Browsing Dylan Bootlegs on eBay


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I spent a little time over lunch looking at Dylan bootlegs for forthcoming years, particularly what was out there on the internet to buy (there is a great deal to trade, but since I don’t actually own any, that’s tough for me!). It seemed like a good idea to head over to eBay. You have to add “vinyl” to your search, because Dylan and Columbia have complicated matters considerably by the use of the term “Bootleg Series” (which was probably part of their intention).

The album above, Stealin’, was the first Dylan bootleg to use studio outtakes, and it is one of the most important of all bootlegs. The owner is only asking $10 for it, but it’s not the first edition, which is the one that would be quite valuable. That version has this label:


Stealin’ was an album that mixed material from a lot of different sources, which was quite common with the earliest bootleggers and then became less so as time went on.

This one:

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is a later generation copy of Great White Wonder. The owner is asking $50 for it. I have no idea if any of these are fair prices, but it seems steep to me.

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Help! is another bootleg that combined a number of sources. This seems to be the 1978 version. I like this one for the evident cheapness of the cover printing, which is probably just a Xerox copy. This gives a nice sense of where the bootleg industry was at the time. Yours for $80.

Finally, this:

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is a version of The Basement Tapes that the owner is asking $100 for.

Given how convoluted the history of some of these bootlegs are, I can’t imagine that I’m going to jump into the market any time soon. I sort of want the copy of Stealin’, even if it isn’t the first edition, but the shipping to Canada is way too high.

I should put one of those little “Donate” buttons here….



2 thoughts on “Browsing Dylan Bootlegs on eBay

  1. Rusty Witek

    bart, I’ve got that version of GWW (it reads “Compatable for Stereo” at the bottom, right?). Do you need the object, or just the music?

    Those covers aren’t printed; the images are on photocopied single sheets of paper which were attached to the sleeves entirely by the original shrink wrap, which is why my other Dylan bootleg, called ” The Villager,” has a ripped up cover sheet. The sleeves themselves are the proverbial plain white wrapper.

    • I don’t need the object, there’s just a part of me that is starting to covet these kinds of things because, well, because I have the sickness. I do have MP3s of everything on it though.

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