no of the audience cheering--you'd
be surprised how much energy this sucks out of a recording. Radio
shows obviously do not have as much audience noise as an audience
recording, but depending on how well they've been mixed, they can
really add a nice "live" feel to the recording; whereas
raw soundboard shows, without the audience levels, can often sound
distinctly "sterile." However, in the bootleg community
this problem is often alleviated by non-profit remastering groups,
who will take the raw tapes from the board (or the lowest generation
copy of those tapes that they can get their hands on) and remaster
them to make the sound fuller and give it more depth.
What I'm saying is, though the soundboard is generally considered
to be the best possible recording of a show, it can still come in
widely varying incarnations. One type of recording that is often
confused with soundboard is the OAM
or open-air microphone recording.
These are rather rare, at least in the area of available Genesis
shows, but they do exist. In this case the recording is made by
the road crew but not at the soundboard--usually it is a microphone
positioned backstage, picking up the ambient sound in the hall.
The resulting recording is just a glorified audience recording,
but because of the conditions under which it is made the sound quality
is generally much better than audience, and not as good as soundboard.
Now usually a bootleg is a recording of a band's live performance,
before an audience. However, sometimes a bootleg can also consist
of material from a Studio recording.
For instance, several discs of material exist from Genesis recording
sessions for their albums, with the band doing multiple takes of
songs that would eventually end up on their studio albums (and some
which would end up as b-sides). Since these "shows" come
directly from the recording equipment in the studio, they at least
start out at very high quality. However, due to the same issues
controlling soundboard show quality, studio recordings can often
end up sounding very hissy--in fact, I don't believe I've ever heard
a studio bootleg that sounds anywhere near as good as a studio album.
Still, in the bootleg world, one certainly wouldn't turn up one's
nose at such things.
Another kind of cross-category of bootlegs would be the rehearsal
show. This would be a soundboard or audience recording of the
band rehearsing or doing a soundcheck before the actual live gig.
Several of these exist in the known Genesis bootleg oeuvre.
Speaking of the "known" Genesis bootleg collection; one
of the ultimate shows you can get is a hidden
one, a show that is not commonly traded and generally barely
even known by the normal run of trader. These are probably exculsively
soundboard, because the reason they are hidden is because of their
even more than usually questionable legality. They have been handed
out to a very few, exclusive bunch of people on the solemn promise
not to be distributed any further. This makes them very hard to
get unless sometimes you are able to provide something just as valuable
in return for the hidden show: which is very difficult to do unless
you somehow already have another hidden show. Tough, ain't it? However,
lately such hidden shows have been getting leaked to the larger
Genesis trading community by individuals and remastering groups,
so perhaps the days of sitting around on chat rooms complaining
about elite and snobby Genesis traders with hidden show collections
are almost over. (Some collectors in the know provide a look into
the hidden world of Genesis shows on their web sites; one obvious
example is Simon Funnell, whose giant database
of live recordings does specify the existence of hidden versions
of shows. I have no idea how comprehensive Simon's information on
this is, but given the rest of his information, I would suggest
that it is fairly comprehensive.)
Now let's talk about the generation
of a recording. Here the definitions can be fuzzy (this idea
will be expanded upon later). The main principle is this: the first
recording made of something (like the tape you make of a radio broadcast,
or the tape you record while sitting at the concert) is the master.
A recording duplicated from that first recording is first generation.
A copy made using the first generation recording as its source is
second generation, and so forth. Because of the concept of trading
(explained further in the answer to question 1b),
recordings are often distributed in just this manner, jumping from
person to person and increasing a generation level each time; and,
depending on the fidelity of the duplicating equipment and the dedication
of the people doing the duplicating, this can severely affect the
Anyone who doesn't believe this should simply try copying an audio
cassette tape onto another tape and compare the two (or, better
yet, dub a VHS tape and compare the copy to the original). Some
people will tell you that it doesn't work this way with digital
media, and that copies of CDs are 99.9% the same as the originals.
Well, if they tell you that, they are flat-out wrong. CD-copying,
if done improperly (or even if done as properly as possible), can
introduce all kinds of errors, including scratches, pops, skips,
and pauses. Therefore, the higher the generation of a recording,
the more likely that its quality is not all that could be desired.
Of course, following this logic, what one would want ideally would
be a first generation recording, or at least one with a low number;
because of this, people offering shows for trade may boast that
they have low generation recordings--in fact, it is so much in their
interest to claim this that the definition of a "first"
or "low generation" recording often gets stretched considerably.
For instance, a recording from a soundboard master reel would definitely
be a "first generation" recording. However, a "silver
disc master" release of one of the more "official"
bootleg labels (such as one released on the famous "Highland"
record label) would also usually be considered "first generation"--even
if the original bootleg was created from a copy of the soundboard
reel. People can tell you they have "low gen" recordings,
but who knows what they consider to be low? And who knows whether
they really know what generation their recording is? For a long
time I found it almost pointless to trust information given to me
about generations, since I had no independent way of verifying this;
but Simon's database of shows with check-able track time listings
has helped make a certain amount of verification possible.
Keep in mind, however, that if you pick up a show that is a weed,
and has been weeding for some time, you know without question that
it is a very high generation recording, and that it is even more
prone to errors than a high-generation recording that was not weeded.
For more information about weeding, see question 4.
Back to FAQ
1b. What is trading? Is the collecting of bootlegs illegal?
Trading is how I got the huge
collection I have today. It's as simple as it sounds: someone gives
you what you want, you give them what they want, you both walk away
happy. It's once you get into the details that it gets complicated,
and, for beginners, it can be utterly bewildering. Usually traders
meet on the internet at one of the sites where such people congregate.
Perhaps they have a list posted on the web, maybe in the form of
a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet (or a web site, like mine).
One fan finds another and they email each other and finalize a trade:
so many shows for so many shows. Then they make the copies of the
shows the other person wants and mail them off. If they have been
lucky enough to find a reliable and honest trader, they will soon
recieve a package in the mail containing the stuff they wanted.
See the answer to question 3a for more information
on how to get into the trading business; see question
3b for tips on how to avoid meeting "bad" traders.
In the old days of bootlegs, I don't think trading was a very common
practice. Generally, people bought and sold their bootlegs for money.
This is where the illegal bit
comes in. You who are just entering upon the world of bootlegs may
be worried about the legality of continuing your progress therein.
Is it illegal to own bootlegs? To trade them? The answer to this
is, as far as I know, no. (However, if you get arrested, you are
not allowed to say, "Steve told me it was all right!"
to the nice policeman.) Bootlegs are only illegal if money changes
hands. If you buy or, even worse, sell a bootleg for money, you
are technically giving money to a private individual for a recording
made without the band in question's permission. This money should
be going to them--it is their music, they have the rights to the
recording (or their management, or some huge corporation like AOL),
and should be seeing any profits that arise from that recording.
Or something like that. Anyway, it's the money that's the real issue.
Thus, if you only trade for your music, there is no reason why
you should ever be arrested for having bootlegs, or for giving them
freely to others. I wouldn't go around shouting about your collection
to your local law enforcement officer, but if he happens to be in
your house and happens to see your bootleg collection sitting in
your favorite CD tower, he is not going to start shaking his head
and pulling out his handcuffs.
