Posts Tagged ‘memoir’

As 1962 drew to a close, The Beatles were finishing up what was to be their final residency in Hamburg. On the last of these nights, the club’s stage manager recorded the band in all its amphetamine and beer filled pre-fame glory via a single microphone to a domestic Grundig reel-to-reel tape recorder. John Lennon allegedly gave permission for the recording to take place in exchange for a night of free beer for the band.

The Beatles forgot about the tape until news emerged that a ragged, lo-fi double album of their Hamburg days was about to be released. It was now 1977 and the band cried foul and took the record company to court. They claimed that the recording was illegal, that no beer deal had been struck, that the tape was, to quote guitarist George Harrison, ‘the crummiest recording ever made in our name’, and that the release would damage their reputation. They failed in this and a number of subsequent trials to prevent the record’s release. In 1998, The Beatles were finally granted ownership of the tapes and exclusive rights to their use. By that stage the raw and chaotic Live! At the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany; 1962 had been available to the public for 21 years.

Last week, we became aware of another contested cultural bootleg, this time created by Germaine Greer in 1976 in the form of a 30,000 word love letter to writer Martin Amis. The letter was among the papers Greer sold to the University of Melbourne in 2013. There are moves afoot to release the letter in full, and Greer now says the letter was never meant for publication and that she is concerned for the privacy of some of those named in the document.

You can read the rest of the article here on the Meanjin Blog

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