Elton John Wants The Internet Shut Down For Five Years… For The Sake Of The Music

from the sir-rocket-man-should-get-out-more dept

It’s always fun when someone famous decides to spout off on a topic in a bizarre manner. Witness Elton John’s tirade against the internet (found via News.com). Apparently, he believes that the 70s were a great time in music (no, seriously, he means it) and that today’s music sucks — and it’s all the internet’s fault. It’s got nothing to do with downloading (though it doesn’t sound like he’s a fan of that either), but because he somehow thinks that the internet means that people don’t communicate with each other any more — and musicians are all producing music by themselves in their basements. I guess no one has clued him into the fact that the internet is a communications medium, and it’s generally used more to connect people than to isolate them. He also is apparently unaware of a growing number of tools that actually let musicians collaborate online, such as eJamming. He admits he’s a Luddite and unfamiliar with the technology — and his quotes confirm that. Try these on for size:

  • “We’re talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that’s not going to happen with people blogging on the internet.”
  • “I mean, get out there — communicate.”
  • “Hopefully the next movement in music will tear down the internet.”
  • “Let’s get out in the streets and march and protest instead of sitting at home and blogging.”
  • “I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span.”
  • “There’s too much technology available.”

It would be easy to refute each of these somewhat laughable points, but, honestly, why bother? Since Sir Elton John apparently doesn’t recognize that most people use the internet to communicate, it’s unlikely that news of how uninformed he is will ever get back to him. Either he’s completely out of touch, or he’s decided that trolling is about the only way to get anyone to pay attention to him any more.

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Comments on “Elton John Wants The Internet Shut Down For Five Years… For The Sake Of The Music”

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Anonymous of Course says:

Maybe Elton Should Get to Know The Internet?

I’m old… but I’ve never had better access to
more music in my life. Even over my crappy
dial-up at home. Just have to be patient.

I would never have heard of Broken Condom Babies
if not for the net. Or many other oddly named
but excellent bands.

I think Elton needs to come back to earth, hang
out with some new friends and perhaps get to know
the internet.

He really does come off like a dweeb in that interview.

Casper says:

Re: He got one thing right...

Music was better in the ’70s then it is now. But the Internet has nothing to do with it. They didn’t have the Internet in the ’80s, but the music sucked then, too.

In all reality, every generation prefers their music over the succeeding generations, with a few exceptions. The music during the 80’s was pretty bad, but there is some from the 90’s I like. There are even current songs I like.

What people forget is that music targets specific subcultures and cliques of our society. Generally if something is popular and you don’t like it, it’s because you are not in the same interest group that it was targeting. With an ever changing world, you can not possibly expect to remain the target of popular music as your significance in the world declines with age.

Ray (profile) says:

Re: He got one thing right...

The Internet has been around since before most of you were born. That’s right!

It has been around in some form since the late ’60s, but became commercially available much later.

You must mean that the World Wide Web (WWW) was not around in the ’80s. This would be correct. If you are sure of the difference, then there are many references available on the Web, which exists thanks to the Internet. 😉

LT says:

Isn’t that a little like asking for the entire world to shut down their shipyards, airports, or roadways because there just happens to be a truck, plane, or ship using them to traffic drugs, or pirated dvds, or something of that nature? How many ships, semi trucks, and airplanes are there out there that AREN’T doing anything illegal? How many sites are on THE ENTIRE INTERNET that don’t have the slightest bit to do with anything illegal? How many millions, if not billions, of dollars would be lost by shutting any of these methods of transport (of information or that which is tangible) down for even a day, let alone 5 years?

Crazy old man…

KB (user link) says:


I think you’re taking what he’s saying and using it to make a slightly different point.

Music WAS better in the 70’s. Nothing to do with the internet or lack thereof of course, but because firstly, a lot of things were still taboo/bad so Rock n Roll was a way of rebelling that is not nearly as neccessary today because people have more individual freedom than they’ve ever had and access to more information.

But the crucial thing is – more things hadn’t been done, hadn’t been tried. I mean when was the last time you heard a truly original song? There really aren’t that many these days. Because it’s all been done now and it’s increasingly difficult to push limits these days as those limits are not as confined as they used to be.

I think the one thing that internet/downloading is responsible for though is the lack of great Albums. No-one bothers any more. It’s all about one song. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of CD’s I like start to finish that have been produced in the last ten years. That’s obviously heavily preference-based but it’s true across the massive majority of main-stream genres.

Music is fashion and money now, when it used to be more about a band saying something or standing on a smoky stage making a BIG noise.