In fact, Tony Banks himself has happily endorsed the distribution
of Genesis bootlegs (though he certainly hasn't helped to make them
easier to get at)--there's even a place to discuss trading and bootleg
recordings on the band's official site discussion forum. In Tony's
opinion, those who go around collecting the bootlegs are the big
fans who have already spent all their money on the official releases,
so anything they do beyond that is just fine--the band already has
all the money it's going to get from them. This is a cynical way
of putting it, but it's basically true.
The other thing about bootlegs that is technically illegal but
does not involve money changing hands is the trading of officially
released material. If you have ever read the FBI warning
that comes up in front of any of your pre-recorded video, you'll
know what I mean. If you buy a new Radiohead album at the store
and then burn ten copies and give them out to your ten friends so
that they, too, can enjoy Radiohead--guess what! You've committed
a crime! The same crime people commit every day when they give copies
of computer software to their friends. Your ten friends with the
Radiohead CD should have paid Radiohead money for the privilege
of listening to Hail to the Thief. Instead, they have basically
stolen it. In the same light, all the copies of official videos
that are listed in my Video section are technically illegal. The
reason I accepted these technically illegal items is because I really
wanted them and could not get them in the official way--mostly because
they were out of print. When an official release becomes out of
print, I basically consider it fair game for duplication and distribution.
So the line between legal and illegal does get fuzzy, but I have
my rules--complicated as they may seem--and I try to stick by them.
The official release thing will become a problem if you want certain
items listed on my compilations page. I have some tribute albums
and official video stuff on there that are actually official in
nature--and, additionally, are easy to buy over the internet or
in most stores that carry such things--and therefore, if you ask
for them, I will have to refuse to copy them. Copying them for you
would be taking money out of the pocket of the band, and we certainly
wouldn't want to take any money from our poor heroes, would we?
Back to FAQ
2. Can I give you money for your bootlegs?
NOOOO!!!! NO, NO, no, and once again no. Never,
ever, give anyone money for a bootleg. Never buy a bootleg. Why
not? Other than the fact that this is unquestionably illegal (see
my answer to question 1b for details on what I
consider to be legal and illegal about bootlegs), it is also utterly
unnecessary. You don't HAVE to give people money to get bootlegs.
I can honestly tell you that of the hundreds of shows in my collection,
only one of them was acquired through a money transaction. And that
one was early in my collecting days, when I didn't know any better.
I never accept money for bootlegs from anyone. I don't
even accept postage money from people in a blanks and postage trade
(if you don't know what that is, and/or want to know more about
my policy on it, see the answer to question 7).
I do actually spend money to get bootlegs, but not by directly buying
them. There was the upfront investment of a CD burner (which, if
you have an up-to-date computer, probably already has one installed
in it), then the periodic purchasing of blank discs, mailing materials,
and postage costs. The cost of all these things is minimal compared
to how much it costs you to buy a bootleg. If you know where to
shop, you will be able to find cheap, dependable CD-Rs and packages
that will allow you to get more than ten shows (twenty discs of
material) for probably less than the cost of one bootleg.
Perhaps your reasoning for buying bootlegs is that
you can find no other way to get them. You know about trading, but
you don't know where the traders are and you have no material to
trade with them. This is the same situation I started out in, and
look where I am today! If you want some tips on how to be a successful
collector, check out my answer to the next question, number 3
(for good measure, also see numbers 4 and 5).
Back to FAQ
3a. I just found out about Genesis bootleg material, and I'm desperate
to get some. I understand that there is a large trading community,
but I don't have anything to trade! How do I start my collection?
Can you help me?
The hardest thing about collecting unofficial Genesis material
is starting out. If you can't buy bootlegs, you have to get them
through trading. But if you don't have any bootlegs, how can you
trade to get them? It's as perfect a catch-22 as one could ask for.
One feels a desperate and helpless annoyance at all the smug traders
sitting around talking in their discussion forums about how they
have such and such a show and want to get such and such a show,
none of them paying any attention to the uninitiated people who
don't have anything to trade at all.
Well, there are several ways that you, the uninitiated,
can become one of the smug people who can sit back and laugh at
what you once were. Probably the easiest way to build up a huge
collection very quickly, provided you have the technical know-how,
is to visit a torrent site.
They are on the internet and if you get the right software and have
a high-speed connection, you can download shows immediately without
having to trade anyone anything (the genius behind the torrent system
is that, as you are downloading the show, you are automatically
allowing other users to download pieces from you--so technically
you are trading, though in a much less social fashion, and
without the postal costs).
The downside to using torrenting is all of the technology
involved. You have to have high-speed internet, you have to know
where a good site is, have the right software to download the stuff,
and then have the right software to deal with the compressed files
that you download so that they can be expanded and put onto media
that you can watch/listen to. The lengthy download times also obviously
have a certain effect on your ability to perform other internet-related
What I think is the best way to enter the old-school
trading world is to join a mailing list
devoted to Genesis music and/or video. Yahoo! has several. I don't
actively belong to many of them, so I'm not sure what the scene
looks like, but the one I am most familiar with and recommend the
most is called genesis-trades (my Links page will tell you how to
get there). Here, those without any material to trade with, and
even those who don't even have a CD burner, can expand their collections
by picking up weeds (don't know what a "weed" is? take
a trip on over to question 4!). Once you pick up
enough shows from weeds, you have a basis of shows from which to
begin your trading career. Of course, there is a certain flaw to
this process which the cleverer among you will have already spotted:
if the only traders you know are on the mailing list, and the only
shows you have are from the mailing list, then everyone you can
trade with already has everything you have to trade! In reality,
this is not strictly true: mailing lists are very amorphous beasts,
which are always losing and gaining members. Some people go on vacation
from weeding and trading, then pick up the mailing list a month
or so later and send out a post that they want to catch up with
all the shows they missed--the perfect opportunity for you to trade
all your new shows for even more shows! Also, once you have this
source of weeds, you may be satisfied enough that you won't feel
the need to trade with people--you can simply continue picking up
new weeds as they appear. In addition, if you know how to phrase
your post right, you may be able to convince someone on the mailing
list to weed out a particular show that you want.
Then, of course, there is always the option of looking
outside of your one, narrow mailing list, into the much broader
field on the internet, for someone to trade with. There are plenty
of private individuals out there who want to trade, and if you know
how to put the right keywords in the right search engine, you can
find them. There are also other mailing lists that may not have
been inundated with the same weeds as your mailing list and thus
may have people on them who want to trade for the material you have
gotten. A great source for finding good, dependable traders is the
Genesis official site--there are a bunch of real nice people on
the discussion forum who want to build up their collections.
Though I'm a big fan of the Yahoo! mailing lists and
did a lot of my best trading as a result of genesis-trades, it was
not entirely how I got my start as a trader.
As I recall (ah, it was so long ago--the heady days of 2002...),
a lot of the shows I got in the beginning of my career were due
almost entirely to the kindness of fellow fans. I would act pathetic
in emails and ask them if they had stuff they could give me, and
amazingly, quite a few of them simply mailed me discs with no obligation.
I owe a lot to these people, and in an attempt to pass on the good
karma, I have made it a habit to help out beginners in the field.
So even if you can't pick up a weed, if you find a kind individual
and whine enough, you may just get some stuff which will help launch
your collection. Once you start, you'll be amazed at how quickly
it can grow (in fact, see question 4 for the dangers
of over-stretching yourself).
