Why The Grateful Dead Decided to Let Fans Bootleg

Mickey Hart recalled the moment when the Grateful Dead gave up on trying to stop their fans from bootlegging their shows.

Hart told the Ultimate Classic Rock Nights radio show that the bootlegging situation had started to get out of control. More than 2,000 of the band’s estimated 2,300 concerts have been recorded.

“We had the choice of either taking their machines away from them, putting them somewhere and giving them a ticket to reclaim them afterwards, because they were getting in the way of the other audience members with their stands and so forth,” the drummer said. “It became a real hassle. So either that, or let them tape. And so we decided we didn’t want to be cops, and so we said, ‘Ah, let them come in, let them tape.’”

“We had a meeting once, I remember,” he continued, “and we said, ‘No, we can’t. We can’t be cops. We’re the Grateful Dead, you know?”

Read the full story on Ultimate Classic Rock.

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