Elton just didn’t express himself very well… maybe he should take the c**k out of his mouth next time…

YouKnowNothing says:

Re: Misrepresentation

“Music WAS better in the 70’s.”

That’s not entirely true. Do you really think disco is better than today’s music? (OK, Maroon 5 and The Killers are really “disco in disguise”, but I digress…) How about the Bay City Rollers? David Cassidy? Brewer and Shipley? Foreigner? God forbid, John Travolta??

SOME music was better in the 70s, like Iggy and the Stooges, New York Dolls, Ramones, Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Runaways, etc., but that was because they were ahead of their time, and also they incorporated a lot of retro (read: 1950s and 1960s) elements in their music.

Mainstream music of the 1970s, like mainstream music from ANY time, has always sucked (like Elton John) and will always suck (like Snow Patrol).

Ryan says:

Re: Misrepresentation

Uhm… no. You nor Elton John can’t make an absolute statement like “Music was better in the 70’s” because it’s a subjective train of thought, you dolt.

I can’t go out and say “No Elton John is wrong. Music NOW is better than music in the 70’s because people like ATB didn’t perform back then” because that’s my opinion. If I went around stating it as a fact, I’d be a retard.

Which is exactly what Elton John is.

Cutter892 says:


I think the boy is going senile from old age. Either that or he’s so aloft from being nighted thats he’s completely lost touch with reality. Thinking about that it seems to also happens to career politicians business men famous artists of all fields. Realizing this I don’t know if I really want to become successful. Of course being able to talk out of your ass and still be respected is a nice perk.

Enrico Suarve says:

Hands off him

Hes a nice guy, is kind to animals and my mum thinks hes great – so there ;0)

Mind countering his arguement with eJamming is a bit lame – on that note he’s right it’ll always be a damn sight more productive actually jamming in person

However on cause I think he missed the mark a bit – I’d look to crap A&R depts shoving the same things down everyones neck for where music is going wrong

MRing says:

One decent line

He is at least right on getting out in the streets and protesting instead of everybody blogging. I hate to tell 95% of bloggers out there, but nobody gives a damn. Additionally, that’s precisely what the government would want; all of its most vocal, dangerous enemies pounding on a keyboard, where they could watch with bemusement as they spam their rhetoric online, where it’s quite difficult to be more effective on a soapbox than anybody else.

Even as a Republican, I respect Obama’s astounding speaking abilities. All of that would be wasted and he’d be a nobody if he were just blogging. People like Kos @ TheDailyKos are seen by non-partisan followers as hangers-on and the lowest form of scum, yet Obama, who does much the same except in the physical world, is actually a Senator, working the political machine, gaining power.

lizangel (profile) says:

it's the artist really....

Sir Elton’s firing away at the wrong target – he should take a look at the forces that shape how music is produced.

A lot of it has to do with the speed with which we feel compelled to get our work out there.

We live in an ‘instant noodle’ culture – we need things NOW. Just as we cannot fathom spending time making a cake or a dish of noodles from scratch, neither do we understand or seek to take time to craft something over time. As artists, we face the push to produce fast. Someone who takes time to develop their work is seen, unfortunately often, as self-indulgent.

The internet is merely the vehicle that takes all this hasty work out into the world and so it’s seen and felt. But even without it, global culture demands instant art and so we produce it. Hence the plethora of terrible music (and theatre, and art). But in all of that, there is a great deal of excellent material.

Anonymous Coward says:

I obviously disagree with him on most accounts, except the comment about getting out there in the streets instead of blogging. Actually, I semi-agree with him on that point.

Blogging and marching in protest are both about as equally useless. You don’t make real change by walking around impeding traffic and pissing everyone *else* off while holding some smarmy sign and you don’t effect change by whining on a blog. These are both things people do who want to be part of the chaos and attention without putting out the effort to make actual change.

Ohewver, the idiocy of all his comments boil down to pointing out that the internet is not about music. He wants to shut down the internet, because there is now more competition (more people are creating music — not just “professionals” like him) thanks to the internet. And to make that happen, he’s willing to cut off the othe 95% of the uses the internet serves, from keeping in touch with grandma across the globe, loved ones serving in the military, foreign press, charitable causes, games, literature, support groups, health information, investing, trading, educating… just for the sake of him having less competition?!

Fuck Elton John. I would be burning his albums right now if it weren’t for the fact that all the Elthon John music I have is stuff I have illegally downloaded over bit torrent.