At this point, some of you may be considering emailing
me and asking for bootlegs with no obligation. That's cool. I get
more of these emails than I would have expected, and I usually end
up helping the person out. I used to be just as kind as those few
people who helped me--just sending people discs with no obligation
if they asked for them. Now, however, I'm not quite so nice. I have
some guidelines for getting discs from
me, when you have no tradeable material. First I have
to determine if you really don't have anything to trade--I don't
only do audio discs for audio discs. People have sent me vinyl,
tour books, articles about Genesis, video, etc. There's always a
chance that, even if you have only one Genesis show, it will be
one I don't have. I have also been known to accept non-Genesis bootleg
material; for more info on my trading habits, see question
5; for info on my non-Genesis proclivities, also see question
9 (or visit the Others page).
If you definitely don't have anything to trade, and you want music
from me to start your trading/collecting career, then you can move
on to question 7.
Back to FAQ
3b. How do I stay away from "bad traders?" How can
I tell good traders from bad ones?
Some of this is covered in the "musical sources" section
of my Sources page, which is
a part of the Links section. There, I list
a whole bunch of names of people I have traded with in the past
with success. There is also a site called "Citizens of Hope
and Glory," located here,
which has a nice listing of established good traders and a smaller
list of affirmed bad traders in the Genesis community.
Some of you may not even be aware that there are such
things as bad traders. Unfortunately, they exist, and they are a
bunch of lazy deadbeats. The most common bad traders, though they
can hardly be called "traders," are those on mailing lists
who take advantage of weed offers
without fulfilling the honor system obligations inherent to those
weeds. Some of you reading the answer to question 4
may have already realized the potential flaw in the weeding system:
sure, you can say that you'll weed your show on to three
people once you receive it, but nobody can make you do it.
This results in people who will pick up weeds and then not bother
to burn copies like they're supposed to, getting free music without
helping the Genesis community. Some weeders are very vigilant and
watch for these people by checking the mailing list posts to make
sure that the winners of their weed receive and weed on the show.
Bad weeders will often hold off suspicion with excuses that can
often be rather convincing, like "I was on vacation,"
or "I've been really busy" or "I had a death in the
family." Some of these excuses are genuine, but all too often
they are made by people who just are too lazy to burn and mail CDs
and know how to take advantage of others.
In the weeding community, things can be done to stop
such people. Once you've correctly identified them and given them
a fair chance to make amends by burning the required discs, if they
still have not heeded your warnings, the site administrators can
ban them and hand their name and email address to other sites for
banning. The comfort of a mailing list community like this makes
one somewhat protected from these kinds of people: measures are
in place to prevent or stop them. However, when it comes to all-out
bad traders, prevention is a bit harder. Most of my trade
propositions come out of the blue from unsolicited emails from people
I don't know. I have no way of knowing who these people are, and
whether they really have the shows they claim to have. Once we've
set up a trade, I can send them my share of the trade, but they
don't really have to send me what they've said they were
going to send in return. A very devious bad trader can easily set
up a huge trade with you, take the ten or maybe even twenty discs
you send him, and never speak to you again. This isn't really too
much skin off your nose--you sent some guy a nice collection of
music for free, and the only thing you're really down is some time,
some blank discs, and some small cash for postage charges--but it
can be a mighty blow to one's sense of fair play and pride. You've
been had! It's galling.
There are a couple of ways to prevent
being screwed in this manner. One is to always instigate
your own trades by contacting people you find sites for on the internet.
Though this is not a cast-iron rule, generally a person with a detailed
trading site is a reputable trader and has not built their whole
web site merely as a trap to lure in people and steal their music--the
real bad trader will not wait for people to contact them, but will
email you. Also, though certainly not a cast-iron rule either, people
you've spent time with on discussion forums are usually real fans
and are not taking time out to chat about the band just as part
of a devious plan to screw you over. You can probably trust those
people to not be bad traders. On the other hand, if someone contacts
you for a trade, the simple way you can tell if they're on the level
is to just wait until you've received their package before mailing
yours (you can even tell them that you are going to do this at the
beginning, just to put all your cards on the table).
But maybe you're thinking that you'd like to get some
profiling characteristics of
people who are shady traders? Well, I'm not sure how much I can
help in that area, because in the several years that I have been
in this business, I have probably only met one intentional bad trader--but
I was admittedly able to recognize the fact that they were bad,
and never actually traded with them. This trader contacted me via
email asking if I would like a trade. They used broken English (this
is NOT a characteristic of bad traders--there are plenty of good
traders out there who have been forced to learn a very primitive
amount of English in order to expand their collections) and provided
a list of shows that was incredibly comprehensive. I wondered right
away why they even wanted to trade with me, since they seemed to
have basically everything on my list anyway. However, I picked some
shows from their list, and they picked some shows from mine. I thought
they had picked some very odd shows from my list, so I sent them
an email explaining that I had better versions of the gigs they
requested, and that some of them were not very good shows and they
might like to choose others. At this point, email contact stopped.
A few days later, I received a duplicate of this person's initial
introductory email, just as though they had never spoken to me before
and hadn't set up a trade at all. It was at this point probably
that I noticed a discrepancy between the name of the person as identified
by their email ID and the name they were using to sign their emails.
Still willing to have a go at it, however, I emailed them explaining
the fact that we'd already instigated a trade. Then I went to Citizens
of Hope and Glory and discovered that one of the names this person
was using was on the list of bad traders there. I never got another
email from that person.
One thing about this person that is characteristic
of most bad traders is the varying name;
because exposure means banishment and blacklisting from the social
core of the trading community, bad traders will assume multiple
identities and even multiple mailing addresses to avoid capture
(in the same way that hardened criminals gather aliases--except
that on the internet, it's even easier to hide behind a fake identity
than it is in real life). Of course, a bad trader will probably
not be stupid enough to provide you with more than one mailing address;
but in my case, you saw how the multiple names cropped up. Another
quality that you may notice in bad traders, and which is also apparent
in my example, is the fact that their collections are generally
large and also much too good to be true.
Bad traders will often say they are the proud owner of some major
relic of Genesis history--something that will have you saying to
yourself, "Wow, I didn't think that existed!" And in fact,
it probably doesn't. Don't trust people with huge trading lists
who contact you offering to trade.
Also, staying in the community, as with the mailing
list example, is a good way of staying safe. If you are in communication
with official site discussion forum peole and mailing list people,
you will be in a good position to be alerted of the names and email
addresses of people who have screwed other people. Not to make you
panicky, but even with these precautions, it could be easy to encounter
unintentional bad traders.
These are people who do not set out to screw you over, but end up
doing it anyway. Maybe they start a trade with you when about to
move into a new house, or just before their college semester begins,
or some disaster befalls them right before they get a chance to
burn your discs (these are all common excuses of actual bad traders).
There's little chance of avoiding these people--it's part of the
adventure of trading, really. And generally unintentional bad traders
will make it up to you in the end, if given enough time and if you
pester them in just the right way.
In closing, I would like to say that in my experience,
bad traders are few and far between. If you stay within the known
Genesis community and if you follow some common sense rules, you
can generally stay away from con artists like these. And even if
you do end up accidentally falling in with a baddie, as long as
no money changes hands, no real damage has been done to you; in
fact, you can look at your actions as having been unexpectedly generous
of you, giving a lot of music to someone and asking nothing in return.
