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Author Topic: Reel Tapes Library Images  (Read 4164 times)
Vale
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« on: September 20, 2017, 05:20:25 AM »

Hello everybody
can someone posts images about Beach Boys reel tapes archives? It would be nice to have a thread about these pictures. I'm a huge fan of the BB and I would love to see those pics.

PS. I once saw the famous pictures about Ed Roach but I can't find them anywhere. I tried different search engines with advanced search options, I remember the two files were named "shelf.jpg" ang "library.jpg".
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2017, 10:27:43 AM »

Hello everybody
can someone posts images about Beach Boys reel tapes archives? It would be nice to have a thread about these pictures. I'm a huge fan of the BB and I would love to see those pics.

PS. I once saw the famous pictures about Ed Roach but I can't find them anywhere. I tried different search engines with advanced search options, I remember the two files were named "shelf.jpg" ang "library.jpg".
Vale

Those pics have been mentioned a few times recently. Hopefully some new info pops up soon.
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2017, 12:43:28 PM »

This is presumably talking about the mysterious pic of debatable veracity, depicting an unknown tape archive full of tapes that are apparently not in the BRI vaults, correct? The yellow labels with weird titles like "Bellagio" and "Dumb Angel" and "St. Paul Remote", etc.?

The pic does weirdly now seem to be hard to find. All of the links to it in old threads here appear to be dead. So I'd love to see the pic again if someone has it. I'm sure someone snagged it and saved it.

It appears there was some intense debate/research regarding the pic back in 2011 here, but no firm conclusions were reached.

I have a vague recollection that Ed Roach posted the pic in the last year or two on his Facebook page, and/or shared someone else's post of the pic.
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2017, 02:11:06 AM »

Here's the pic
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Vale
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2017, 06:40:07 AM »

This is presumably talking about the mysterious pic of debatable veracity, depicting an unknown tape archive full of tapes that are apparently not in the BRI vaults, correct? The yellow labels with weird titles like "Bellagio" and "Dumb Angel" and "St. Paul Remote", etc.?

The pic does weirdly now seem to be hard to find. All of the links to it in old threads here appear to be dead. So I'd love to see the pic again if someone has it. I'm sure someone snagged it and saved it.

It appears there was some intense debate/research regarding the pic back in 2011 here, but no firm conclusions were reached.

I have a vague recollection that Ed Roach posted the pic in the last year or two on his Facebook page, and/or shared someone else's post of the pic.

Yes that's exactly the picture I'm talking about! I searched the picture on Ed's Fb page also but it's not there.
This picture is becoming an obsession for me! :D
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 06:43:58 AM by Vale » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2017, 06:40:56 AM »

Here's the pic

Sorry but I can't see no picture here

EDITED: I saw it, my browser was blocking it :D thanks!!
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2017, 06:53:15 AM »

Yesterday I went back and read the 2011 thread on this. Even after contacting a few associates who might have some insight (David Sandler, etc.), it didn't appear that any conclusions were reached.

It was quite an interesting thread, bobbing and weaving through potential photo doctoring, an "empty tape boxes" theory, a "crazy fan" theory, a less inflammatory "devoted fan" theory, the "random guys in St. Paul ran into the BBs and somehow procured some tapes" theory, a "doesn't matter what Desper, Mankey, etc. say, I think these are legit vintage BB tapes" theory, and so on.

If it was/is a fan simply goofing around (either for their own amusement or as a "hoax"), it required a fan with not only some specialized BB knowledge, but also access to materials beyond typical consumer grade, such as 1/2 inch tape. It's a fun mystery. Commercially released 1/4 inch open reel album releases suggest just a fan. Notations like "St. Paul Remote" suggest a legit tape. Then there's the mixed possibilities. Legit tapes in a legit facility. Legit tapes in the hands of fans/collectors. Fake tapes in the hands of innocent collectors/fans. Fake tapes in the hands of a fan looking to perpetrate a hoax. Then there's the issue of the vintage of the photo. The older it is (e.g. the early-mid 70s), the less likely in my mind that it's a hoax, as the earlier time frame requires specialized knowledge where there was limited access back in the day, and the smaller the "audience" would be for such a hoax. If some nerd fan doctored this all up in the late 90s or early 2000s, then it would make a lot more sense in terms of their easier access to info, and a much larger potential audience.

