BEAT THE BOOTS: While the Washington-based Record Industry Assn. of America is working hard to shut the door on CD and cassette piracy in Asia, the Black Crowes are hoping to open the bootleg door here at home. In fact, the group is "inviting" fans to bring along audio recorders to dates on its U.S. tour--taking a cue from the Grateful Dead (which allows its fans to tape every show) and Metallica (which allowed some on its last tour).
"Our shows are different every night, but we only get to make a record every once in a while," says Crowes singer Chris Robinson, himself a devoted Deadhead. "If people like the concert, they should be allowed to take it home with them."
So what does the RIAA think of the Crowes' plan? Spokesman Tim Sites says the association is much less concerned about this sort of bootlegging than the actual counterfeiting of copyrighted material. "It's essentially an artist's decision (to allow taping)," he says. "There are many who feel it's more or less an honor to be bootlegged."