Basher says:

less civil liberties

yes the good ol protest songs of the 70’s we need to take away all theose freedome that music revolution heled bring and push the subculters backinto the closets (you know who you are)so that more music with inuendo and less in your face anger is used. ahh the good ol days when ppl thought Queen was the name of a band not the lead singer and that steely Dan was a band not the toy in your moms night stand.

Basher says:

less civil liberties

yes the good ol protest songs of the 70’s we need to take away all theose freedome that music revolution heled bring and push the subculters backinto the closets (you know who you are)so that more music with inuendo and less in your face anger is used. ahh the good ol days when ppl thought Queen was the name of a band not the lead singer and that steely Dan was a band not the toy in your moms night stand.

Anonymous Coward says:


I’m not going to just bash him for what he’s saying, but I will agree that he’s missing the point.

*Popular* music was better back in the 70s because the money wasn’t the driving force behind the art. Nowadays, money is main driving force behind so many of the famous big names.

Today, to hear good music, you pretty much have to ignore the radio stations (terrestrial at least. satellite is a tad bit better sometimes in playing decent music).

He’s absolutely wrong with the internet having anything to do with it. In some cases, its probably helping because the internet is probably the best alternative to getting your music out there as opposed to surrendering to a greedy record label.

So, his point about music is a little off (its popular music that sucks compared to music back then) and his reasoning completely off. It’s the music industry itself thats destroying popular music and making it impossible to find the good stuff.

Though, he may have a point about bloggers & marches though.

YouKnowNothing says:

Re: Well...

“*Popular* music was better back in the 70s because the money wasn’t the driving force behind the art.”

That’s completely wrong. To wit: David Cassidy, The Bee Gees, John Travolta, The Bay City Rollers, Kiss, Donna Summer, Foreigner, Boston, The Carpenters, etc.

Popular music has always sucked. By definition, it has to appeal to the greatest number of people (Least Common Denominator); therefore, it must be bland, sanitized, castrated, banal and insipid.

Matt says:

maybe he has a point

The Internet does isolate people. And we are less social. It is an easy medium through which to talk, talk, talk, but it lacks conversation and has too much anonymity. Even where people identify themselves they are still not forced to be themselves. Comments on blog posts do not count as conversation and barely count as communication. Face-to-face interaction is different than chat rooms or forum replies, particularly when you are not very familiar with that person.
The Internet is a new form of communication and should be treated as such, meanwhile we should strive to communicate in person whenever possible.

Greg Donald (user link) says:

Stupid people shouldn't breathe.

Dear Sir Elton,

Do you realize what you are saying? Do you grasp the seriousness of a phrase like “close the net” ?

I don’t think you do.

The internet is not just a place where music is distributed. It is also a place of commerce, learning, and discovery. And contrary to what you may think you know, the internet can be a very social environment if you venture out a bit.

I’m a web developer and programmer. My career has been going strong for over a decade. I don’t really know what sort of work I would do if I was unable to be an internet programmer. I’m not sure I could provide the quality of life my family currently enjoys if I had to begin again with a different career path. When I hear things in the news like “Sir Elton wants to close the net for five years,” I am more than a little concerned. I am deeply offended.

You publicly admit you’re not a very technical person. So what.. my mom and dad aren’t either. I don’t see that as a problem as I know a lot more people in real life that aren’t very technical either. Many members of my extended family and many of my friends get on just fine without a computer in their homes.

What becomes a problem for me is when a person like yourself starts speaking out against something you don’t fully understand.

Close the internet? Are you kidding? Do you think there’s some magic door somewhere that can be locked to keep everyone out? The internet doesn’t work that way. I’m fairly certain at this point the internet can’t be closed. Not by you or any government on the planet.

Do you have any idea how the world economy would be affected without the internet? What about hospitals and universities who use the internet for research and communication? What about businesses who offer their services on the internet? What about my own children who use the internet for school work, research, communication, and entertainment? Should they all just shut their computers off for the next five years while we wait for musical talent in general to improve?

You don’t understand what you’re saying or the seriousness of the statement.

I agree with you 100% that most new music sucks, but the internet has nothing to do with that. The internet doesn’t breed new musicians and computer technology has very little to do with the hundreds of thousands of new musicians flooding your market with crap that people like myself do not want to buy.

I buy music, yes sir, I do. But with internet technology I can now listen to something before I buy it. That makes investing in new music a much less risky venture. How many albums have you bought over the years that you only listed to once and never again? Wouldn’t you like to get your money back on those albums? Wouldn’t you like to have known up front the music was of poor quality? Before 5 or 10 years ago, buying music was a high risk endeavour. Now it is not, and that’s the power of the internet.