Frankly, the story is just as interesting (or nearly, anyway) to me even if it's a 100% hoax.
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2017, 07:28:55 AM »

Yesterday I went back and read the 2011 thread on this. Even after contacting a few associates who might have some insight (David Sandler, etc.), it didn't appear that any conclusions were reached.

It was quite an interesting thread, bobbing and weaving through potential photo doctoring, an "empty tape boxes" theory, a "crazy fan" theory, a less inflammatory "devoted fan" theory, the "random guys in St. Paul ran into the BBs and somehow procured some tapes" theory, a "doesn't matter what Desper, Mankey, etc. say, I think these are legit vintage BB tapes" theory, and so on.

If it was/is a fan simply goofing around (either for their own amusement or as a "hoax"), it required a fan with not only some specialized BB knowledge, but also access to materials beyond typical consumer grade, such as 1/2 inch tape. It's a fun mystery. Commercially released 1/4 inch open reel album releases suggest just a fan. Notations like "St. Paul Remote" suggest a legit tape. Then there's the mixed possibilities. Legit tapes in a legit facility. Legit tapes in the hands of fans/collectors. Fake tapes in the hands of innocent collectors/fans. Fake tapes in the hands of a fan looking to perpetrate a hoax. Then there's the issue of the vintage of the photo. The older it is (e.g. the early-mid 70s), the less likely in my mind that it's a hoax, as the earlier time frame requires specialized knowledge where there was limited access back in the day, and the smaller the "audience" would be for such a hoax. If some nerd fan doctored this all up in the late 90s or early 2000s, then it would make a lot more sense in terms of their easier access to info, and a much larger potential audience.

Frankly, the story is just as interesting (or nearly, anyway) to me even if it's a 100% hoax.

I agree with you, it's a really interesting story. I think that at some point of their career Brian and the BB were not in complete control of their material, I mean by the ending of 60s until mid 70s. So maybe these tapes are copies made by BB friends at that time or simply original tapes. It really is a mystery.
I'm obsessed with these stuff because I'm trying to recreate the same reel tape box from Scotch 3M in cd digipack (with slipcase) format for my personal collection, really detailed with the master reel control file sheet and everything. That's why I'm trying to collect all the images about Scotch reels. I've been working on it for so many years, it's my version of SMiLE, a never ending project close to pefection.
I would love to pass it on to my son.

So, the crazy fan hypothesis is not so remote, btw.
Vale, Italy
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 07:29:41 AM by Vale » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2017, 07:38:28 AM »

One of the things I thought about, though, was that if this was a fan "hoax" done circa 1974 or so, how much research materials would they have had easy access to? The cover of "Stack o Tracks", and then, what else?

If one were trying to make the tapes look interesting/rare, why label most of them with stock album titles? Even without specialized knowledge in 1974 about what was in the vaults or what specific tracks might be considered rare, they could have easily labeled the tapes "1972 Holland Sessions" or "Pet Sounds Rough Mixes", etc. The actual picture makes it seem like, even if the tapes *are* legit, only a few of them are potentially interesting. If they're all legit, then they're mostly back-up/safety copies (weirdly copied onto 1/2 inch tape instead of 1/4 inch tape?) of familiar albums. Heck, even if someone in 1974 didn't know any better and though original album masters would all be on 1/2 inch tape, the tapes in the pic wouldn't be super interesting to collectors wanting rare and unreleased material. What's more interesting to a fan, even in 1974. Session outtakes, or knowing that a fan has the original album master for "Holland" instead of the safety copy in the Brother vaults? Archivists would want the original masters, and fans decades later would want them for better-sounding album remasters. But what would interest a hardcore BB fan in 1974? Smile stuff and other session outtakes. The weird "Dumb Angel" label and a few other tapes in the pic meet those criteria, but most of the labels don't.
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« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2017, 07:52:54 AM »

Here's the pic

COMMENT to Vale:

As the person who actually labeled many of the multi-track (1" and 2") and the stereo master tapes (1/4") represented in this photo, I can tell you without any doubt that this photo is the work of a fan. Perhaps the boxes are full of tapes, copied from LPs or CDs -- who knows. The fact that much of the labeling is lined up indicates that the collection was labeled with one discipline in mind, which is not the case in real studio life. Holland, Surf's Up and Sunflower were never on 1" tape as shown in the photo. Evidently this collection is the work of someone named Paul Bramsem and/or Robert E. Rolle, or so says the sign to the right of the tapes.

