A Frank Zappa Collection From The Past – Or – The Aural Retentive Shows Some Restraint

It’s always dangerous to just aimlessly look through e-bay. You WILL find something that you want to buy. Restraint is required.

I did not buy what I am about to show. Some of you will say duh, but there will be others that will understand (former tape traders and bootleg collectors) why my heart leaped and it was only with great restraint that I stopped myself.


Yeah. Someone was selling their (presumably) old Frank Zappa bootleg/studio release collection in this sweet car travel case.

I have no doubt that it took a long time to amass this collection of dubbed albums and live bootlegs. I would have killed for this back in the day.

Coming across bootleg tapes used to be like finding a stray unicorn before the internet was dripping with them to download at the click of a button. Still, just the sight of this collection made me nostalgic for the tape trading days and how stoked I would have been to have owned some of these. Just imagining the days when I would listen to the boot and had write the j-card with loving care and then add the tape, numbered and cataloged for future reference and trades. It was a whole process and I loved it. As I have mentioned here before though, I got in too deep and spent more time rating, researching track lists, filling the extra time at the end of the tapes and printing and sending my list out to get even more tapes that eventually the balance between fun and work began to blur. Getting a long awaited tape in the mail that was listed as Excellent quality by the trader but reducing it to merely Fair after listening to it and removing that trader from my list. Blah.

I quit tape trading and lucky for me along came Napster and these days I provide myself endless bootlegs by harvesting YouTube. I got plenty.

But the former tape trader in my felt my heart skip a beat while looking at this collection. The description detailed 15 tapes. Some were bootlegs and some were standard releases and some were the “You Can’t Do That On Stage Anymore” releases. Again, drooling. However, I most likely now have the bootlegs in this collection somewhere in the 1200 Zappa boots I have collected this year.

A little voice in my head whispered… “maybe there is something rare in here!”

Stop it.

The asking price was about $55 with shipping and I was please with myself and showed some restraint. I didn’t buy it. I did put it on my watch list though. Which is why a few days later I got this dagger to the heart.

Discount! It was only $8 off, but damn.

I had to take a good hard look at the tape spines again. In the end I decided my original instinct was right and that if I were to buy these I would only be buying them to own the cool nostalgia of it all. I do not need these.


Right. They are cool, and a throwback to when I used to have a day when I was all about the bootleg tapes. I can appreciate them now and know that I probably already have all of this, and more, and more, and more…

Got me thinking. In all the years I was trading, did I get any Zappa? Turns out I did get one. I had to go to the basement and dig out what’s left of my bootleg tapes.

Found it. FRANK ZAPPA   (182) -unk -Austin TX. -10-26-73 -VG -84 -SBD

Which of course has been rendered redundant by the 1200 boots I have downloaded. I found it with the same date and location in my giant folder of files. Ah, technology.

I hope someone buys his collection of bootlegs. They deserve a good home.

Just not with this guy.

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