Why do you musicians think you deserve millions of dollars just because you can sing or play piano or group words into songs? It’s just music, it’s doesn’t save whales, or provide the homeless with a residence, or raise the quality of life for anyone. I can program in 11 different computer languages, shouldn’t that warrant a higher salary that I get now?

It’s not the internet’s fault musicians have become less creative over the years.

It’s not the internet’s fault would-be musicians can now more easily publish crap.

It’s not the internet’s fault your own last album had less that desirable sales.

SRV says:

Re: Stupid people shouldn't breathe.

uh, did you read the article? He said, “I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span.”

Please note the key word “experiment” he isn’t saying we should do it, just that it would be interesting.

Also, if you can program in 11 different languages and you are not getting paid more than the average programmer, you need to spend more time WORKING and less time flaming about stupid shit you didn’t even read in full on the internet.



PS – It is really sad how many anti-gay comments there are on this post, I’m not even gay and it bothers me. Grow up you ignorant jackasses.

Stevie Ray Vaughn says:


While I don’t agree that we should shut down the internet; Elton is right. Music from this generation sucks (I’m 21), maybe I should rephrase myself, music from this generation should be a lot better than it is.

I will give you the point that a lot of it has been done already, but that is what making music is all about, creating something new. ARTISTS, STEP IT UP AND CREATE SOMETHING NEW. Think about the pioneers of rock, they created their own entirely new genre of music by combining music from the past with their own creative influences (drugs). They didn’t have the tools or the 40+ past years of high quality music, they created their own.

Look at some of the legendary classic rock hits from the 60’s 70’s and 80’s and the technology and tools used to create them. By this logic, if the internet as everyone – including posters – says it is, music should be of a higher quality. I’m not talking about bitrates or simply audio quality, I mean in terms of the talent of the musicians.

Many of the big hit producing artists of our days are all digitally enhanced using Protools to clean up the imperfections and voicemods to make shitty (but attractive) young girls sound like they can actually sing.

Think back to the role of music back in the 70’s and the other entertainment alternatives; you had radio, tv was just becoming mainstream, and then you had your records. I think that back in the day the role of music was more prominent in peoples lives than it is today. In comparison, music of the 70’s is the entertainment equivalent of the internet of today. I think Elton’s point (however misguided by his lack of understanding) is that people in general waste too much time on the internet and not enough time listening to music.

The world is just as talented as it was in the 70’s, if not more, we have just broadened our focus since then. Think – More talent and more areas to be talented in vs. 1970’s less talent but a large chunk focused on music.

my two cents…


Kelvin701 says:

He finally lost his marble

I think he hasn’t caught up with “today” internet. Also it’s just a matter of opinion that 70’s music is better than today’s music.

In my opinion, I think late 80’s to early 90’s was the best time for music since 1970. Today’s music is filled with junk … too much intrument sounds and you can’t figure out the lyrics (that make sense and have good story). Of course there is always some good few but in general music these days are just lots of annoying NOISE.

Khiks says:

Re: Well...

As others mentioned it’s a matter of opinion, whether 70s was better than 80s. It’s also a matter of opinion whether spending time on internet is to be considered as WASTE OF TIME. Playing WoW for 8 hours a day might be waste of time for someone, but it is also earning revenue for the company who is running the site. The revenue earns money for programmers building it and the money helps the team serve their families.

If artists of current generation cannot come up with good music then it should be lack of their creativity. They should be aware of the fact that they are artists and they should spend more time on making good music rather than spending 70% of their time on myspace.

Being a web developer myself I don’t see anything wrong with the internet. I don’t think people WASTE their time on internet. I think we should not blame one another. Being a programmer we serve to world in a different way than artists serve the world by their music.

Sir Elton is not aware of the fact how internet serves. We can understand that from his statement. Why are we getting offended by his statement when his level of understanding is clear to everyone?

I don’t complain when I don’t understand something A-Z. But everyone is free give their opinion, so did Sir Elton. But on this occasion he is wrong!

Overcast says:

Thing is…

What music is good and what music sucks is *purely* subjective – each person has their own tastes.

The internet gives the ability for the maximum amount of variety to be distributed in a minimal amount of time.

The internet’s great for music.

Although, it sucks for the RIAA and Artists who need to squeeze every last dime out of music.

I thought music was about the art – not about the $$$$.

4-80-sicks says:

I think the one thing that internet/downloading is responsible for though is the lack of great Albums. No-one bothers any more. It’s all about one song. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of CD’s I like start to finish that have been produced in the last ten years. That’s obviously heavily preference-based but it’s true across the massive majority of main-stream genres.

