Bizarre (bootleg label)

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The bootleg Bizarre label, better known as Nifty, Tough, and Bitchen Records, is one of many labels set up by a major bootlegger, identified only as "Richard". The label set out to produce high-quality pressings of live and unreleased or hard to find Zappa material. The album artwork is clever and well executed, and the record label is a reproduction of the original Bizarre label. Richard was, in his time, to be responsible for one ten-album set, one four-album set and nine single Zappa albums. He is quoted in Clinton Heylon's book BOOTLEG as having said:



"I'm a big Zappa fan. In fact, my Mystery Box got Zappa as upset as Columbia got over Ten of Swords [a Bob Dylan bootleg]. Zappa in America has a hotline for his fans to call and he went so far as to have the woman who does the hotline ask for help in tracking down the perpetrators of this heinous boxed-set, and Zappa called the FBI and the FBI didn't want to be bothered ... I guess the problem was that Zappa was doing his You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore, his ongoing series that has just ended, and Mystery Box was a giant You Can't Do That on Stage Anymore. A lot of reviews were saying that Mystery Box was better because it was chronological and didn't jump all over the place and didn't have all these stupid edits in it. That kind of thing can annoy you if you're an artist putting out your own thing ... Zappa's reasoning behind that was that he was losing tons of money and in fact he wasn't losing any money. Most people who do Zappa bootlegs do so because they like Zappa. They don't do it for the money. I can imagine people making money off a lot of other bootlegs, but not Zappa['s]."


"I figured that, rather than do bootlegs in the style of bootlegs, I'd rather do real records that you can't really [get], something closer to what you'd consider a real record in the way it looks [and] in the way it sounds.


"Luckily, through connections I [was able to] work at the second-best studio in South California, a real place that had real quality control standards with real mastering engineers. At first I did it in conjunction with an engineer, I would say how he wanted it to be and he would twiddle the knobs and do it. But after a couple of albums he would take a nap or leave. After I knew how to run the board I would clean everything myself."




Zappa bootlegs by "Richard":

Mystery Box (A 10-LP box containing Pigs & Repugnant, Son of Pigs & Repugnant, Beyond The Fringe Of Audience Comprehension, Zut Alors, The Rondo Hatton Band, A Token Of His Extreme, Chalk Pie, Crush All Boxes, Return Of The Son Of Serious Music and Randomonium)

A four-album set, as yet unknown.

9 single albums-four of which are Trick Or Treat, The Ark, We Are The Mothers & This Is What We Sound Like!, and 'Tis The Season To Be Jelly. The double LPs Dweezil Has Messed My Mind Up
and Snake Hips Etcetera are also on "Bizarre" labels, but it is uncertain as to weather or not they are published by "Richard".

Other bootlegs that "Richard" made include The Beatles vs the Third Reich and Elvis Presley's Greatest Shit.
He left the business around the time CDs took over.