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Japan or Bust? It's Only Rock N' Roll But We Have much to talk about...
08 Aug 2004

About 10 days ago, there were rumors spreading fast & furiously regarding Vinyl Gang Productions getting dismantled due to a major bootlegging bust in Japan. Thanks to a post from �kees� over at the It�s Only Rock N� Roll website (Bjornulfs� The Rolling Stones Fan Club Of Europe)�word is that the label did not get busted, but that due to the decision to re-issue titles & the new age of digital copying/trading, etc�.they have suspended operations because their recent releases have sold so poorly. And, that VGP will likely �reappear soon and refreshed�. While we wouldn�t be surprised by a bust taking place, this latter certainly seems a more likely explanation. We�ll share more if developments warrant.

While we are discussing ROLLNG STONES related topics, it seems that a superb upgrade to the film "Ladies & Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones" is on the way from the producers at the the Genuine Masters Label..who are deviating from their Led Zeppelin exclusive catalog offerings. The early word from GM is that this will be a true 16:9 aspect ratio widescreen release with a significant audio upgrade! Bring it on is all I can say to that! To this point, what has been released have been in "Letterbox" format, not Widescreen so this will be really great from what we are hearing. The release will also feature 2 audio streams, Linear PCM and Dolby Digital 2 Channel Audio. In other Stones news... 2 new Sister Morphine titles are getting rave reviews from Stones collectors. We are still awaiting the first of the two, �Deuces Still Wild� to arrive but the second SM release this month, �Lonestar Shooters�, did come in. Our review will post later today. We also have an update for you on that Rebel Yell Factory Stones title to be released soon� �Star Fuckers In California� will feature the Candlestick Park concert from October 18th, 1981, and is due sometime in September.

Also coming to our attention this week are two new titles from the Japanese Ganja DVD Label (their Stones �L.A. Blues� DVD is by far the best version of that L.A. Forum �75 show). Arriving soon from Ganja DVD are�DAVID BOWIE �MSG �03� which documents Bowie�s 12/15/03 Reality Tour performance in New York, with bonus footage from London 12/2/99 mastered with Dolby Digital Audio. The second Ganja title will excite BOB MARLEY fans! Bob Marley �Over The Rainbow� is a pro-shot performance from London�s Rainbow Theater in 1977 and sounds real good!

It seems that all of the AEROSMITH and WHO shows in Japan last month were recorded by enterprising tapers. The latest information out of Japan shows no less than 10 new titles but, most are on quick release CDR labels�and these aren�t cheap! There are a couple of new Aerosmith titles pressed for release this week on yet unidentified labels� �Honkin� On Odyssey� is from Yokohama Stadium on July 24th, 2004 and �Let The Music Do The Honkin�� is from The Tokyo Dome on the 20th of July. I�d also like to share a tidbit I read on photographer Ross Halfin�s website. He photographed both Aerosmith and The Who for the �Rock Odyssey Tour� or festival and said that the 7/25 performance by Aerosmith at the Osaka Dome, was the best performance he had ever seen the band give. Apparently they played virtually their whole first album with �Milk Cow Blues�, �Mother Popcorn� and other classics. This performance has been released this week on the Sylph CDR label so fans will definitely want to track down this show.

In ERIC CLAPTON news the Beano label has an ambitious 6CD set coming out. �LA Nights� will feature all three shows from the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles on July 17th, 18th & 19th, 1985. Also, be on the lookout for �Crossroads Guitar Festival 2004��a 3CD soundboard offering of Clapton performance highlights from the show(s). Guitar Cycle has 2 new JEFF BECK titles on deck� �The Last Gig� (Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK 6/28/04) and �Warwick Live 2004� (Warwick Arts Center, UK 6/27/04).

Other releases of note�.Rock Masters will be issuing RUSH �Brainwaves� which is a stellar soundboard recording from the Tuscon Community Center in 1978. Main Stream will issue SANTANA�s �Crossroads Guitar Festival 2004� performance from the soundboard�and Highland has a new YES release� �Going For Mind Drive� is a soundboard recording from the Lugano Jazz Festival in Lugano, Switzerland on July 8th, 2004.

One final LED ZEPPELIN related batch of news and comments. We shared info earlier in the week on the Wendy Label�s new �Meet The Led Zeppelin� title, which is yet another release of the highly acclaimed Tokyo 9/23/71 concert. An early glimpse of the artwork for this one keeps their Beatles related themes intact�this time it is a spoof of The Beatles first U.S. LP cover �Meet The Beatles� and actually looks really cool! A generic Japanese DVD-R label has issued what is being called a BIG upgrade of the Led Zeppelin August 11th, 1979 Knebworth performance video. �Knebworth Festival 1979� will likely force Zeppelin fanatics to seek out their 5th version of this one!�but hey, an upgrade�is an upgrade. We would certainly like to see this for ourselves and our membership too. We�ll see if we can track one down. Oh yes, if you are a huge Led Zeppelin fan and hold the Los Angeles June 21st, 1977 show in high regard�you cannot be without Genuine Masters DVD-Audio/Video Montage release �Watch And Listen To This Eddie�. Five days after my first listen, I still cannot get away from it. Note it �hear�� this IS the upgrade of the year! But how the hell did they do it?�and where did this tape come from? That will be fodder for the forums through the Fall.

Thanks for visiting HotWacks On-line and this weeks� Recorded Highlights & Action Replays. I�ll meet you back here next Sunday!

August 8, 2004