My name is Mike and I’m in love with bootlegs—all kinds. Records, video, you name it. This is my new column, to appear on Vice.com twice a month.
This particular column is going to be devoted solely to records. Here are a few of my most recent fave boots . . .
JACKSON BENNECK, Welcome to My Paisley Reality (1972) – An absolutely AWESOME album by one of the lead harmonica players from Ireland’s Toot Toot Tootlers. (They were supposed to perform at Woodstock, but they weren’t asked. Sha Na Na performed instead.) It’s crazy, far-out, psychedelic harmonica, but really well done. Standout: “Little Old Ladies with Painted Breasts.” REALLY hard to find! Look for the album cover that features a unicorn reading the Kama Sutra. The unicorn is wearing bifocals. This one’s especially valuable! (estimated: $4,000)
EDGAR WINTER, The Hoagie Jams (1973) – This album is KILLER! In the late 70s, a delivery man in LA delivered a tuna sandwich to Edgar Winter’s house, and stumbled across an impromptu bluegrass jam featuring Winter and a mysterious-looking banjo player. It turned out that the banjo player was Jerry Garcia! On the drums was Edgar Winter’s girlfriend-at-the-time, Cindy Williams, who later became famous for playing Shirley on Laverne & Shirley. The music is terrible, perhaps the worst I’ve ever heard, but the between-song banter is AMAZING! At one point, Garcia cries out that he needs a stain-removal stick. Williams tells him to shut his huge “yapper.” Supposedly there’s also a sex tape, but I haven’t been able to find it. Email my hotmail (RARESHITBOOTS@yahoo.com) if ya got it. (estimated: $2,000)
NEU!, Seasons of a Woman’s Cycle (1978) – Klaus Dinger and Michael Rother were German visionaries, which definitely explains why they decided to record a themed album based on a woman’s menstrual cycle. “Day 25” is my favorite song, but “Day 27” is INCREDIBLE, too. I love the tympani solo. On the German pressing, Klaus and Michael assume a frontiersman pose. On the UK pressing, Klaus and Michael are hugging a yellow plastic wizard’s hat. There’s also a 55 rpm version, but it’s impossible to play. (estimated: $1,500)
STEPHEN, I’m in Love with Smiles (1989) – Stephen was a 15-year-old kid from Kansas or somewhere who had locked-in syndrome. He couldn’t speak or hear or talk. But with the help of a very patient male nurse, he recorded this UNBELIEVABLE album. It took him a year. Only two were made. I have one and Stephen’s family has the other. I’m trying to get that one also, so I’d own all of the copies in the entire world. INCREDIBLY RARE!!! I think it’s worth a TON! It’s my makeout album of choice. Stephen died. (estimated: ?)
CHET BAKER, In a Midnight Dreary (1977) – I’m not a fan of jazz at all, but I like this album a lot. Chet Baker was a heroin addict. He recorded this album in Rome, in a guy’s hotel, for a spaghetti dinner. He does all of the American jazz classics. My favorite is the one where he just says “Thirsty” in a high-pitched voice over and over. He also does an amazing song called “The Saga of Johnny Eagle” about an Indian who could see into the future but not the past. There’s a see-through orange colored vinyl version that is beautiful, but I don’t have it. Some LPs also come with a life-size poster of Chet Baker conked out on a couch, eating a container of raspberry Go-Gurt. Would love to hang that one in my bedroom. (estimated: $6,000)
GUTTER CRUNCH, Steady Diet of Pancakes, (1989) – This was Ian Mackaye of Fugazi’s third band, just before he joined Bladder Wars, StarLung, Happy Go Lickys, One-Thumbed Circus Gimps, A Sack of Upset, Stank Toes, and Artificial Piece. This recording comes from an all-ages live show held in July 1989 in the basement of an Arlington, Virginia International House of Pancakes. During the performance, straight-edger Mackaye requests that no one sneeze, cough or clap in an aggressive manner. The set opens with “Racism UnRaveled” and ends midway through the song just as the IHOP’s manager kicks out the entire band and audience for not having “permission” to be there. Each 8-inch LP is signed by Mackaye with a “FUCK” spelled out with tiny little peace-signs. That’s pretty cool. (estimated: impossible to tell, practically priceless. But around $200)
That’s all for now. More to come later this month. Email me with suggestions at RARESHITBOOTS@yahoo.com.