Regarding Matthew Amend’s comments complaining about releasing old recording material ("Rereleasing old material to make more money," Aug. 22 letter). His example of George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” set is an example of simply a way for the estate to make more money.
I’m sorry he has this opinion. Artists who are very much still around, such as Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney, have released their own material. The material allows fans interested in the creative process or experiencing what it might be like in the studio all those years ago.
In 1991, Bob Dylan first released his “Bootleg Series.” Volume 16 arrives in September. Rock bootleg recordings have been around since the late 1960s.
Official release gives the artist, or his/her estate, the chance to capture some of the money that normally goes to others and gives the collector an option of better quality or previously unheard recordings.
Mr. Amend asserts that the material is substandard or did not fit the album. Perhaps so, albums were very limited. The average length of an album was 40 to 45 minutes. That did limit what an artist could release by media cost 50 years ago.
I have spent a fair amount collecting Beatles bootlegs. The remaining Beatles, in 1996, released a three volume, six disc set: “Anthology.” One of the true jewels in that collection, is a demo of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” which had been bootlegged extensively. Even with an excellent quality version, did I pass on “Anthology”? No, I did buy it, even making a trip out at midnight to purchase! I believe in supporting the artists, and seeing the money in their hands.
If the fans demand the previously unreleased material, what is so bad about that? Generally speaking, it will be the family controlling the materials. With George Harrison, his son Dhani (a musician in his own right) and wife Olivia (who was with George for over 25 years) are controlling and involved directly in these releases. I seriously doubt they are concerned about money, with solo royalties and Beatle royalties continuing to head their way.
Ken Miller, Salem