If you visit YouTube or similar video sites, you are very likely to watch an amazing Frank Sinatra performance from Frank Sinatra bootlegs. Then you will look for more videos from the concert, but you will not see any. This is because the person who uploaded the video is one of the bootleg traders, and the video you have just watched was a sample from that concert. You can either buy that concert for 10-15$ or you can skip to another sample performance video from a different concert. Yes, this article is about the bootleg trading.
Let’s consider the “I’ll Be Seeing You” performance from the 1961 Sydney Concert, which is absolutely amazing. If you want to watch more songs from Sydney Concert, there are only 7 of them on the internet, as far as I could find. But sometimes you are not even this lucky. Most concerts have 3-4 videos on the internet. The rest? Waiting for you to buy from a guy crazy about money. If you search the terms Frank Sinatra Bootlegs in Google, you will find many lists of people that include all concerts they have for sale.
Of course, it is the person’s choice to sell them or to upload the whole concert on the internet. This must be a good way to earn money and the idea of getting 10 dollars for a DVD can be very tempting. But it is a shame if the seller is a fan of Frank Sinatra. We, Sinatra fans, know how great he is and if more people see different videos of him, then it will help to keep the flame burning. It is really a shame for a Frank Sinatra fan to sell the Frank Sinatra bootleg concerts instead of sharing them for free.
Now, if we consider what the Sinatra Family thinks about sharing the Frank Sinatra bootlegs, we clearly see from the posts in Sinatra Family Forum that Nancy Sinatra, daughter of Frank Sinatra, is strongly against the sharing of Frank Sinatra bootlegs materials. The main reason is that in many of these videos, the performance of Frank Sinatra is not that good. So they only want a concert to be released if Frank would want it to be. Of course, no singer would want any of his bad performances released since they would affect the singer in a negative way. But is this case also valid for Frank Sinatra, too?
I would say, NO. Frank Sinatra is in such a position that he is almost untouchable. All his recordings, officially released concerts and his image among public is like he was the God once. Sinatra himself and his music are so highly respected that even if people watch a bad performance of him, they would not think badly about him. When I watch a performance which is not good, I say “Mhmhm this sucks, let me watch the amazing x concert”, and that’s it. And this is the same for many other people. In fact, who would think that Sinatra sang all the songs all the time in a perfect way? Of course he had his ups and downs, nothing wrong with that. I am not saying that bad performances should be officially released, but they should at least be shared among Sinatra fans.
What’s more, many of his concerts are really great. Nothing wrong with them! All these “bad” performances are not even bad. They are quite listenable and enjoyable. So why let others decide for us about what we can listen and what we cannot?