Pearl Jam Plots First Round Of Bootlegs

Pearl Jam has unveiled details of the delivery method for the official "bootlegs" of its 2003 tour. As first tipped here last fall, fans who pre-order shows from the band's Ten Club fan organization w

Pearl Jam has unveiled details of the delivery method for the official "bootlegs" of its 2003 tour, which will kick off Feb. 8 in Brisbane, Australia. As first tipped here last fall, fans who pre-order shows from the band's Ten Club fan organization will first receive a secure Web link to download unmastered MP3 files a day after any given performance.

A mastered double-CD copy of the concert, complete with custom-designed packaging, will then arrive approximately 7-10 business days later. Although 72 complete shows from Pearl Jam's 2000 world tour were available from the Ten Club and in traditional retail outlets, for now, no retail sale information has been announced for the 2003 bootlegs.

Fans can begin pre-ordering the first 15 shows on the trek, up through a March 6 performance in Nagoya, Japan. Ten Club members will be the beneficiaries of a special $12.98 per show purchase price, or $194.70 for the first 15 shows. Non-members can purchase the shows for $14.98 each.

Band members say they were pleasantly surprised at the positive reaction to the 2000 tour bootlegs, 14 of which reached The Billboard 200. "Certainly putting out that many things at one time is a huge risk," guitarist Mike McCready tells Billboard.com. "But for people to get a chance to buy the show they went to, and for it to sound good too, that's huge." Adds bassist Jeff Ament, "It's good to throw a wrench in the way the record industry is run and do something different."

Pearl Jam will take a brief break following the Australia/Japan shows, and will kick off a 48-date North American tour April 1 in Denver.