Back in the day when you wanted to hear your favorite artist play live shows, you had to trade tapes with other people, you found through newsgroups and forums (and earlier on even magazines).
A column on Ants Marching (a DMB website) brought back some nice memories. It was a lot of hassle to copy tapes, going to the postoffice etc. But it it all paid off when the mailman delivered that low-gen tape of a show that was performed just a few months back ;).
My trading circles must have been a little different, Maxell XL II (and later the more expensive XL-II-S) as well as TDK-SA and some Sony (cant remember exactly what name) tapes were acceptable.