S1: GREEN IS THE COLOUR/CAREFUL WITH THAT AXE EUGENE/CYMBALINE
S2: THE EMBRYO/SET THE CONTROLS FOR THE HEART OF THE SUN
S3: A SAUCERFUL OF SECRETS
S4: ATOM HEART MOTHER
SQ: EXCELLENT STEREO
COMMENTS: GERMAN BOOTLEG RELEASED IN 1971. RECORDED AND PRODUCED BY ROBERT NITZ WITH ORIGINAL ARTWORK BY CARL-THOMAS WIESE. TITLED SIMPLY 'PINK FLOYD' IT IS REFERRED TO BY COLLECTORS AS 'SPREAD LEGS COVER', 'OBSCENE COVER' & 'M-502'. LATER PRESSINGS SUFFERED FROM DISTORTION DURING LOUD PASSAGES OF MUSIC PROBABLY DUE TO WORN PRESSING PLATES. THE ORIGINAL SOURCE OF MANY OTHER BOOTLEGS INCLUDING 'TAKE LINDA SURFIN', 'MIRACLE MUFFLER', 'HAMBURGER', AND 'EMBRWO'. SCROLL DOWN FOR A FLOYDBOOTS INTERVIEW WITH THE COVER ARTIST CARL-THOMAS WIESE.
FIRST PRESSING: (SHOWN ABOVE) 300 COPIES WERE PRESSED WITHOUT A RECORD LABEL FOR THE FIRST PRESSING. THIS HAD A FAIRLY THIN AND DELICATE LAMINATED GATEFOLD COVER WITH INTRICATE AND FINE ARTWORK. THE INNER GATEFOLD HAD THE TRACKLIST AND ALSO STATED THE CONCERT DATE AND VENUE, PLUS 'MADE IN HONG KONG' AND 'ALL RIGHTS ARE FREE'. MATRIX NUMBERS WERE A SIMPLE 1,2,3,& 4 ON EACH SIDE RESPECTIVELY AND EACH NUMBER APPEARED TWICE (OPPOSITE EACH OTHER).
SECOND PRESSING: EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE FIRST PRESSING BUT WITH WHITE LABELS (WITH YELLOW STRIPES) ADDED.
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
FIFTH PRESSING: THIS WAS THE FIRST TO HAVE 'M-502' ADDED TO THE MATRIX NUMBERS. THE WRITING ON THE FRONT NOW USED CAPITAL LETTERS FOR P AND F AND THE FONT USED ON THE REAR COVER HAD CHANGED ALSO. THIS PRESSING HAD PLAIN WHITE AND BLACK LABELS AND AGAIN WITH VARIOUS PRESSING PATTERNS UNDER THE LABELS, SUGGESTING MORE THAN ONE STRING OF PRESSINGS WAS DONE FOR THIS ISSUE ALSO, LIKE THE THIRD AND FOURTH PRESSINGS.
SIXTH AND SEVENTH PRESSINGS: THESE WERE THE LAST PRESSINGS. THE NAME PINK FLOYD APPEARED IN SLIGHTLY LARGER TEXT. THE NUMBER 2 IN THE M-502 MATRIX NUMBER LOOKS LIKE IT HAS BEEN CORRECTED ON SIDE FOUR. THE LABELS USED WERE EITHER YELLOW AND BLACK OR BLUE AND SILVER.
RARITY RATING: (1,2,3,4 MATRIX) (M-502 MATRIX)
YEAR OF RELEASE: 1971 (FIRST PRESSING)
SOURCE: GROSSER SAAL MUSIKHALLE HAMBURG 25-02-1971.
Carl, first of all, I'd like to say thank you for agreeing to the interview. Information on the early European bootlegs is not so easy to come by, so information from those involved at the time is of great interest and value to bootleg collectors. For anyone reading this who doesn't know, you are the artist who did the artwork for the now famous (or infamous) cover for the untitled Pink Floyd bootleg which became known among collectors as "M-502" or the "Spread Legs" cover... These questions are from myself and a few from members of the Floydboots Facebook group. There's probably some you may not know the answers to, so just answer what you can, and don't underestimate the importance of the minute details that collectors love to know about everything bootleg related..... How old were you at the time you designed the Pink Floyd cover?
I was 26 years old when I did the cover. At that time I worked as a freelance graphic designer and exhibition designer. In addition, I had a head shop together with my then wife, as well as Robby and his girlfriend, Mescal. We sold books, artwork and smoker's supplies. Robby then parted with his girlfriend Mecal around 1971-72, he opened a record store: Konnekschen in Hamburg (English: connection) - later known as 'Unterm Durchschnit' ("Below Average"). The store was a center for bootlegs and the record label konnekschen.