In my own personal collection of commercially released 1/4" quarter-track tapes, I took several Beatles Albums and spliced them all together onto one 10 1/2 in reel, just for convenience. The tape box is labeled "Beatles Hits" using the same yellow tape. I suppose some day in the future someone could come across that box and think -- Wow! what a find -- authentic Beatles tapes -- when in fact they are just commercial copies.   
~swd
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« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2017, 08:18:19 AM »

Here's the pic

COMMENT to Vale:

As the person who actually labeled many of the multi-track (1" and 2") and the stereo master tapes (1/4") represented in this photo, I can tell you without any doubt that this photo is the work of a fan. Perhaps the boxes are full of tapes, copied from LPs or CDs -- who knows. That fact that much of the labeling is lined up indicates that the collection was labeled with one discipline in mind, which is not the case in real studio life. Holland, Surf's Up and Sunflower were never on 1" tape as shown in the photo. Evidently this collection is the work of someone named Paul Bramsem, or so says the sign to the right of the tapes.
~swd

WOW! Finally saw the pic!
Thanks Stephen for the answer, it's really an honor! The age of the photo still remains mysterious, though; because if it's from the 70s how many would have known about Dumb Angel? If it's rather recent instead, i can understand especially with the internet boom in the mid 90s.
Maybe it's really a fan-made.. looking at the photo it seems they were labeled the same day, with the same pen, with the same hand ..., too much order.
Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2017, 09:09:45 AM »

If you just kind of imagine these as, say, cassettes rather than open reel tapes, then it's easy to imagine it's a fan duping copies of albums and then doing some compilations. And then, I guess, having a few live recordings of unknown origin.

Assuming there was some sort of superfan who, instead of using cassette tapes, had access to higher end (for consumers) open reel gear (1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, maybe even 1 inch?), that would explain most of this potentially.

The wrench in all of this is if the photo really is from the mid 70s. Ed Roach described likely being given the photo around that time. Were there a lot of live boots floating around of the BBs in the early 70s? A St. Paul gig? And even if this "Dumb Angel" tape is just some common "Smile" boot stuff dubbed onto tape, it would then have to be from the late 70s or early 80s at the very earliest, as I don't believe there was "Smile" stuff circulating in 1974-75.

If the photo dates from later than 1975 or so, then there's the question of why there's no post-1973/74 stuff in this photo. I don't think a superfan would be into everything through "Holland" and then just have zero interest in "15 Big Ones" or "Love You." Then again, maybe the pic is from the 80s and there is 1976-80s material on the lower shelf, or some other shelf.

There are potentially other questions. If this just some superfan/audiophile from the 70s, why wouldn't they have just sought out commercially-released open reel tapes of the albums instead of dubbing the albums (presumably from vinyl or open reel) onto another open reel tape? If they indeed did own open reel versions of some of these BB albums, why then also dub the albums onto their own home-made reels? A hobbyist just goofing around, one that is also a huge BB fan, could *potentially* explain all of this for sure. But it's interesting nonetheless.
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« Reply #12 on: September 21, 2017, 09:33:38 AM »

Also worth noting that, if this is just some hobbyist fans, I can't decide if it's really presumptuous and egotistical to have those little plaques up "crediting" themselves, or if it's adorably almost endearing for someone to have that much enthusiasm.
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« Reply #13 on: September 21, 2017, 09:40:07 AM »

off to the far left in that photo one can actually see a bit of commercial reel-to-reel tape releases (perhaps not beach boys, the label printing's just too small)

those boxes are for 10 inch diameter reels and are about double the thickness of the 1/4" tape boxes at the bottom so i'll say they hold 1/2" width tape.  1/2" blank tape on 10-1/2" reels is not a very common consumer recording format but it is/was out there

