I have fallen for the Radioactive scam mill at least once, and the quality of the CD was truly shit with needle pops and out of phase hums all over the fuckin place. Timothy Renner has been preparing the Trees boxset for like five years now, and he's the real-deal indie musician and small business owner putting his heart and soul into every aspect of this endeavor. It's hard enough for the independent musician today as it is, so beware!
From Tim Renner:
It's a total and complete fucking needdle-drop bootleg. The Trees are pissed and I am pissed and we are looking into joining a massive lawsuit against Radioactive because they have ripped off something like 200 other artists. The Jimi Hendrix estate just kicked their ass in court, apparently, so we have to get in line. The fact that they are lying and calling it "100% authentic" or whatever is just a kick in the balls too. In doing a little research, we found another record label, not 20 miles from here, that has been screwed by Radioactive too. They have joined the lawsuit already and are helping us in any way they can.
"The Christ Tree" LP was originally issued by the band themselves, on their own record label - no other label or organization has any claims to their music.
I'm taking it to the distributors and major retailers: already got it kicked off ebay and working on getting it removed from Amazon. IF everyone could write comments on amazon saying IT'S a BOOTLEG/PIRATE DO NOT BUY! Maybe this would help 1. get the word out and 2. convince Amazon it needs to be removed. If you see it pop up on ebay again, report it as a bootleg.
...and If everyone can PLEASE contact every store/distributor/etc they know and beg them to wait for the legitimate reissue box set, that would be a start. I have cease and desist letters and a letter signed by the living members of the Trees Community showing my rights to reissue the music and also stating that Radioactive is in violation of copyright; if people need to see those, I can forward them.
The box set will be here at the end of the summer probably. I just got a printer who is able to make the box the way I wanted it - it folds out into a cross shape with each arm of the cross holding a CD - that was the major obstacle - we're VERY close now. Dennis Blackham mastered it and it sounds AMAZING. The rough parts (the tape release was REALLY screwed up in audio quality) are a bit beyond making perfect, but the stuff that was cleanable sounds brilliant. Katheryn, the Trees archivist, is very particular about music in general and the Trees music in specific, and she was BLOWN AWAY by the final mastered copies. I've listened to the album (incl. a pristine, still sealed copy K. gave me) thousands of times and I heard things in Dennis' mastered version that I never heard before.
As I'm sure you two know, it's one hell of a struggle in label-land now to stay afloat, even without dealing with shit like this. Almost EVERY penny of the label's savings - and every penny I had saved from money I made selling my own records or doing live shows - has been invested in this reissue. I have felt that I was meant to do this reissue and that if it breaks the label doing it then, well, at least we went out doing something my mind/heart was into 100%. When I saw this bootleg the other day, I actually sat down and cried. It was just too much to bear. I'm beyond that now, and into a highly pissed/active mode.
David Tibet has called Freak Emporium and shut it down there. I have written a letter to Forced Exposure, but I don't know them and get the feeling it will be ignored. Clear Spot has promised to wait for the legitimate reissue. I contacted Yod, Melody Bar, Michael Piper/Ace of Discs, and Eclipse and have received no response as yet. My email to Rustic Rod was returned, so I must have old contact info for him.
I am open to further suggestions. I was considering offering a discount on the box to any store who proved to me that they returned copies of the Radioactive pirate copy, but I don't know how that could be accomplished.
I have a feeling that, for the most part, I am going to have to rely on the kindness of stores/mailorders to NOT stock it.
Some people have suggested that Radioactive's release will just spark interest in the box set, but we just don't know that for sure. The main point is, they are morally WRONG in doing what they did, and only Radioactive will profit from their selfish filth "reissue" and I stand on this point.
thanks for your sympathy and concerns,