Were you a fan of Pink Floyd at the time? Did you ever see them live?
Sure, I was not only, I'm still a Pink Floyd fan. I saw PF live four times. The first concert was in 1970 Ummagumma, it seemed incredible to experience this sound live. The penultimate concert was Atom Heart Mother. Again, the choir and the entire composition filled everyone who was there, full of pride. Yes, that was our music. She reflected on what the best trips to images and insights conveyed. We were looking. It was not about "breaking up" the reality, it was about finding, to find out what the world, what moves us. They were unforgettable concerts. And an unforgettable time. The question remains: what could corrupt these future aspects, these, our hopes? What mistakes did we make? What did not we pay attention to? Why did we leave the direction?
To this day, the cover courts some controversy because of the subject matter, can you remember what inspired you to design a cover that can be viewed as two faces, or open female legs, depending how you look at it?
The complexity of how we see the world was the key. What we interpret or analyze from the view of a structure or design, how we understand the world makes us act. In this respect, from the point of view of a situation several different emerge, which exist on an equal footing side by side.
Were there any concerns at the time that the subject matter might draw unwanted attention to what was already an illegal record?
No, such concerns did not exist then. The production of Bootlegs was in a gray area. Legally, to my knowledge, the production of bootlegs was not prohibited at this time. The bootlegs that Robby produced were not robberies on existing records, so no theft! He had recorded himself and had these recordings pressed.
Do you still have the original artwork?
No, I do not have the original artwork anymore. Maybe given away.
Did you do the design specifically for the album? Or was it something you already did that was used? And were you paid for it?
The design was created especially for the album. I did not take any money from Robby, so I was not paid.
How much did you personally contribute to making this bootleg? Was it just the art or were you involved in other aspects of the production?
It was the purely artistic aspects that led me to make the cover.
Can you remember exactly when the records were printed for the first time?
As far as I remember, the record was 1970-71
The artwork on the first pressings is quite fine and delicate. On later pressings the matrix numbers were changed on the stampers and around the same time the artwork appeared on a non-laminated cover and was much rougher and less detailed with much heavier print. Seeming more like a copy of one of the first pressings than artwork sourced from your original work. The words 'Pink Floyd' were added to the front cover and a track list to the back. This has led to speculation over the years that the stampers may have been sold or stolen before these later pressings. Do you know anything about this? And also did Robert Nitz ever complain that any of his titles were being copied by other bootleg makers?
I have no information which pressings were made later. Robby did not complain when his titles were copied by others.
Robert's bootlegs all came from original sources (recordings) and were usually of very high sound quality. Do you know if he recorded the concerts himself? If so, what equipment did he use?
Yes, Robby did all his own shots. He used a UHER Report 4200 stereo.
How well did you know Robert Nitz?, you wrote that he was a friend, how long had you known him for when the album was released, and how did it happen that he approached you to do the artwork? Please tell us a little bit about him as a man, what kind of person he was?
I knew Robby a little over two years ago when he asked me if I could cover Pink Floyd. Robby actually wanted to be a cameraman. He had a freelance television job as a camera assistant. Robby was very giving and generous. He believed in the power of music and organized a concert appearance for Quintessenz in Hamburg. This concert was a financial fiasco. Robby did not care. The concert was for the audience a revelation, a listening pleasure. After the bootlegs he produced a series of punk bands. Again, he was very generous and provided the financial resources. He had also published songbooks, which he sold at low prices throughout Europe.
There is a story that after he was busted outside a Dylan concert in 1978 Robert fled to an old farmhouse in Niedersachsen with his bootlegs and tapes. Is this true? Do you know any details of him being busted?
He had recorded himself and had these recordings pressed. This circumstance saved him from prosecution. It is correct that he had to sell a Dylan recording and escape before a Dylan concert, and hide himself. Probably in the house of his brother Ralph. In the "Stern", a well-known German magazine, which appeared at that time, there was a great article about Bootlegs and the fact that the production of records with their own recordings was not yet illegal. In the end, Robby was released without a criminal case brought against him. Except for Dylan, none of the big bands or singers had ever done anything against these recordings.
Robert died prematurely in 1982, do you know what happened to him?
Robert probably died in 1982. As far as I know, he died of cocaine, heroin and alcohol. I had investigated in Hamburg, where Robby is buried, at the large Hamburg cemeteries. He is not there.
Don't want to end on a sad note, so I'd like to say thanks for your part in the making of one of the most important Pink Floyd bootlegs out there, and probably the one with the most memorable cover!. Many other old vinyl bootlegs were made by copying this album. And many thanks for the interview, a lot of collectors will find it very interesting. Thanks again Carl.
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