You're nicer than you thought!
Back to FAQ
4. What is a "weed"? How do I get in on one?
A weed is one of the great
parts of the bootleg trading community. It is an efficient and generous
method by which a show can be proliferated amongst many fans. The
way a weed works on a mailing list is as follows: a member of the
list will post a message offering a copy of a show to the first
three people who reply to their email (sometimes the weeder will
put a restriction on those who can win, generally a geographic restriction
that will keep his postage costs low). The nicer weeders will also
offer shows up to the "burnerless." There is sometimes
some controversy in mailing lists over offering copies of weeds
to burnerless people, since a show in the hands of a burnerless
person stops the weed right there; but once a weed gets really played
out on a mailing list, people will send their show to almost anyone,
including the burnerless, in order to fulfill the weeding obligation.
But I have digressed. The "obligation," assuming you are
among the first people to reply to the weeding post (and assuming
you have remembered to include your mailing address in the email--a
crucial point, that!), is to weed the show yourself on the mailing
list to three other people once you have gotten (and listened
to!) your copy of that show.
(The smaller-scale alternative to the weed is the
vine--exactly the same as a
weed, except the show only goes to one person at a time. This slows
the distribution speed but decreases the chance of errors being
You may already see the advantages of this process.
Let's imagine a weed for a moment. Someone decides to weed a show
in their collection that they think everyone will enjoy. This is
person 0. Person 0 weeds his show to three other people: persons
1, 2, and 3. In good time, having received their copies of the show
from person 0 and checked them to make sure they have no errors
(a very important step in the process! as I will discuss in further
detail below), they each weed the show out to three other people.
Person 1 sends his copy out to persons 4, 5, and 6; person 2 weeds
to persons 7, 8, and 9; and person 3 to persons 10, 11, and 12.
We see that in very short order--really only two steps away from
the initial weeder--the show has been passed to a dozen people.
This is exponential growth, people.
There are weeds and there are weeds. Some weeds are
just shows taken from the private collection of a kind fan, who
thinks he has a nice copy of a good show and wants to spread it
to some people. This is very nice, but depending on the person and
the show, the quality and definitiveness of the recording can be
unreliable (especially once the thing starts getting forced through
the gauntlet of a weed). There are more reliable alternatives in
weeding. You may not be aware of this, but out there in the Genesis
community there are multiple remastering groups dedicated to cleaning
up and releasing to as many fans as possible their favorite Genesis
recordings. There are now-defunct groups like FAde and Hogweed whose
releases are still circulating, plus plenty of other groups like
PRRP, Digital Brothers, and GASP, and their numbers seem to be swelling
all the time. Some of these groups will weed their shows on mailing
lists just like the weed I described above--Hogweed, for example,
had its own mailing list dedicated to only Hogweed Project releases--but
some other groups have their own method.
There are problems inherent
to weeding. See my discussion of "generations"
in question 1a for an idea of what can happen
when people who don't fully understand how to use their CD burners
copy lots of discs without checking them. At this point, suffice
to say that weeding can introduce errors into the recording which
are then exponentially reproduced and (often) augmented by later
generations. Conscientious people who actually listen to their discs
before blindly passing them on to the next three recipients may
notice errors and try to halt the weed in an attempt to figure out
where the error came from and get some copies that are clean. This
is a very complicated process, however, and generally people don't
seem to bother trying. (Another way of preventing the weeding errors
is to use SHN discs, but this is work intensive, requires additional
software, and most people don't do it. If you want to know what
SHN is, check out question 6. Yet another method
for avoiding the problems of weeds is to get your shows through
torrent sites--see question 3a if you don't know
what those are.) The result is that, yes, you can get a lot of music
through picking up weeds, but it will probably not be as good as
some other people's unweeded copies. You gets whats you pays for.
One of the lessons here is to always
listen to your recordings before you give them to someone else.
I can't stress this enough. I can't tell you how many times I've
received defective or just plain fake or incorrect shows from people,
which required long delays and resends of discs to fix, all of which
aggravation and waste of time could have been avoided if the person
had just listened to the damn show before trading it on. You'll
see me bring this up again if you read question 5.
At this point in your collecting career, you may not
believe this, but it's actually very easy for people collecting
weeds to over-stretch themselves and collect
their music too fast. This is how people can end up sending
shows on before they've had a chance to listen to them. If you're
new to the weeding business, and have no music, but you do have
a burner and you want to start weeding, you could sit on your mailing
list on a good day and pick up maybe a dozen weeds (this is a bit
of an exaggeration, but not out of the realm of the possible). What
you may not realize, however, while drooling over all this impending
new music to enjoy, is that once you receive these dozen bootlegs,
you have to copy each of them three times and mail them to all those
different people. Let's assume that each of your dozen shows is
two discs (most shows are two discs). Multiply this by twelve and
you have 24 discs. Each of your 24 discs must be duplicated 3 times
to send out to all the people you have to weed it to. 24 times 3
is 72. So in one day you've cut out a job of work for yourself:
you have to listen to 24 discs, burn 72 discs, and mail 36 packages
(twelve shows three times each--actually it will probably be less
than 36 packages, since you'll probably get the same person coming
in on more than one weed)! Suddenly you can go from wishing you
could get all this great Genesis music to wishing you had waited
a while. My advice: try not to take on more than you can handle.
If you've read this far, you probably already have
an idea of where to go to get weeds.
But I will elucidate more explicitly. One way is to join a mailing
list (Yahoo! has some great Genesis-related ones, including my favorite,
genesis-trades). The other is to find the website of a remastering
group and ask them about how they distribute their shows; I have
links to a couple of these groups (as mentioned earlier) on my Links
page. Another way is to simply get yourself onto a Genesis discussion
forum and ask around (this is a great way to answer any of your
Genesis questions--you'll get plenty of answers, though not all
of them will be right). Actually, in the past the discussion forum
has been a good spot itself for picking up free music. People are
known to do giveaways on there with no weeding obligations attached
(though I believe weeding is generally considered the polite thing
Back to FAQ
5. Can you provide a simple list of guidelines for trading with
you, or for trading in general?
Yes. In fact, I'd love to! Thank you for asking such a considerate
Actually, a lot of the answers to the other questions
on this page end up dealing with a lot of the issues I might include
in any list of guidelines, but I'll try to consolidate and write
about some larger issues here. First of all I'm a big believer in
communication. Be truthful,
forthright, and honest about what you have and what you know about
it. Also, try to keep up on your email--don't start a trade and
then go on vacation for a month without telling the person. This
will not win you any friends on the other end. In my earlier days,
when I was more anxious about getting shows and more worried about
when they would arrive, I was always happier when the trader I was
working with let me know when each step of the process was completed:
when he had finished burning my discs, when he had mailed them,
and about how long it would be before I could expect to get them.
Another important point is accuracy.
This ties in to one of my cardinal rules, which is to always listen
to your shows before giving them to other people. I have received
literally piles of incorrect, misdated, or badly recorded shows
due entirely to the fact that the trader did not listen to the master
disc before copying it. If there is a major problem with any show,
or if the date is at all questionable, I'd like to know about it
beforehand, instead of finding out later. Now maybe you don't want
to go around researching the gig dates and venues for all your shows--that's
understandable. But there are one or two fairly dependable and easy
to use resources for gig dates on the web (see question
12 for more information on this).
