Q: Why did you start this site?
A: We're a bunch of passionate music fans who have always had a thing for live performance video. As our stacks of VHS tapes gradually gave way to DVDs and our hand-scrawled lists and labels began to fade with each passing year, we decided it was time to catalog and organize the objects of our passion once and for all.
Looking around the mighty Interweb, we were surprised to discover that there wasn't already a site catering to our particular predelection (or pathology, depending on your perspective). So we set out to build one ourselves, and the result is RockPeaks, a little thing we're humbly calling the definitive database of live rock and roll video.
We structured and presented things in the ways that made the most sense to us as collectors, but we've tried to keep the high standards of our fellow rock geeks in mind while toiling on this project, and hope we've built a foundation upon which many of you will see fit to contribute. We never imagined this to be a private club.
Q: How do I upload videos to RockPeaks?
A: Short Answer: You don't. We are not a video sharing service, and don't have the resources (or desire) to become one.
Q: Why wouldn't I just go to YouTube to watch rock videos?
A: We get asked this question a lot. There are a bunch of good reasons why browsing videos via RockPeaks improves upon the experience of browsing directly on a single video sharing site. Here are three of them:
(1) Superior organization and presentation. All clips on RockPeaks are properly databased and are sortable by artist/show/year etc, so exploring videos is faster and more enjoyable.
(2) In addition to YouTube, RockPeaks also features streams from the other 20-30+ video sharing sites, giving you a more complete picture of all the best music streams on the web.
(3) Perhaps most importantly, RockPeaks shows you what isn't on YouTube, i.e. What was there before or might be there in the future - and where you might locate those clips now.
Q: Why wouldn't I just go to Wikipedia to read about rock and roll?
A: We love Wikipedia, and use it every day. In fact, we love it so much we built it in to RockPeaks, so you can quickly brush up on an artist or show without leaving the site.
But Wikipedia won't give you the strongly worded opinion that is so crucial to enjoyably dissecting art in a social context - their neutral tone is exactly right for an encylopedia, but it'll suck the fun right out of a music magazine. A RockPeaks review, credited to an author, is the last place for neutrality - stake your ground passionately and be prepared to defend it!
So basically RockPeaks isn't meant to replace what's found on the web's largest encylopedia but rather compliment it by going deeper into our particular niche. In other words, our Artist Pages are intended to provide detailed info on that artist's Film, TV and Video appearances, and not a comprehensive career history.
Q: My favourite artist/performance/show is not here. How do I add them to the database?
A: Good question. At this point, we don't pretend to have anything like a comprehensive list of clips, artists or shows, but with your help that will change. Start by becoming a contributor, and familiarize yourself with the various tools and functions on the site.
Among other things, you'll be able to submit corrections and additions to the database, and a Site Editor, who has full access to create Artists, Shows and Clips, will approve and post the data. Note that there is a minimum information threshold that needs to be met before we will add the content to the database.
Q: How do I become an Editor?
A: If you're a solid contributor, we'll notice you. Show us that you care as much as we do about rock and roll on film, TV and video and we'll be happy to open up the more advanced tools on RockPeaks to you.
Q: Do you pay for reviews?
A: When it comes to money, it’s like David Lee Roth said: everybody wants some. (He also said “Bozadee bozadee bop zitty bop”. But we digress.)
Although we’d love to just chat about the majesty of rock and the mystery of roll, “Can I get paid?” is the first question we’re always asked. And fair enough!
Here’s the honest answer: No, not right now. When we started this site, we wanted to, but then – maybe you heard about this - the economy went to hell and we had to rethink things.
We know that good journalism is worth something, whether you’re an established writer or a crap-hot blogger. And if you’re thinking about contributing, we hope you’ll decide that exposure, access to rarely seen clips (more on that in a sec) and helping build a definitive database is definitely something.
We don’t care if you’re a “music expert” in the traditional sense. We just want to create the ultimate site for live performance video. So every day, we’ll be putting clips out there – up for auction, if you will - for our users to review.
Maybe you’re not angling to be a journalist. But you do know more about, say, The Doors than anyone you know. (Hell, maybe you were at that show in Florida where Jim Morrison whipped out his cob and got busted. If so, we’d like to get a first person account, and we bet we’re not the only ones!)
Any member of this site can write a review. It has to be solid, it has to be genuine, and it has to follow our guidelines. But most of all, it has to be something that people want to read.
Look, if you’re still reading, you’re probably the kind of person who writes long emails about the merits of Death Cab for Cutie, Deep Purple or Richard Thompson anyway.
Why not share that with a bigger audience, and maybe find out that there are lots of other people out there that appreciate what you have to say?
When you contribute, you’re helping us, you’re helping the musicians you care about, and you’re helping out other people that care about music as much as you do. And one day, if this thing pops, you might even be helping people who only listen to Sting or Nickelback realize that there’s a lot more music out there.
If that sounds utopian, ask yourself if you ever imagined in 2004 that your Mom would be sending you YouTube clips or poking you on Facebook today.
A: "RoIO" is an acronym for a 'Recordings of Independent Origin", a term first popularized in Pink Floyd trading circles around the turn of the century to refer to unofficial, unreleased recordings that were freely traded from fan to fan.
SInce that time, other trading communities have adopted it to describe any non-commercial, fan-made recording, and while the precise legal status of a RoIo remains difficult to pin down, it is generally accepted that RoIOs are legal provided they are not sold, and provided they consist of material otherwise unavailable through commercial channels.
Most of the major music trading communiites (i.e. Dime, Trader's Den, Zomb, Pure Live Gigs, Hunger City et al) follow a RoIO-based, artist-friendly trade policy that allows for the free trading of any non-commercial material but respects requests by artists to have their work removed from a site tracker upon request. At RockPeaks, we follow the same policy.
Q: What about copyright? Is Rockpeaks legal?
A: We believe that there is nothing illegal about the content and activities on RockPeaks.com, and have had those who know more about such things than we do echo the same sentiment. We've actually posted a whole section on the matter, which we urge you to read.
But in case you don't, here's the jist: we reject piracy, support rights holders, and want to help music fans in their quest to enjoy video performances by the artists they love. It's our hope that we can play a role in making the whole business of how we discover and learn about music on video a more seemless and rewarding experience for all parties involved.