I do alot of spare writing and journaling in my freetime, and after having the opportunity to introduce myself to Purple Chick, there was almost an immediate bond in our interests. So after many conversations and chats, I asked him if he would be okay if I were to interview him, and he said he was 'flattered' that I would want to interview him. So here is my full, unedited interview with him. This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime reads, and a splendid opportunity to get some answers from many questions fans have been yearning to ask Purple Chick himself, including what he's currently working on. Also, if anyone has any further questions for PC, I've been asked by him to forward any further questions from me or any readers to him, and he'd be happy to answer any further questions. Enjoy this very interesting read!
1) My questions are written in black, while his answers are written in purple (how clever right?
), and in italics.
2) If you are going to post this interview elsewhere, please do not alter it in anyway and state the author, and the person interviewed.
Here's the interview!
> 1) First off, how long have you been a Beatles fan?I've been a Beatle fan since my early teens.
> 2) Where and when did you come up with the idea to start
> the 'Purple Chick' releases made by fans for fans?Many years ago on an email list far, far away someone suggested updating Great Dane's wonderful BBC Sessions Box with recently-upgraded sources. I had been thinking much the same thing and, hearing no other takers, decided that someone may as well be me.
I had fun, and things just snowballed from there.
> 3) Why do you choose the name screename 'Purple
> Chick'? Is there any other meaning to it?The person who does the artwork came up with it. It's both an in-joke and an homage to Yellow Dog and Great Dane.
> 4) What was your first Beatleg project that you created?
> And when did you create it?I think the Complete BBC Sessions Upgraded was in 2001.
> 5) How long did it take you to compile all the sources for each
> individual [deluxe edition] release?That all depends. Some sources I had already, some I needed to search out.
On that note, I am eternally grateful for those who have helped us out with material over the years. I'm sure I don't do a good enough job at thanking them adequately. I am ashamed that I have lost touch with some really wonderful, generous people.
I'm also indebted to the research of various authors and internet posters - without them I wouldn't know where to start.
> 6) Which of all your releases took you the longest to complete? The
> shortest?A/B Road took over a year from start to finish. Others were done in a day. It really depends on how big the project, how complex the work, and how enthusiastic I am about the project.
The Elvis American Sound set sat incomplete on my hard drive for a couple of years before I went back and finished it. The Buddy Holly set also sat around for over a year while I tracked down all the material. I've had a Billie Holiday 'not-on-the-box-sets' collection sitting around, half finished, for five, six years or more.
> 7) Unrelated to your works, how long did it take you to compile your
> collection of Beatles studio outtakes?Oh, I'm still working on it. It's nothing that anyone else couldn't do if they wanted to, especially now with the advent of high-speed Internet.
Back to the discussion of your releases, did you ever
> run into any problems, technical or not?I don't recall any real technical problems. If there's ever an audio problem that needs addressing, I figure out how to make it happen. That does mean that I'm always learning new technical tricks. I'm sure I could go back and make every release better. But there's a law of diminishing returns too.
I think the biggest problem was the "Wait" outfake. That didn't quite come out quite as good as I'd hoped.
The main problem I've encountered is completely out of my control: what's circulating out there doesn't necessarily represent the 'finished' product. For example, I learned - too late - that the 2004 BBC Upgrade copied a mistake from Yellow Dog. I fixed the problem, but that fix never made it to lots of the copies floating about.
That's the reason that, at the start of the Deluxe series, I promised that I wouldn't bother with 'fixes.' I broke that promise because I screwed up. I decided a half-assed fix was better than no fix at all.
But when it comes to something like A/B Road, then what's the point? There's a few problems, some that occurred after the set left our hands. But who is going to care about a few minor fixes for a set that nobody listens to for pleasure in the first place?
> 9) What is your philosophy behind your works? Do you have any sort of
> "motto" or something that keeps you going in difficult times in making
> your projects?
> 10) What inspired you to create your projects? Why do you
> do it?I'm just making what I'd like to see on my shelves. I am flattered that people seem to like my work but there's no motivation, financial or otherwise, except to please myself.
If there are difficult times, I'll just choose something else to do.
The philosophy is an extension of that. I want to have a concise collection, intelligently sequenced, with the best sources, speed corrected, and with any major problems fixed.
I used to be against using equalization on the sources - I could always change the eq as I was listening to things. This changed toward the end of the Deluxe Edition process. For example, compare the two eq'd and speed corrected tracks on the Let It Be Deluxe edition to the original 'OPD' source. It's not even close.
> 11) What was your first Beatleg?Ultra Rare Trax 1&2. It doesn't get any better than that.
Some other early ones: Sessions, Quarrymen At Home, Meet The Beeb.
> 12) Did you ever see the Beatles in concert?I've seen 3/4 of the Beatles in concert. Close enough, I guess.
> 13) What other bands do you enjoy listening to besides the Beatles?I have eclectic tastes. As you can tell by some of the things I've put together, I like the Beach Boys, Buddy Holly, Jellyfish, Nilsson, Simon and Garfunkel, Aimee Mann, Billie Holiday. There are also bands like Crowded House, And a whole bunch of obscure acts that you probably wouldn't have heard of.
> 14) I've noticed that you have done several other
> projects for bands other then The Beatles - do you collect bootlegs
> from any other bands?I have an awful lot of CDs, but I'm a very bad collector. I tend to lose interest when it gets hard (or expensive) to finish off a collection.
Lately I've got such a backlog of things to listen to that I'm not actively searching much out.
> 15) I've noticed on many torrent sites, that you do not upload your
> own releases. Why do you send copies of your releases for other
> people to circulate on the web?I don't even send copies out for other people to circulate. I'm not a distributor.
I have a couple of trusted, long-term trading partners. Things just get spread out from there. I'm not a part of that, I don't ask for it to happen, but I suppose it's inevitable.
Besides, if I had control over distribution, I wouldn't allow the 'fix' thing to become an issue. I'd make sure everybody got the right product.
> 16) Last off, what are the future plans for the Purple
> Chick? Are you in the process of creating any releases
> right now?Right now I'm finishing off a 'Beatles Live Before America' collection. It seemed a natural progression from the Star Club tapes. As well as the new 'It's The Beatles' source I think there's some decent upgrades in there. I'll probably continue on with that series because I'm not sure it's been done properly - at least, not the way I'd do things myself.
I'm also working on a set of the Beatles demos/home recordings that I haven't covered already. I'll try and finish that off soon, but some of the material isn't all that inspiring.
I started upgrading the audio to Let It Be on DVD but I'm not so good at that and I got bored/frustrated so that's on the backburner.
Other possible projects:
John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band: I've wanted to do this set for years now - long before last year's HMC sets (which, if anything, dampened my enthusiasm). I kept holding off because I was hoping for some of the existent-but-not-bootlegged recordings to appear. So far, no luck.
George Harrison: Complete rarities. Again, the search for a couple of things slowed me down. I think I have everything now.
Wilburys demos/outtakes: I know, everybody has them, but I think I could improve the sound and round up a couple of stray rarities along the way.
I'm also mulling over various projects involving Simon and Garfunkel, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eddie Cochran, the Everly Brothers, and The Searchers. Time and financial constraints - and laziness - are holding those up.
And, obviously, if some new and interesting material comes my way then I'll be all over that.
There's the interview! Again, if you have any further questions, please PM them to me and I will forward them to Purple Chick. Thanks,