One of my biggest pet peeves when it comes to audio
shows is pauses. Some burner
software and some careless users of burner software can cause dead
air of varying lengths to be inserted between the tracks on a copied
CD. Most of the time the pauses are incredibly short in length,
down to a fraction of a second--but this is still long enough to
disrupt the flow of the music and annoy the heck out of most hardcore
traders. No live recording should have pauses between tracks (the
problem is most noticeable and most annoying when medleys are broken
across tracks that have pauses, but it's also annoying in other
places). Some pauses, even if short, can cause hitches or even hiccups
in the recording, and are known to add pops or scratches. If you
possibly can, always make discs without pauses. Choosing the right
burner software can help solve this problem very easily. For more
info on this, consult question 6.
Another tip for beginning traders and for traders
whose trading is becoming heavier and more hectic is to always keep
good records of your trades. I personally have a separate
folder on my email program where I keep all trade-related emails,
so I can remember what has been decided upon in the trade, what
details the trader has supplied about himself and his shows, and
of course what his email address is in case I need to email him
again (traders can also be women; I am not sexist, but in my experience
they are usually men, which is why I am using male pronouns).
I also maintain an additional, separate text file
in which I write barebones descriptions of all trades I am in the
process of completing and all recently completed trades, along with
details of what point I am at in a trade. I write which shows I'm
getting, which shows I need to give in return, the mailing address
of the trader, and whether I have mailed the package to him yet
or not (and sometimes if I'm very good I also note the date at which
the other person sent their package, so I know when to expect it).
I usually keep all this information until I have listened to all
the shows and put comments on my site--then I consider it discardable.
Some people make a note of the name of the person
they got each show from by writing it on the discs or on the cases
somewhere--I don't actually do this myself, but I still think it's
a good idea. Just in case anything is wrong with the show or if
any question ever comes up about the origin or details of the show,
or just in case you want to remember who helped you out when, it's
good to remember who gave you what. If you are trading with a lot
of people at once, this kind of record-keeping will help prevent
errors like sending person A's discs to person B instead, or forgetting
to burn all the shows person A wanted, or leaving some of the discs
for person A in your living room instead of putting them in the
package. It will also keep you from going crazy trying to juggle
all those people and places and trades in your head.
Again, these are just some basic tips for trading;
the real detailed guidelines and other vital information is included
in the rest of this FAQ. Even if you are a bona fide trader and
not a beginner, I recommend that you at least skim through the rest
of the questions--it could be helpful! And please, if you have any
tips or questions for me, feel free to email.
Back to FAQ
6. What kind of CD burner should I use? Is there any way to exactly
copy a CD without adding errors or pauses between tracks? What is
SHN/FLAC/APE? How do I make an SHN disc? Do you have SHN/FLAC/APE
I don't consider myself qualified to really make technical pronouncements
(which quickly become out-of-date anyway), but I do have some slight
personal experience with burning CDs at least. I can't help you
shop for your burner, but I
can tell you that you don't actually need a re-writable drive to
burn audio CDs if that's all you want to do; and that a really cheap,
non-name-brand burner will probably be cheap for a reason: because
If you want to do particular things with your burner,
like make VCDs and/or be able to make good copies, you don't really
have to look around for a special burner. The more important thing
when it comes to details of burning is the software
that you use. Some software is definitely better than
others. I use a Mac with Roxio's Toast. Toast is an excellent Mac
program for burning, but I don't think it's available for PC machines.
Perhaps Roxio makes a Windows program for burning, and if so I'd
recommend that (if you are one of the many unfortunate Windows users
out there). Another good burner program that is for Windows is Nero.
These particular programs will hopefully allow you to figure out
very easily how to remove pauses from your discs. You need to find
software that will at least give you the flexibility to easily remove
all pauses. Keep in mind that by default all audio discs MUST have
a two-second pause at the beginning of the disc, on the first track
(just make sure you're not putting that pause at the end of
the first track--it goes before).
adding errors to copied discs, like scratches
or skips, all you have to do is make sure you don't copy your discs
too quickly. Usually when you buy a burner, it has a maximum
write speed atttached to it. Actually, a CDRW drive generally
is described with three different speeds, which are probably the
write speed, the re-write speed, and the read speed, in that order;
mine, for instance, is labeled "24x10x40x." The read speed
(in this case, 40x), the speed at which the drive reads a disc placed
in its tray, is always the highest number. The write speed (24x),
the maximum burning speed of the laser, is never as high as the
read speed (probably because it takes more time to burn a disc than
to read from it, logically enough). The re-write speed, the maximum
speed at which the burner can burn a re-writable disc (10x), is
always quite a bit slower than the write speed for a normal CD-R.
CD-RWs or rewritable discs are very good as reusable data storage
devices, but they can't be read by every drive, especially when
it comes to stereos and CD players; it's better to use a normal
CD-R to make an audio disc, which is fine because they're cheaper
and can be burned at a faster speed--you just won't be able to write
over them or add to them in any way once they've been burned. If
you mess up when burning a CD-R, it's time to go get another CD-R.
The little "x" next to the numbers in the
maximum speeds described above is like the multiplication symbol,
and is read "times." Thus the write speed of my burner
is "twenty-four times." This means that the burner can
hypothetically burn something twenty-four times faster than the
real time in which it would play (note that real time playing speed
is NOT equivalent to the "read speed;" it's just how long
your audio track is). A simple example: let's say that my maximum
burn speed is actually 20x. If I burn an audio track that is 10
minutes long at that maximum speed, it should take 1/20 of 10 minutes
or .5 minutes (thirty seconds) to burn. Considering the actual real-time
playing length of the track, this is really good time we're making.
In a more realistic hypothetical case, I might burn a 60-minute
audio disc at 16x, which would take 3.75 minutes or 3 minutes and
It's all very well to have a nice, high maximum speed,
but a good rule of thumb to go by when making audio discs is to
never burn a disc at the maximum burning speed. In this way,
you have a much better chance of avoiding the errors that are introduced
onto a disc whose laser cannot keep up with the assigned writing
speed (usually due, as far as I can tell, to an inability by the
burner to read the source material fast enough). One good, dependable
way to avoid errors when copying an audio disc is to extract all
of that disc's tracks to your hard drive and burn
the copy from the hard drive files. Otherwise, you'll
be copying from disc to disc, a method known as "burning on
the fly." This requires two disc drives, the burner drive and
the drive holding the original disc (the "read-from drive"),
and also requires a fast and very dependable read speed on the part
of the read-from drive. When I copy "on the fly," I generally
lower my burn rate to 4x, to help account for any disruptions or
lags in speed on the part of the read-from drive. This is very slow,
but it usually guarantees that the CD laser does not outrun the
read-from drive and mess up the copy. The best way to guarantee
this, however, is as I said to copy the original to your hard drive
and read from the hard drive instead of the CD drive. The hard drive
can read information a lot faster than the CD drive, and will usually
allow you to up your write speed to something like 16 or 24x at
How do you know what is too fast a write speed for
your burner? Well, after multiple burns, you'll get used to what
your burner can handle--also, the burner should be able to tell
you what its maximum capabilities are (as described above). Finally,
your burner software should have a feature for testing the speed--it
does a dry-run of reading from one of the CD tracks to see if the
read speed is fast enough to match the write speed specified.