the question of why not buy the beach boy albums on commercially released pre-recorded tapes instead of a fan dubbing his own record albums onto the larger reel format need not be relevant.  those of us who had fancy reel recorders then did such things all the time (it didn't have to make any particular sense).  also, over the years the commercially available pre-recorded beach boy album tapes were quite scattershot in quality, the oldest ones on capitol being double-album pairings on one reel at the inferior 3-3/4 IPS speed (only pet sounds was a single 7-1/2 IPS release in 1966 and that was brief and hard to find).  The brother/reprise ones went back and forth between 3-3/4 and 7-1/2 speeds illogically (except from a tape cost standpoint) album to album title

my guess is what we're seeing here is a kind of fan beach boy tape library copycat open reel setup.  he'd seen some old private photographs (perhaps from Brian) and set out to create his own version of it from memory
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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2017, 09:47:25 AM »

off to the far left in that photo one can actually see a bit of commercial reel-to-reel tape releases (perhaps not beach boys, the label printing's just too small)

those boxes are for 10 inch diameter reels and are about double the thickness of the 1/4" tape boxes at the bottom so i'll say they hold 1/2" width tape.  1/2" blank tape on 10-1/2" reels is not a very common consumer recording format but it is/was out there

the question of why not buy the beach boy albums on commercially released pre-recorded tapes instead of a fan dubbing his own record albums onto the larger reel format need not be relevant.  those of us who had fancy reel recorders then did such things all the time (it didn't have to make any particular sense).  also, over the years the commercially available pre-recorded beach boy album tapes were quite scattershot in quality, the oldest ones on capitol being double-album pairings on one reel at the inferior 3-3/4 IPS speed (only pet sounds was a single 7-1/2 IPS release in 1966 and that was brief and hard to find).  The brother/reprise ones went back and for the between 3-3/4 and 7-1/2 speeds illogically (except from a tape cost standpoint)

my guess is what we're seeing here is a kind of fan beach boy tape library copycat open reel library setup.  he'd seen some old private photographs (perhaps from Brian) and set out to create his own version of it from memory

This all mostly seems plausible (and indeed, if most of the commercial open reel albums were not put out at 7 1/1 IPS, then the sound wouldn't be all that amazing).

But one still has to wonder what the thought process was behind some of the tape titles, like "Vegetables" or "Add Some Music to Your Day" or "Belliago" (sic). If the idea was to make some rudimentary attempt at making the tapes *appear* like authentic BB vault tapes, then why also make up random titles for some tapes, most of which aren't descriptive at all?

The St. Paul live tape is perhaps the most perplexing. It connotes either a really weird, random fabrication, or that the people doing these tapes did work in some industry vaguely related, and perhaps worked for a local radio station or studio that was able to tap into the board for a BB gig in St. Paul. I can't imagine calling it a "remote" if it was just an audience recording; though again crazy fans fabricating stuff can do anything. But then gets us back to, if one is fabricating stuff, why not fabricate at least a few even *more* interesting bits? Most of the shelves display standard BB albums. Not that exciting if you're faking it. "Pet Sounds - Alternate Mix" or "Smile - Rough Assemblies" or something would be far more tantalizing.

One could even explain most of the other live tapes by assuming these fans recorded stuff off the radio (e.g. "Summer Concert").

For that matter, even if these tapes are all "fan" tapes, I'd love to hear a soundboard recording of a 1974 gig from St. Paul!  LOL
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« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2017, 10:32:18 AM »

the upper rack seems to be straight LP releases.  there're two concert ones and i'll assume one is live in London.  strange stack-o-tracks isn't represented there

the lower rack has the weirder titling i.e., one tape is add some music but there's another called sunflower (we know the historic reason for this).  but I maintain it doesn't have to make sense, a fan is just goofing around and creating intriguing though ultimately false tape appearances, having seen as I say a photo of the real mc-coy containing numerous odd (to us) titlings (among the familiar) a knowledgeable fan could guess at

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« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2017, 11:35:08 AM »

Strange that, while that old 13-page thread was from 2011, randomly in 2015 a new user named "PaulBramsen" posted what would seem to go a long way towards explaining the whole thing (claimed to be from St. Paul and knew a Bob Rolle, etc.), but inexplicably this post went virtually ignored by the board (barring one reply), and there was of course no follow-up:

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,10132.msg491832.html#msg491832