Nope, the internet is not responsible for that either. Ten years ago there was barely any music on the online (except MIDI files of public domain songs!) The record labels, in their greedy pushes, decided that they needed superhot singles to drive sales, and the album as a cohesive piece of work became less and less important. Of course, this is really just a return to the music industry’s roots, when 78s were king. I guess we’ve come full circle!

Brayden Styles says:

Elton John Wants The Internet Shut Down For Five Y

Elton john has lost his mind…!

in no way has the internet produced bad music, the simple 1,2,3 fact is that A&R reps stopped developing acts and have gone after the one hit wonder cookie carbon product scheme that if it work for the last group the next group will surely be a hit….

What needs to happen is called artist development!!

if Elton is so concerned with artist’s development and good music and talent being developed, then he should invest in a label that develops acts like they did in the 50’s 60’s and 70’s

the internet is a wonderful tool in which it has brought the community of fans closer to the artists and the artists closer to the fans, unfortunately it has had the chicken yellow belly industry executives running scared that they will be out of a job because they made an album and the fans didn’t like it because the album was the shits well i say work with the band to make a better album….

And finally Elton john should go and take a class in technology; learn that the dinosaurs have died and that rotary phones do not exist…. its 2007 Mr. john get a grip on life..!!

For some us who make music the online experience is a vital part of the review process, I don’t think anyone goes to their PC that’s an artist and says hey my lovely PC let us work on this piece of music today just the 2 of us my sexy little muse!! The computer is a tool in the creation process and only a tool just like a guitar or piano, it’s the user that create the input and the emotion !
Hell I’m sure that dozens of people have now communicated on this very topic about the one thing he is complaining about and I bet that some these people are artists and the experience that you have now spoken about has invoked some wonderful hate music!
Elton I have one word of advice go talk to Prince…
Brayden Styles

GH2 says:

Re: Elton John Wants The Internet Shut Down For Fi

“And finally Elton john should go and take a class in technology; learn that the dinosaurs have died and that rotary phones do not exist…. its 2007 Mr. john get a grip on life..!! “

Then he’ll learn about all the gay pron on the interweb and change his mind about shutting anything down. 😉

Shame on Sun says:

You must be kidding...

All these comments and not a one questions the credibility of the alleged interview in The Sun. C’mon people – its one of Britain’s tabloid mags…they report on aliens landing from outer space as well. While EJ might have made those comments, they’re no doubt removed from any context in which they might have had even some semblence of sense. Whatever…rant about something else.

Kevin says:

This happens all the time

Step 1: Someone gets famous for doing something well or in a popular manner, like making music or movies.

Step 2: That person spouts off about something that they don’t know anything about and ends up saying ridiculous things that make them look like a moron.

Step 3: People wonder how someone who’s so good (subject a) could be so bad at (subject b). (Where subject a and subject b are completely unrelated with no overlap).

Think about it. Just because someone is famous doesn’t make them smart. It doesn’t make them insightful. It doesn’t make them anything but famous. And if you need a better example of that, look at some of the people who are “famous for being famous” like Paris Hilton.

Jim (profile) says:

Shut down the internet

Perhaps you all have taken his comments the wrong way, or I have. It seems from where I am that there are people in love with the internet and new tech, and there are people who are not. Increasingly this pull between more tech and less tech is causing friction in our society. Instead of dumping on Sir John perhaps you might like to find ways to get him and people like him interested in tech. I guess we could have three different societies in the US; Amish, low tech, and high tech.

Jason says:

Hypothesis of Contextual Intelligence

A person can be exceedingly intelligent and perhaps genius in one field or set of fields but it does not mean that same person is as intelligent in other fields or even one other field.

Elton John has supported this hypothesis in his attempt to talk about the internet.

I know this is all BS but its kind of fun to write BS, huh? That’s why we comment on stuff that people will never read.

uncledeercamp.com (user link) says:


Ok now I know Elton has smoked more fish than me. To suggest even in humor that the record industry is owed even a day of silence, draws the wrath of my of my “spiney tongue”. Not that I want my tongue to touch any part of Elton. Please let me qualify that by saying being gay doesn’t make Elton John a bad guy or gal but blindly supporting a industry that wants to feed us Tiny Dancer and Islands Girl until our ears bleed makes him a very bad man. P.S. Island girl is not a song about a girl at all…

Jay says:

Sir Elton John, you are funny!

I happen to love Elton John’s Music-but his idea to shut down the internet-is insane! Wake up & smell the coffee sir!

Music and music tastes changes every generation. Shutting down the internet for 5 years won’t change that.