I for one have basically given up burning on the fly--I
always extract the disc to my hard drive when copying it. When it's
on the hard drive, I burn at 16x and generally the burning process
for one disc does not last longer than around 4 or 5 minutes (as
approximated in my example of the 60-minute disc above). With 4x
burning on the fly, it takes about 15 minutes for me to copy one
disc. Do the math! The only downside to burning off your hard drive
is that you have to first copy all the audio files to the hard drive,
which is hands-on, somewhat time consuming (though it doesn't take
15 minutes per disc), and requires that the hard drive involved
have enough free space; the one advantage to on-the-fly burning
is that you can just hit record and walk away.
Of course, even if you burn at a very slow speed and
from your hard drive, there is still a miniscule chance that the
copying process will add some tiny pops or some such to your copied
disc (I really don't find this to be a major problem and I usually
don't care about it at all, but some people do). Another consideration
is a disc that is going to be weeded; people who are familiar with
weeding or have read my answer to question 4 will
know that weeding can cause lots of errors to get introduced into
a recording. To try to prevent something like this from happening
in the course of multiple copies being made from a master disc,
people make use of SHN discs, or
lossless compression files.
SHN (of FLAC or APE) is actually a compression format
("Shorten") that makes normal AIFF and WAV audio files
about half the size as normal. It is a "lossless" compression
format, meaning that you get a smaller size file but you don't lose
any quality in the process. There are other compression formats,
like FLAC and APE, but they all behave the same basic way. The SHN
is a data format, which means once you have your lossless SHN files
you burn them onto a data disc and send it on. The person at the
other end is hopefully able to de-compress SHN files and convert
them back into the original audio files, then burn their own audio
disc that is in no discernible way any different than the original
master copy. This certainly cuts down on errors in discs. All it
requires is that you download the Shorten software (or preferably
software that can encode/decode multiple compression formats--my
current chosen Mac software is xACT, which can deal with SHN, FLAC
and APE), which you can probably find through a simple search on
the web. I think all software of this type is available for both
Mac and Windows. It compresses and uncompresses (encodes/decodes),
so you can convert audio files to compressed files and vice versa.
(These compression formats are used on shows downloaded
from torrent sites, so if you're going to get a torrent, you will
also need software that deals with compressed files--see question
3a if you don't know what torrents are.)
I do have this software, and I do actually have a
few data discs with compressed audio files, but I actually don't
use them much and all the shows I have listed on my site will be
traded using regular audio burning techniques. If you want me to
convert to SHN, etc., I can, but keep in mind that most of the audio
discs I have have been burned by other people, probably over multiple
generations, and whatever errors could have been added in are probably
already there--SHN doesn't make the disc any better than it is,
it's just a very good way to copy the data. Also, using SHN to trade
uses up a lot of blanks, because you have to burn the audio disc
onto another blank after receiving the SHN disc. I usually find
it to be too much trouble to bother with. However, I can see how
it could have a lot of advantages when you are weeding a show, and
I recommend it in that case (see question 4 for
info on weeding).
Back to FAQ
7. Do you do blanks and postage trades?
The short, misleading answer to this question is "no."
The slightly longer answer is: "I do something even better."
First of all, for those of you who don't know, a "blanks
and postage trade" (or B+P) is the kind of trade
a very beginning trader would make to get music from someone. If
the someone with music agrees to it, the beginner will fill a package
with blank CD-Rs and a list of what shows they want, include a self-addressed
envelope with return postage, and mail it all off. The trader on
the other end, not having to provide any of the materials necessary
to give the other person music (since the beginner has provided
the blanks and the packaging for return mailing), simply has to
put in the time to burn the discs and drop the thing at the post
office. (In some versions of this system, the trader may ask for
double the required number of blanks, so that they at least get
some blank discs out of the deal.) This is something that, unfortunately,
your bigger traders will not do; the people who have the most music
and are therefore in the best position to really help others with
blanks and postage deals are the ones who get swamped the most with
requests for free music and, thus, are the ones who are least likely
to do it.
I for one do not believe in blanks and postage. It
involves money, and I don't like the idea of money, even for postage
or in the form of postage, travelling around in bootleg-related
packages. The way I work is
as follows. If someone asks me for music, but has absolutely nothing
to give me in return except for the promise that they will be eternally
grateful (and maybe will remember me when they acquire something
later on that I might like), I generally ask them to just mail me
some blank discs and I will burn them for them (no postage and no
return packaging required, in other words). There are rules for
1. I don't like the number of blanks to exceed 10--that's
about as much as I'm willing to give you for "free," and
I think it's a good basis for which to then be able to trade with
other people and start building your collection that way, instead
of simply with handouts.
2. I prefer brand name blank discs (CD-Rs), though
which brand I'm not particular about. Maxell, Imation, Fujifilm,
and most other well known brands all work fine (for more info on
what kind of blanks I prefer, though it's basically a reiteration
of this, see question 15).
3. I hate it when people mail the blank discs in their
full size crystal cases. Don't do this. It makes your package bigger
and bulkier, increases the weight and the postage, and the cases
always, ALWAYS get cracked when they go through the postal system,
no matter how much bubble wrap you put around them. Plus when you
send me the discs in the cases, I am obligated to send them back
to you in the cases, which increases my postage costs as well. You
can buy blanks on a spool and then put them in sleeves for transport--or
better yet, I believe some CD-Rs come pre-packaged in sleeves.
4. Make use of the handy-dandy "bubble-pak."
Any office supply store will have these bubble-wrap-lined mailers
that are fine for shipping blanks. Though the crystal cases always
get smashed in shipping, you'd be surprised how little protection
is necessary for the blank discs themselves, beyond the simple bubble-pak
packaging and some kind of individual sleeve covering. For added
support, a rectangle of cardboard slipped in along the length of
the package or sandwiching the blanks themselves will really help--though
even this is not necessary and will probably add to the postage
5. It always helps to include a list of what shows
you want in the package, even though I will probably have kept the
email in which these details were finalized.
I think that covers that. I don't like it to get around
that I do this, or I may have to stop doing it--with my method,
I have to pay for the postage on all these things, and I wouldn't
want to get inundated with requests, as it would sap my free time
and my money. But I did get into this whole web site and trading
deal to help people get music. So if you really need help, don't
Back to FAQ
8. I have music on tape. Can I transfer it? Will you trade CDs for
I can transfer tape onto CD if you can't. I'm willing to take
an audio tape if it has a recording I want on it and it's only in
that format, though I prefer CD. I will trade pretty much every
Genesis-related item for any other Genesis-related item--the only
barrier to this is working out an even trade with varying media,
and the issue of whether or not the medium chosen is capable of
duplication. I've had people send me their own tour booklets, without
being able to duplicate them, since they just didn't want them anymore.
If you'd like to know how to transfer a tape, I can give you a
vague idea of how I do it myself.