Obviously, it would be very easy for this poster to be bogus, but I'm surprised nobody responded to either follow up on it or call the guy on being bogus if that was the case. Strange.
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« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2017, 12:17:44 PM »

the upper rack seems to be straight LP releases.  there're two concert ones and i'll assume one is live in London.  strange stack-o-tracks isn't represented there

the lower rack has the weirder titling i.e., one tape is add some music but there's another called sunflower (we know the historic reason for this).  but I maintain it doesn't have to make sense, a fan is just goofing around and creating intriguing though ultimately false tape appearances, having seen as I say a photo of the real mc-coy containing numerous odd (to us) titlings (among the familiar) a knowledgeable fan could guess at

If you look on the right of the picture you can see a termomether... maybe to keep the correct temperature. If this is a fan made we are talking about serious stuff... i really donít know what to think about it but I like wondering somewhere this shelf really exist with legit tapes that have not surfaced yet.

I also was wondering, where does a bootleg come from? Think about the notorious sea of tunes series.. those tracks were taken from original master or something very close to the originals, maybe copies that could be stored in a shelf like this one... who knows
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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2017, 12:22:49 PM »

the upper rack seems to be straight LP releases.  there're two concert ones and i'll assume one is live in London.  strange stack-o-tracks isn't represented there

the lower rack has the weirder titling i.e., one tape is add some music but there's another called sunflower (we know the historic reason for this).  but I maintain it doesn't have to make sense, a fan is just goofing around and creating intriguing though ultimately false tape appearances, having seen as I say a photo of the real mc-coy containing numerous odd (to us) titlings (among the familiar) a knowledgeable fan could guess at

If you look on the right of the picture you can see a termomether... maybe to keep the correct temperature. If this is a fan made we are talking about serious stuff... i really donít know what to think about it but I like wondering somewhere this shelf really exist with legit tapes that have not surfaced yet.

I also was wondering, where does a bootleg come from? Think about the notorious sea of tunes series.. those tracks were taken from original master or something very close to the originals, maybe copies that could be stored in a shelf like this one... who knows

The thermometer may be for keeping the temperature if it is indeed a fan-made setup. But as was pointed out in that old thread, it seems like a cheapo thermometer that doesn't indicate a pro setup (and it's debatable whether a legit tape room would have been kept strictly temperature controlled in the early-mid 70s).

Any relation to the SOT material was pretty roundly debunked in that old thread. The pic shows mostly released albums, and shows little to nothing that surfaced on the SOT discs. Also, as indicated in that old thread, the theory is that the SOT material was not copied via open reel analog tape, but rather another format, and was probably done later than the early-mid 70s.

I think that old thread generally seemed to indicate that if we assume this set up is a fan-made thing, it wasn't intended as a "hoax" as such, because I think a hoax meant to keep fan mouths watering would have not depicted mostly stock run of the mill albums with only a smattering of potential "outtakes."
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« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2017, 12:31:21 PM »

the upper rack seems to be straight LP releases.  there're two concert ones and i'll assume one is live in London.  strange stack-o-tracks isn't represented there

the lower rack has the weirder titling i.e., one tape is add some music but there's another called sunflower (we know the historic reason for this).  but I maintain it doesn't have to make sense, a fan is just goofing around and creating intriguing though ultimately false tape appearances, having seen as I say a photo of the real mc-coy containing numerous odd (to us) titlings (among the familiar) a knowledgeable fan could guess at

If you look on the right of the picture you can see a termomether... maybe to keep the correct temperature. If this is a fan made we are talking about serious stuff... i really donít know what to think about it but I like wondering somewhere this shelf really exist with legit tapes that have not surfaced yet.

I also was wondering, where does a bootleg come from? Think about the notorious sea of tunes series.. those tracks were taken from original master or something very close to the originals, maybe copies that could be stored in a shelf like this one... who knows

The thermometer may be for keeping the temperature if it is indeed a fan-made setup. But as was pointed out in that old thread, it seems like a cheapo thermometer that doesn't indicate a pro setup (and it's debatable whether a legit tape room would have been kept strictly temperature controlled in the early-mid 70s).

Any relation to the SOT material was pretty roundly debunked in that old thread. The pic shows mostly released albums, and shows little to nothing that surfaced on the SOT discs. Also, as indicated in that old thread, the theory is that the SOT material was not copied via open reel analog tape, but rather another format, and was probably done later than the early-mid 70s.