Is he so ignorant of today’s technolgy, that he’s forgotten that they released DVDs of his concerts? I’m sure he’s aware of that.

Let me sum up the real complaint he has about the internet:CD sales have dropped-and the internet is the blame. So shut down the internet-go back in time to the glory days!

Only one problem with that-this is 2007-not 1977-the sooner Sir Elton wakes up to that-the better off he will be.

Ichigo Kushima says:

I think he needs a reality check. For some people (like me a few years back) the internet is the ONLY thing keeping people communicating with each other.

I do believe that chat rooms are becoming more hated (according to a few real friends that I have) because of all the ads. If we get rid of all the ads, people will return to the chat rooms and…well…chat. I stopped chatting mainly because people kept bothering me with those stupid webcam ads. You know what I’m talking about.

Shut down the internet? You have to be kidding me. Businesses use the internet for a good portion of their sales. Students (like me) use the internet for college work. The college I go to online is well over two states away. I’m not going to stop going to school because some musician withe bad glasses (I had to do it–sorry Elton) decides that the internet should be shut down.

On a side note, I am not for downloading music either. I only download because I’m a starving college student and good music is the ONLY thing that keeps me awake at work. I do buy CDs when I have the money, though. Same goes for movies.

John says:


Q: * “We’re talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that’s not going to happen with people blogging on the internet.”
A:… you mean… the internet?

Q: * “I mean, get out there — communicate.”
A: what if i want to communicate with my friend in italy?

Q: * “Hopefully the next movement in music will tear down the internet.”
A: rage against the machine will not destroy the internet dude
Q: * “Let’s get out in the streets and march and protest instead of sitting at home and blogging.”
A: I completely 100% agree with you on this. look how the government in places like france and england where when the government tries to fuck over the people… the people all flood the streets until they get results. they can’t kill ’em all ya know??
Q: * “I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span.”
A: nah i like online gaming too much
Q: * “There’s too much technology available.”
A: en contrair sir, we do not have holographic computers. when we do: maybe.

Ted Brown says:

I think some of you are seizing on Elton’s “turn the internet off” comment, and possibly missing a valid point about music. Can you imagine watching a concert on your computer screen, and claiming it’s just as good as being there? I hope not… there’s a literal disconnect between the real event and your facsimile of it (no matter how high definition it may be). Now extrapolate to participants in a jam session: the non-verbal cues, the hum of the bass, etc. It’s not the same “jamming over the internet.” It’s just not.

There’s also a striking similarity to that guy’s recent book which argued against the amateurs that flood the internet (which Techdirt also slammed). In other words, not everything you make is worth sharing with other people. It’s probably crap, and at the very least, test it out with a few people before wasting the world’s time with a desperate attempt at mediocrity.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Can you imagine watching a concert on your computer screen, and claiming it’s just as good as being there? I hope not…

Has anyone suggested that would be the case? We’ve actually been suggesting the opposite.

There’s also a striking similarity to that guy’s recent book which argued against the amateurs that flood the internet (which Techdirt also slammed).

Please check your facts. I know the book you’re talking about and we have purposely not written a word about it. There’s no reason to.

In other words, not everything you make is worth sharing with other people. It’s probably crap, and at the very least, test it out with a few people before wasting the world’s time with a desperate attempt at mediocrity.

You seem confused. Who cares if it’s crap? It’s not wasting the world’s time at all. It may be great for 1 other person. Or 10. Or 10 million. The point is that it doesn’t really matter if you don’t like it, as long as someone does. It doesn’t waste your time unless you’re out there looking for it, and that says a lot more about you than it does about the creator of the content.

Ted Brown says:

Re: Re: To Mike...

Sorry for a late reply to a cold post. The first bit was actually aimed at some of the commenters. Second, I apologize for the mistake about Cult of the Amateur, I was thinking of the folks at BoingBoing.

And, if you ever read this, here’s one last go at explaining why easy access to a potential audience isn’t necessarily a good thing: I believe creative works do not always hit their high point on the first draft, and I think many people are content to upload these first drafts, soak in the comments that follow, and leave it at that. I believe (and this is anecdotal, natch) that they’re going for the quick thrill of adulation, not art.

Tie that to my belief that this is becoming an age of narcissistic stimulation, and you can see where I might start to think Elton has a point.

I think many people are content to get the cheap thrill, and don’t always have the patience to really hone their craft. It takes time, criticism, and dedication to fix and fix again, rather than delete and start over. I believe it ties into a bigger sociological issue.