I have a very tiny tape deck from RadioShack with what's called
a "Y-cable" plugged in the back. It's a Y-cable because
the left and right audio jacks on one end combine to one "in"
jack on the other end that plugs into the audio "in" port
on my computer. I then use my chosen audio editing program (Adobe
Premiere--not a very common choice, and very expensive if you actually
buy a copy) to import the sound from the input port. The unfortunate
part of this is that you can only import the audio in real time--meaning,
you have to play the whole tape at normal speed to import the whole
tape (no "24x" here). It's possible to capture a tape
piecemeal, trying to start and stop the tape and the import from
song to song and get track-length audio files out of it. What I
do, however, is import a whole side of a tape at a time and break
it up into tracks afterwards using my audio-editing program. Of
course, your ability to do this will be limited by the capabilities
of your chosen audio-editing program. Also, you'll need the appropriate
in-port on your computer for importing sound--on some models, this
may require adding a card to the machine. Keep in mind that files
for CDs have to be AIFF or WAV format--to get even more technical,
16-bit sound with a 44khz sample rate, but you probably won't need
to worry about these niceties.
More information on the type of media I accept can be seen on question
9. More information on certain technical aspects of the burning
process can be seen in question 6.
Back to FAQ
9. Do you trade video for audio, and vice versa? Do you only
take Genesis, or will you accept music by other bands?
As mentioned in question 8 and possibly elsewhere,
I will trade anything in my collection that I can duplicate for
anything Genesis-related that interests me, regardless of whether
it's audio, video, memorabilia, interview, rehearsal, live gig,
or studio outtake. In a basic video for audio trade, it is usually
customary to trade 1 for 2 (one video show for two audio shows--though
actually I usually count it as one DVD or VHS for two audio discs,
which is really one show for one show). When it comes to VCDs, which
are CD-Rs with compressed video material on them that play in most
DVD players, I usually treat them the same as an audio disc.
I am also open to creating custom
CDs from material in my collection, or repairing tracking
errors or hiccups or pauses in CDs you have.
As for non-Genesis material,
a little explanation. The reason I got into trading was solely to
expand my Genesis collection. In fact, I didn't even used to accept
material from solo members of the band, because it distracted me
from my main purpose. However, sometimes when I'm trading with someone
they won't have Genesis material that I want, but they do have good
solo member stuff or they have live material by other bands that
I'm interested in. Just to humor them and get them the Geneis music
they want from me, I sometimes accepted and do accept this not-strictly-Genesis
material. In this way I have gathered a certain amount of utterly
non-Genesis music, mostly just to be able to trade with people who
wanted my Genesis music. Non-Genesis stuff I got in the past was
from the following bands: David Bowie, Pink Floyd, The Police, Queen,
R.E.M., Radiohead, Sonic Youth, Bruce Springsteen, Yes. I may even
expand this list if you happen to have something by another band
I like (the Talking Heads, for instance). Go here
or click the "Others" button from the top of any page
of my Live Recordings section to check out details on all my non-Genesis
shows, including track lists and fairly accurate date/venue information.
Back to FAQ
10. I want [insert name of song or gig here]. Where can I find
it? How do I find out if you have it?
To a certain extent, this question deals with the organization
of this site and how to navigate through it. To figure out those
basics, you can look at the site map
which can be reached from off the "Huh?"
page (the question mark button on the main page). Hopefully the
way this section of the site is organized can be answered fairly
clearly by going to the top of this page and checking out the large
array of buttons.
My audio shows that are not compilations are organized
by tour chronologically on the larger section pages, and are also
all listed on my Short List page. If
you don't know the date of the gig you want to find, there are several
ways to find dates and venues (see question 12
for that information), including other sites, certain Genesis books,
and my own set list page which may help
to narrow down what tour your show is from if you know what songs
are in it. Simon Funnell's The
Movement has a pretty powerful search feature.
If your bootleg has some kind of catchy name, like
"Master of Chicago" or "No Replay At All," you
could also search for that name. However, bootlegs often have multiple
names and not everyone uses the same name for the same gig--the
best way to find a show is by its date, venue, or location. Of course,
this kind of information is all too often incorrectly labeled on
shows, but on my larger pages I usually try to mention these kind
of issues. Simon Funnell's web site The
Movement also has a good list of "fake shows," along
with their correct dates. If you're just looking for a particular
song, the find feature will work just as well for that.
Of course, the easiest way to find out what I have
is to either take a browse through my web pages or just email
Back to FAQ
11. I am from [insert name of home country here]. Where are you
from? If we are in different countries, will you still trade with
me? How will this affect postage costs?
I live in the United States of America, on the east coast of that
nation, in the great state of New Jersey. I have no objection to
trading with people from other countries; some nations I've sent
packages to: Israel, France, UK, Germany, Canada, Japan, Sweden,
and various South American nations (even Texas!). As long as I can
understand your English well enough to set up a trade with you,
I am willing to complete the trade.
As for postage costs, they definitely do increase
when it comes to international mailing; how much this will set you
back on your end depends on what country you're in. For instance,
it is my understanding that South American countries like Argentina
have very high postage costs for international packages. In the
US, as long as you keep the weight and size of the package down,
international mail isn't too outrageous.
When it comes to mailing
a package, I send international packages by standard
air mail and domestic shipments by US first class. For a little
while I sent stuff priority all the time so that it would arrive
quicker, but I've since decided the additional two or three days
this saves is really not worth the additional expense--this is especially
true when it comes to international or "global" priority.
International air mail usually takes about a week to get to its
destination if I send it to Europe, though sometimes it can take
several weeks, even up to a month. Domestic packages sent from point
to point within the US only take a few days, usually not longer
than a week.
Back to FAQ
12. I have a show, but I'm not sure where or when it's from.
Where can I find information about bootleg venues and dates of performances?
There are several places to go for information about Genesis and
solo live dates and venues. I like to use multiple sources when
doing my own research for this site, because you'll find that information
does not always agree and that a certain amount of comparison and
weighing has to be done. I try to use some reliable and dependable
sources, such as Simon Funnell (owner and operator of The
Movement, the best source for Genesis information on the web,
period, which has a huge gig database with fairly well-researched
dates and venues), the official
Genesis web site (which at one time at least had a very nice
gig guide), Alan Hewitt (author of Opening the Musical Box: A
Genesis Chronicle, which includes a detailed gig list of Genesis
and solo performances), and other bootleg web pages (I'm a pretty
big fan of "Halley
and Peter's Genesis List," which is a nice collection of
bootlegs with some okay venue information and also detailed track
lists that are a good way of finding out whether you have a correctly
dated show or not--Simon also has this feature, though it's always
better to look at more than one source when attempting an identification).
It's possible that if you have a show with no identifying
information whatsoever, you'll be entirely lost as to where to even
begin looking for its date or venue. However, this information is
very important to have, especially if you ever intend to trade the
show to someone else--I know I for one would not want to get a show
whose origins were unknown or dubious. I'd have no way of knowing
whether it was something I already had or not! One other possible
aid might be my own reference page, the Set
Lists Through the Ages page which can be reached through my
Lists page and which details all of
the various set changes that can occur over the course of a tour.
Back to FAQ
13. How do you rate the quality of your shows?
Most--actually I think it's safe to say all--bootleg sites and/or
lists provide a rating system to give prospective traders an idea
of how good various shows are. A lot of them make use of a letter
grading system, with A+ being the best and F (or F-; ouch!) being
the worst. Just to be different, I use a complicated wording system
that unfairly weights the ratings toward the positive:
Very Poor - Poor - Fair - Good - Very Good - Excellent
I also heavily employ hybrid ratings. Good-Very Good,
for instance, falls between those two ratings. I am also known to
use the rating Very Good-Good which, believe it or not, is a different
rating than Good-Very Good (Very Good-Good is slightly better, because
its name begins with the higher rating--get it?). The hybrids only
ever combine ratings that are next to each other in the scale; for
instance, you'd never see a "Poor-Good" rating, because
a rating that was of that type of quality would be better named
"Fair." You'd only see hybrids like Poor-Fair, Fair-Poor,
Fair-Good, Good-Fair, Good-Very Good, etc. (these are in order from
worst to best quality).