I think that old thread generally seemed to indicate that if we assume this set up is a fan-made thing, it wasn't intended as a "hoax" as such, because I think a hoax meant to keep fan mouths watering would have not depicted mostly stock run of the mill albums with only a smattering of potential "outtakes."

This should be Capitol vault BB section https://twitter.com/GeorgErgatoudis/status/452841662679486464/photo/1
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« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2017, 06:23:00 PM »

Ah, my favorite topic Smiley

... after much debate (mainly with myself), my best guess is that this was some kind of "safety of safety" copies archive, stored privately (legit like someone's basement or something), dating from some time in 1973. Even though all of the pieces of the puzzle don't quite add up, the main elements that made me come to that conclusion are the  tapes that appear to be related to the "In Concert" album-in-progress.

Another factor is the "Bellagio" label -- sounds kinda insider-ish for circa '73. And since the original Polaroid was in Ed Roach's possession, its likely an old picture.
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« Reply #21 on: September 21, 2017, 06:40:35 PM »

My questions:

Do we know this picture was actually in Ed Roach's collection? Or did he simply repost something?

How do we know it's a Polaroid? The picture has more detail than most Polaroid snaps I've seen.
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HeyJude
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« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2017, 06:57:15 PM »

My questions:

Do we know this picture was actually in Ed Roach's collection? Or did he simply repost something?

How do we know it's a Polaroid? The picture has more detail than most Polaroid snaps I've seen.

Ed Roach describes the circumstances across several posts in  this old thread:

http://smileysmile.net/board/index.php/topic,10132.0.html

He says it's a Polaroid, and that he didn't take the pic but it's from his collection. He also says it comes from years and years ago.
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« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2017, 06:42:56 AM »

Ah, my favorite topic Smiley

... after much debate (mainly with myself), my best guess is that this was some kind of "safety of safety" copies archive, stored privately (legit like someone's basement or something), dating from some time in 1973. Even though all of the pieces of the puzzle don't quite add up, the main elements that made me come to that conclusion are the  tapes that appear to be related to the "In Concert" album-in-progress.

Another factor is the "Bellagio" label -- sounds kinda insider-ish for circa '73. And since the original Polaroid was in Ed Roach's possession, its likely an old picture.

I like the "safety of safety" theory!
The tape near "Brian/Dumb Angel" should be "Wouldn't it be nice", but I' can't decode the one near LDC.

Btw I found some interesting tapes images on internet, fyi:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cb8JP30WEAEddzk.jpg
https://i2.wp.com/www.laneuronaatenta.com.ar/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/cinta-master-here-today-pet-sounds-the-beach-boys.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cm9FG1tVUAE59sw.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cm9FlKnVUAEHB7E.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cm9EtB5UsAAFawF.jpg
« Last Edit: September 22, 2017, 06:43:52 AM by Vale » Logged

Vale
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« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2017, 06:58:10 AM »

One of the possible giveaways that it could be just some sort of superfan is the "Spring" tape.

Would there be any reason for BRI (or associated BB labels, Warner/Reprise or later CBS, or Capitol, etc.) to have a second or third generation backup safety master for the 1972 "Spring" album? Yes, obviously Brian was involved in the album. But it was done on the dime of another label, nothing to do with Brother as far as I know. BRI *shouldn't* be housing any masters for an album owned by another label. Obviously, it's not a super-duper stretch to imagine Brian having a master that got thrown in the BRI vault at some point. But housing a backup of "Spring" directly alongside BB album masters, that *does* scream "superfan" more than anything else.

There's also the matter of why any professional people working for the group would back all the albums up onto 1/2 inch tape. That doesn't make much sense. That would usually be done on 1/4 inch tape. Nothing on those shelves appears to possibly be a multitrack tape, and the band wasn't recording onto 1/2 inch tape for stuff like "Holland" and "Sunflower" anyway.

There's also no way to avoid that the edge of the photo depicting *commercially released* open reel tapes of albums indicates it's a fan more likely than an official tape archive. Again, it isn't impossible that any given pro vault would have all sorts of weird stuff floating around on the shelves. But I'm curious how often any people going through Capitol or BRI tape vaults have run across open reel tapes of random albums from the 60s and 70s purchased at Tower Records. Doesn't make a lot of sense.
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