New Book Unveils the Story of Rock’s First Bootleg Record Label, TMQ

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A new book, A Pig’s Tale, co-written by Ralph Sutherland and Harold Sherrick, tells the story of Trade Mark of Quality, the first bootleg record label of its kind, spawning many later imitators. The 336-page book arrived Sept. 10, 2021, by Genius Book Publishing.

The book can be ordered here.

According to a press release, “In that hot summer of ’69 two longhaired music freaks created an underground LP record album of unreleased tracks by one of their music gods and put it out on the streets of Los Angeles. No one had ever been crazy enough to do such an audacious thing before. The god’s official record label was not amused but the music fans were thrilled. Were these guys pirates or heroes? It was so much fun the first time, they soon pressed up even more records of forbidden musical fruit. They were on a roll. The following year, in 1970, one of the culprits put The Pig image in a circular logo with the name, Trade Mark of Quality. TMQ and Pigman were born!”

Back cover of A Pig’s Tale

Sutherland and Sherrick, friends of the Pigman during the TMQ era, have now come together to tell the complete, never-before-told story of Trade Mark of Quality. Says the announcement, “Visiting the Pigman in Canada (or was it a lost island in the Pacific?), Sutherland and Sherrick have held the master tapes in their hands and gazed upon the first copy of the first pressing of the first bootleg, Great White Wonder. They have sifted through the myth and misinformation about TMQ, and interviewed the Pigman himself about the multitude of albums. Through their extensive worldwide contacts, Sutherland and Sherrick have compiled every known piece of data on the discography of TMQ, enough to discern, in detail, a true TMQ bootleg from one of its inevitable and many copycats.”

A Pig’s Tale, the press release continues, “goes beyond the story of TMQ and Pigman. The authors have compiled the complete discography of every TMQ album, including dates, artists, tracks, venues, and methods of identification. The very existence of A Pig’s Tale is going to thrill owners of genuine TMQ bootlegs and crush others who possess the imitations.”

Related: 10 great classic rock bootlegs

A special limited edition was previously released.

Steven Booth, publisher at Genius Books, said, “This book is going to blow the roof off the underground vinyl community. Where else can you read about music, true crime, history, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, record manufacturing, and pigs?”

Best Classic Bands Staff

4 Comments so far

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  1. martyh
    #1 martyh 14 August, 2021, 22:02

    Sorry, not at $75…. I’ll stick with Clinton Heylin’s _The Great White Wonders_ even if it doesn’t have a complete/thorough TMQ discography.

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  2. mickey
    #2 mickey 15 August, 2021, 11:04

    I’m going to bootleg it at half price.

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  3. Bob Landy
    #3 Bob Landy 15 August, 2021, 16:48

    At $75 I’ll wait for the bootleg.

    Reply this comment
  4. Jarmo Keranen
    #4 Jarmo Keranen 16 August, 2021, 08:34

    It would be nice to see the TMQ version of this book in the market before the official version gets there!

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