Bernard Stollman

It seems like Bernard Stollman has decided to try digital distro. If you’re not familiar with the logo, ESP-DISK is responsible for dozens upon dozens of highly sought-after records from the 60s and 70s including lps from jazz legends like Sun-Ra and Albert Ayler and even work from the Fugs before they became pop stars. Stollman has made the entire catalogue availabe online which might be a surprise to some people since Stollman is a passionate advocate of high quality sound recordings like DVD-audio and ESP’s own proprietary techonology, sonature. I wonder if the Charles Manson/Beach Boys record he tried to reissue will be available (see excerpt below)? I doubt it, but maybe we’ll put up some streaming audio later…..

“Charles Manson had been convicted of complicity in the massacre in Beverly Hills. I believed that the media treatment of the case was intended by our government to discredit the hippie movement and in that manner counteract the growing antiwar climate in the United States. I came across an LP on Awareness Records by Manson, produced by one of the Beach Boys, and I was impressed by his songs and delivery. Phil Kaufman, road manager for Etta James and Emmylou Harris, is the author of an autobiography, Road Mangler Deluxe, in which he describes how he met Manson while both were in prison. Manson asked him to put the record out. Kaufman released it, and then freaked because his house had been surrounded by Manson followers with knives. So he brought it to me at my invitation, and ESP reissued it. Our distributors and dealers then refused to handle it. ESP folded in 1974, paid off its creditors, and the record masters were placed in safe deposit boxes, where they remained for 17 years. I got married and moved to the Catskills. In 1980, I became an assistant attorney general of the state of New York, where I stayed for the next 10 years…”