Damn, I’m pretty crotchety for a man under 30. I think that will do for now.

princesspeach says:

I'm shocked, SHOCKED...

…NOT. I’ve never been impressed with Sir Eltons’ intellectual abilities, even if I did love his music in the 70’s.

Number one, Elton, sweetie, I grew up with your music, and as good as much of it was, there’s TONS of good music being produced now. Your age is showing.

Number two…my child would not be recovering from AUTISM if not for the internet, because that’s where I learned about treatments and therapies and found parent support groups. Millions of people with all kinds of illnesses, disorders, or problems might be DEAD now if not for the ability to connect and communicate through the internet. Millions of couples would never have met if not for the internet. Millions of companies run their businesses, either with the aid or the internet, or actually *through* the internet, and millions of people would lose their LIVELIHOODS if the internet were to be “shut down”. And this is just the tip of the iceberg of the potential consequences of your unbelievably idiotic suggestion.

Everything has it’s positive and negative aspects. Your job is to adjust, not complain about the “good old days”.

Chuck Watson (user link) says:

You listen like an ear of corn.

Eltons comments and others like them really smell of “Big Brother”. Elton cannot control it so he hates it. Too bad.
In the realm of music: let’s all just go tell our kids that art and music are bad now and they should not even bother with them because art and music were so much better in the 70’s.
Sorry Elton, life is about creation and expression. If he wants to control something he should control his mouth.
As for all the many blogs/bloggers out there, keep on rocking. I don’t see how all the bloggers annoy people, it is not like you have to go and read the sh*t. The bloggers aren’t messing your house or ruining anything so leave them be.

blan says:


He’s a looper no doubt. But the one point about blogging instead of protesting has a ring of truith to it.
When I was a teenager we took to the streets anti-thatchering (in the UK). Lil Bush is arguebly way more insane than ole Margret, but there’s a lot less visual protest. Blogging awy your grievences of the current regime in a dark room just doesnt feel the same.

robyn says:

Response to Elton John's criticism of internet

With the exception of Disco, the 70’s to most people’s minds, was a great time for music, i.e.,Boston, Queen, etc. You, commentator, sound very young because people do not communicate in any meaningful way anymore. Yes, they “blab” at each other, skyping, text messaging, but if one wants to do more than convey information, your excuse for communication, i.e. the internet is a sorry one.

People actually WROTE LETTERS to each other and delayed gratification and waited for a response, being gone all day and wondering if your date left a msg. on your machine could drive you crazy, but it was more interesing. People used to take the time for each other. Now, even when I am out at the mall, groups of kids are together blabbing on their cell phones or text messaging while their “friends” just walk beside them.

Elton John’s point is well taken. Emails have their place but the internet has a huge downside. Too bad you didn’t get what he was talking about in the first place. And, no, rap or making music in one’s basement isn’t on par with what musicians such as Elton John turned out.

ouch that really hurts you big meanie says:

yea elton… where is the protest to shut down the internet and when you gonna get down and communicate what the world should have no choice but teuw deuw

but only after you let me bow before you to kiss your royal feet


The Anti-Elton says:

Elton was always a dim bulb

Sir Elton (now if that isn’t ironic nothing is) was always a dim bulb. He had to get someone else to write his lyrics because he can’t spell or rhyme or make sense. Plus those mountains of coke he bragged about surely must have left their mark.

For those of you who weren’t there yes music was better in the 70’s. It certainly had nothing to do with more freedoms now. It has to do with the record companies wanting to keep all the money so they don’t allow talent to survive past a single hit or two unless of course they look good on MTV which had a big part in destroying music. It became more important to look good rather than sound good. You had some real uglies back in those days because no one could see you on the radio anyway.

So now we get a plethora of plastic wrapped Barbie music sensations who’s talent isn’t for music being played on the radio. The deal is sealed with a little payola and you get computer generated accompaniment to some bimbo struting on MTV and pretending to be a devo err… diva.

Music was the thing and the only thing in the 70’s. Elton could play it and sing it as well as any of them. But it’s obvious that he didn’t understand a word he was saying.

Mojo Jo says:

The music we come to like is typically the music of our generation – what we listen to as young adults is what becomes our preference. “Good” is purely subjective — that qualification changes with the generation and the individual. 😉 If Elton’s music sales are dwindling, it probably has more to do with the fact that the generation which actually found his music appealing is slowing fading away. People do eventually die you know, and honestly, I don’t know *anyone* from my generation who would willingly buy (or listen to) an Elton CD/song.

