Here’s a bootleg that nobody needs, except maybe me.
David Bowie’s October 20, 1972 show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium might be one of the most bootlegged gigs ever. That’s partly because it’s Bowie and partly because the sound is fantastic. Unlike a lot of early bootlegs, this one had the advantage of being ripped from an FM broadcast of the show, so the sound quality is always good. I have several different copies, including the official version released in 2008, and they all sound great.
What’s kind of cool about this one, though, is that rather than opening with the radio announcer intro heard above, David Bowie In Person kicks off with the band tuning up, or if not that then nervously noodling on their respective instruments before kicking into “Hang Onto Yourself.” That makes me wonder if this bootleg was cut from a soundboard recording rather than the FM broadcast.
Equally cool is that this version is on the Trademark Of Quality label, which is kind of the big daddy of ’70s bootlegs. I’d love to have a complete set of TMOQ releases, but that’s a pretty serious grail to go after.
And finally there’s that beautiful colored vinyl. My copy is orange, but other colors exist. Collect ’em all!
A copy of David Bowie In Person can run you anywhere from 50 to 200 dollars. Meanwhile, you can still buy a new copy of the official version, Live Santa Monica ’72, for around 30 bones. The choice is yours. Happy hunting.