Stephen Coates Bone Music

Strange Attractor
7th April 2023

Format Info

Signed Deluxe Hardback with Flexi

There were two types of culture… Official culture and underground culture. I was always for underground culture.” Rudy Fuchs, Bone cutter and collector 

During the Cold War era, the songs that Soviet citizens could listen to were ruthlessly controlled by the state. But a secret underground subculture of music lovers and bootleggers defied the censors, building recording machines and making their own records of forbidden jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, and Russian music, cut onto used hospital x-ray film. 

Who were they? Why did they do it and how was it even possible? Based on years of interviews and oral testimonies, Bone Music continues the story of X-Ray Audio, presenting the stories of the original Bone bootleggers, their customers and persecutors, evoking their spirit of resistance to a repressive culture of prohibition and punishment. 

Bone Music details how the bootleggers worked, explains their technical processes, and situates their unique discs in a revised history of recorded media with a wealth of compelling new detail. 

Praise for X Ray Audio:
“An archive of samizdat creativity, cultural resistance, daring entrepreneurialism.”
Sukhdev Sandhu 

“Stephen Coates – strangely, an Englishman – knows more technical and biographical details of the Bone Records story than anyone else.”
Artemyi Troitsky 

One of the 25 most essential books for record collectors.
Vinyl Factory