- Alternative & Modern Rock
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Music can be a difficult addiction based on the "intensity." I might be able to effectively fund my album habit... CDs are relatively cheap... but collecting everything by a band can get pricey (and don't even get me started on collective musical instruments and recording gear). Live bootlegs, out of print rarities and other items can tap a collectors resources rather quickly. And then if you want to really become a collector, you move into music memorabilia, which can really get out of hand if you're talking about some of the biggest names in rock and roll history.
It's all good though, because if you're a collector, this is your passion and it's not about the money... it's about the legacy, the music and the art.
It may still be expensive, but luckily by using the Internet, it has become a lot easier for collectors to find rare memorabilia, and rare music. Personally I like browsing used music stores online. More than once I've found some rare stuff that's out of print, or only offered as an import or bootleg... and usually for a decent to stellar price as well. I haven't done too much memorabilia collecting, but that's primarily because of lack of "financial resources" to start such a collection. Eventually I expect I will delve into that market a little though, and when I do I'll probably start my search at Wolfgang's Vault (http://www.wolfgangsvault.com).
Wolfgang's Vault is a dealer of rock and roll memorabilia. I'm not associated with them in any way, nor am I being paid to plug their site, I just think it's cool and something worth sharing. They have a great collection of photos, posters, shirts and more from a wide variety of bands including many of the biggest of the big.
As cool as all that is, the memorabilia is actually NOT the primary reason I wanted to share this site with everyone. Instead, it's because Wolfgang's Vault includes an awesome live music archive called the Concert Vault that I've been browsing through for the past couple of months. With performances, entire concert bootlegs and interviews from artists ranging from Aerosmith to Frank Zappa, all available to listen to for free (you do have to sign up, but it's free with an email), it's a great resource for rock and roll enthusiasts. Many of these concerts are difficult if not impossible to find and here they are all in one place for your listening pleasure. A number of titles can also be purchased and some even downloaded for free.
Browsing the Vault is fun and it's easy to find yourself entranced by an interview, or a complete concert. I've found myself listening to concerts by Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, Hendrix, the Grateful Dead and many more without even thinking about it... I just get engrossed. I get the feeling more than a few rock and roll fans out there will feel the same way, so you should check it out ASAP.
So what's the coolest thing I've found browsing the Concert Vault so far?
Well in terms of concerts I think it's an easy choice... maybe I'm a little jaded being a huge fan of this particular band, but still... I'll pick the April 27th 1969 concert from the Fillmore West by none other than Led Zeppelin. That's right, the Zeppelin, in their early prime, at the Fillmore, complete in all its glory!
The sound quality is "bootleg", but decent. There's one small addition that makes this concert amazing though. I'm talking about "As Long As I Have You"... a number I was unaware for a long time that Zeppelin actually performed live during their career. It's originally a Willie Dixon song I believe, but here Page, Plant, Jones and Bonzo take it to it's hard rock, psychedelic conclusion... bordering on space rock even at times (if you want to call it that). This is a stellar performance start to finish with Page's roaring fuzz guitar setting the tone for Plants howling vocals. If anyone ever doubted why the Zeppelin took off as much as they did early on, or why they're are considered by many to be the first metal band, this song alone should be enough to remind them.
The rest of the performance (both sets) is pretty sweet as well with a few other rarities and some great versions of "How Many More Times," "White Summer/Black Mountain Side" and "Dazed and Confused." This concert is available on bootleg around as well if you're lucky enough to find it. Definitely take a listen to it here streaming from the Vault though... it's a lot easier than trying to track down the bootleg. You can find both set one and set two, along with a couple of other things from the band as well here at Wolfgang's Vault: http://concerts.wolfgangsvault.com/pf/led-zeppelin/4017.html
Don't forget to check out the rest of the Concert Vault while you're over there. There is a tone of great material from across the ages. Start here and try not to get too engrossed, although I think that will be a challenge: http://concerts.wolfgangsvault.com/
And while you're at it, feel free to search through Wolfgang's Vault's store as well. There's some great memorabilia that's sure to spark the interest of a few collectors there: http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/
As I said, I'm not associated with this store in any way... no paid plugs here. I just like what they're doing... especially the Concert Vault... and thought a few others might as well. Think of this bit of free press as something of a thank you to Wolfgang's Vault for putting together the Concert Vault (and for being a great source for rock and roll memorabilia). It's great to have these concerts available for people to enjoy easily and for free online. I'm glad to see that there's people out their dedicated to making sure they remain available for as long as possible.