As for generic music — blame that on the record industry. It’s all about the money and maintaining their cash flow… Generic is safe, creative is risky. The true artists are the ones not attached to any label, the ones who are creating music for the sake of art. THEY’RE the ones who still have a relevant message, they’re the ones trying new styles and sounds. For them, it’s not about the money, or minimizing risk, or coming up with something on a schedule to keep the label happy — it’s about the art and the joy of creativity.

As for music on the web — it’s a fantastic thing… You just need to “get out a little” and actually look for it. There are artists around the globe making fantastic music, and it’s all waiting out there for you to discover. Jump cultures for a bit and open your eyes (and ears.) :p

Lastly, if you despise the MTV tripe so much, and you really want change, then vote with your dollars! Support the starving garage bands out of Russia, India, Sweden, Mexico, etc. who still know the meaning of “creativity” and display actual talent, then let all the “celebrity” puppets and their “big label” backers fall onto hard times…

Eh, I’m outta here…

Superman says:

Not like hes gunna read this but whatever >.>

Is he just getting bitchy because his music isnt selling? Dont blame the internet, your stuff is crap. He’s not doing this for the music, he’s doing it for the money. He wasted to much on his drugs now he’s broke and ranting about it. YOURS SELFISH EJ! Do you know how many lifes that would destroy?! Some people run their businesses on the internet. Kids use it to do research and SOCIALIZE. I even take homeschooling online and i’ve been getting better grades than i ever had. And Myspace lets me keep in touch with my friends so its not like my social life is changing anything. This is the new generation buddy. We don’t care what you think. Your gunna die sooner or later anywayz. The majority of us love our music. Not everyone likes your music from the 70s. Shutting down the internet so YOU can be happy? You completly insane.

Idiot says:

Elton John

Why can’t Elton John keep his big fat stupid rich mouth shut? He hates the internet and doesn’t use it? OK. He thinks the internet is destroying artistic creativity resulting in rubbish music ..THEN WHAT THE HELL IS HIS EXCUSE? I hate him. If he gave me all the money he made from his association with Diana I’d be a millionaire. He sold his soul. The only thing he is any good at is telling other celebs to go to rehab all the time. The only time he should open his big fat stupid rich mouth is to apologize to the world for being such an idiot.

jkpd says:

I think Elton has a point.
With internet you can communicate but you can get isolated too !
I mean I know many people sitting all day, being online and never have a real life.
I think Elton has a point.
Technology is a salvation but can be a menace too!
If you look around you, you could see that we are invaded, not by the aliens, but by the cars that we created!!!

Ruben says:


I have to say that I am a big fan of 70’s music and even a bigger fan of Elton John….In the 70’s. But before Elton starts spewing off some bullshit that todays music sucks he needs to consider his lack of creativity in recent years.We all have to agree that he was the biggest star in the 70’s and his music, his artistry was magical and appealing, but not in this day and age.

Retire Elton Retire it’s your recent music that sucks!

Rick Kepple (profile) says:

Sudden rise of anti-Internet fametards?

A friend who used to be a corporate attorney in the music industry said that the problem with the music business is the business in the music. If anything, the Internet has allowed new bands to be discovered on the Internet by the Indie Movement and radio stations are getting tired of paying ten grand a month to play Sir Elton and other famous bands when they can pay Indie music for free, promote them, and everyone makes money fairly across the board. Sir Elton probably objects to the peons in the fields making money too.

Hopsing Dynasty says:

Fuck Elton John

That polesmoking fudgepacker needs to go back home and suck off his homeboy rather than assuming for one second that anyone on Earth gives a shit what he thinks. And someone needs to send him a dozen penis-shaped pacifiers so his soon-to-be-fag kid can get started with his own deviant lifestyle. No, fuck YOU, Elton John.

Cindy Canova says:


I’m a music teacher. School and private piano teacher. I’m certain Elton is questioned by people all the time.
My best friend saw him in Vegas…
Due to lost love affairs I’ve lost my love for music.
I used to sit and play for hours. Now I’m lost.
I’ve always played his music, yes I’m a piano player.
I can’t imagine how many people must try to contact him.
I need help from him to get the music back in my life so I can share with others. I’ve lost the music… Help!!
I’m very serious….. I need him to Shine Down on me!!!1

Jane (user link) says:

Sir Eltie

I used to really like his music before I did some research and found out his ill intentions.

Just have a real good look at the cover of the Brown Dirt Cowboy Album and see how they removed the skulls out of it now.

That is what it is Brown Dirt

A big pile of Brown Sht

Investigate this guy and how he promotes Homosexuality.

Depopulation Agenda

His music makes me gag now.

Total NWO boy.

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