If you look through my ratings on the site, you'll
notice that the lower end of the scale is only very rarely touched--I
generally hover around Fair to Very Good. I barely use Fair. Excellent
is also rare, however, as I usually reserve it for very clean, official
sounding soundboard shows. Very Poor is reserved for shows so bad
that they can barely be recognized as music. Very Good is usually
for radio shows and exceptional audience shows. Well-recorded audience
shows get a Good most of the time. Fair and Poor are used on shows
that have multiple problems and where the vocals are difficult to
understand (usually these are audience shows, but not always). By
the way, if you don't know what I'm talking about when I say "audience,"
"radio" or "soundboard" shows, see question
Actually, rating is a surprisingly subjective process
and when it comes to these little distinctions people will often
disagree. Also, over a large collection, it's very hard to maintain
a consistent rating system. For instance, if I were to sit down
now and listen to a recording that I rated Fair two years ago and
one that I just yesterday rated Good, they might sound nearly identical
in quality (over the years, having become accustomed to typical
audience bootleg sound quality, I've probably taken to rating stuff
more and more leniently). Really you shouldn't totally trust little
distinctions in anyone's rating systems--they are only really useful
as a general kind of idea of what the thing sounds like. In my case,
the best way to find out what the show really sounds like to me
is to read my detailed comments on it, where all the tiny stuff
Back to FAQ
14. How do you feel about artwork for bootlegs?
Funny you should ask! Being a graphic designer, I
enjoy making CD inserts and artwork, and when I started
out collecting it was my intention to make my own insert for every
show I received. I quickly learned, however, that having to maintain
this site and make artwork AND live my life were too many things.
I dropped the artwork. Before I did, however, I did make a few inserts.
Thumbnails for some of the covers I've made can be seen on the entries
for those shows in my larger pages. Generally the covers I made
on my own are for shows that are no longer the best versions from
that date, so they are not worth circulating, but if for some reason
you see one that you like, I'd be happy to provide you with the
files on request.
The main core of functional artwork I have produced
was for the Coaster Factory, a remastering group that released cleaned-up
Genesis and solo shows. The artwork for those shows is also in thumbnail
form on my site (see the goodies section) and is on Simon Funnell's
archive for those shows.
I used to send people printouts of the artwork that
was made by me, but I don't really do that anymore. People interested
in my artwork can download them at the place listed above. My experience
is that most traders do not provide artwork or track lists, so I
don't go to the trouble either, unless requested.
As for standard bootleg artwork,
I generally don't use it myself and don't expect other people to
send me copies of it. All I really expect from someone in a trade
is the discs I asked for--and it's generally all I get. Track and
venue information I'm used to gathering from my own reference sources
(as listed in question 12). I also don't expect
to get full size crystal cases from you--in fact, I specifically
ask that you not send those (see question 7 for
my full opinion on that). I feel guilty getting artwork printouts
because I don't send them in return, so I'd prefer not to get those
either--though it is a nice little touch to get it every once in
a while. My opinion on art inserts, as with crystal cases, is that
the trader who receives the shows can provide those on his end by
(in the case of the artwork) finding the files on the web and printing
them out himself rather than requiring the sender to provide them
in the package--if both people adhere to this idea, it can work
out just fine.
Need to find artwork
for a show? The best place that I know of for Genesis artwork is
Simon Funnell's The Movement,
which has a nearly comprehensive Artwork Archive database with downloadable
files (as mentioned in the first paragraph of this answer). These
are actually better than getting printouts from people, because
generally when people send artwork they send low-res, possibly multiple-generation
scans of the distant original, not original digital files. Simon's
files are digital images that can get printed out from your system
onto whatever paper you like. I would like to extend a
warning about artwork, though, to those who may not be
aware: non-remaster-group artwork for bootlegs was probably created
by bootleg record labels that are not huge fans of Genesis specifically
and who are not fully versed in venue information, song titles,
or even the correct spelling of simple words. Therefore, while artwork
can look very pretty, it is often dotted with inaccuracies. The
exception to this is artwork provided by official remastering groups,
who know their stuff and often even provide interesting details
about the gig in addition to correct track lists and venue information.
Of course, my artwork is checked for accuracy as well, though in
some cases I have since acquired alternate versions of the shows
I originally made artwork for, so my best versions of those shows
may not have track lists/times that exactly match those on the insert
(this is not true of the Coaster Factory shows, which unless you
have obtained a multi-generation, mistakenly re-tracked version
of the discs, should all have perfectly accurate artwork). You have
Some full artwork sets include a front insert, a back,
and a label to stick on the CD surface itself. I despise these labels
and ask that you please, please, NEVER use them, even on discs you're
going to use for just yourself. This is because even if the stickers
have been printed out and put on the CD perfectly, with no air bubbles
(sometimes a difficult task to perform), slot-loading CD drives
often have problems both taking them in and spitting them out. (See
Club bootleg in the 70-75 section for a related horror
story.) I also discuss the downsides of CD labels on my wish
Back to FAQ
15. Do you have a favorite brand of blank CD? Would you prefer
I use a specific brand? How do you feel about writing on CDs using
a marker or pen?
I don't have a preference for brand of
blank; any name brands will do. I know for certain that
Imation, Maxell, Fujifilm, and other such brands consistently work
well. There used to be and possibly still are more than one capacity
for blank CD-Rs: 74 and 80 minutes. I always use 80 minute ones,
because some of the audio discs I have probably go over the 74 minute
limit. I was told once that a green writing surface is generally
a sign of low quality product: "Don't use the green ones."
Unfortunately it's very difficult to tell until you buy and unwrap
your blanks whether they have a green writing surface; but generally
if you stick to brand names, you will probably avoid getting duds.
I know some people who are very brand-conscious and
will even request that you burn shows onto specific types of discs--people
who are convinced that if you use a blank disc that isn't Maxell,
it just won't sound right. This is hogwash. Generally, it is not
the media, but the method you use to burn that causes the problem.
When it comes to writing
on the discs (and in this case I mean writing in the
sense of handwriting, not burning), as long as you use your marker
or pen on the right side of the disc (that is, the side that is
not being used by the burner to imprint the audio information),
I don't really care. Some traders are strongly against the use of
pens on their discs, because they feel that the ink can damage the
disc or somehow lessen its lifespan. I haven't found this thus far
to be true. I myself use a "Sharpie ultra fine point Permanent
Marker" that does not smear and does not bead up on the disc
surface. I generally write some basic information on the disc, along
with the disc number, on discs that I burn to send to other people;
if you are a trader who dislikes this practice, let me know and
I will refrain.
Most of the time people use little post-its or scraps
of paper to label the discs; this is perfectly fine. Another option,
related to the artwork sometimes included with shows, is sticking
a sticker label on the CD with printed out information on it. But
I am strongly against the use of such labels, as explained at the
end of my answer to the previous question.
Back to FAQ