Stevie Nicks Claims The Internet Destroyed Rock; Seems To Think You Need A Record Label

from the that's-not-how-it-works-any-more dept

What is it with aging rock-n-rollers complaining about the “internet” these days? It’s kind of amusing how these rockers, who always tried to present such a rebellious persona, are now acting just like the older generation they mocked. Everything new is evil and bad, huh? We already covered John Mellencamp’s recent anti-internet diatribe, where he referred to it as an atomic bomb for the music industry (he meant the recording industry, but apparently doesn’t realize it), and now Hypebot points us to the news that Fleetwood Mac star Stevie Nicks is bashing the internet as well, in a very similar manner:

“The Internet has destroyed rock. Children no longer develop social graces. They don’t hang out anymore,” she complains. “I’m financially stable. I’m okay. But what about the kids trying to make it in this business? If you’re not an established band, if you don’t have a hit single, they’re gonna drop you. There are a lot of people out there as talented as we were, but they can’t sustain being in a rock ‘n’ roll band for long without success. We were able to, but we’re going to die out.”

First of all, I’m not quite sure what rock and roll and “social graces” have to do with one another. But the rest of her comment reveals an amusing misunderstanding of what is actually happening with “the kids trying to make it in this business today.” You see, many of them are realizing they don’t need a major label to become successful any more, and they celebrate when they get dropped from a label, because it means they can take control over their own business models and actually do things that make fans happy, rather than piss them off. And many of those things involve using the internet to help create, promote and distribute works, while also building up a strong, loyal and committed fan base. The internet hasn’t destroyed rock at all. It’s destroying the old gatekeeper system that kept so many out before.

Nicks’ mistake is to think that you still need a major record label behind you to be a success. Like other aging rockers, it appears she’s a bit out of touch with what’s actually going on in the music world.

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Comments on “Stevie Nicks Claims The Internet Destroyed Rock; Seems To Think You Need A Record Label”

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55 Comments
NAMELESS.ONE says:

haha and a coke head speaks

y i thinks shes back to abusing drugs again

reality seems not to come from those messed up on heroin and cocaine……
maybe she should take a lesson like ozzy said and admit the labels wanted them all fucked up on drugs so that they could steal off the cash …( as ozzy says as he makes a steak and eggs ina kitchen larger then the house i live in )

NO suing fans is what destroyed your business and maybe you should go back under a rock and or pound your selves in the head for allowing the riaa and labels to do it.

FREE IT ALL NOW, i have friends doing ok and htey give th emusic out online freely…MY thought is the money is starting to run out and guess what they cant keep suing peopel and losingmoney either. ITS TOO LATE you missed the boat and by suing you ended your selves.

FUCK OFF bitch
awarded idiot of the day award

weneedhelp (profile) says:

She is losing it

But what about the kids trying to make it in this business? If you’re not an established band, if you don’t have a hit single, they’re gonna drop you.

How is that related to the internet?

There are a lot of people out there as talented as we were, but they can’t sustain being in a rock ‘n’ roll band for long without success.
In your days Stevie, but with the internet, that is just not true anymore.
Ehhh.. damn kids, get off my lawn!

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Again

…or alternately. Why don’t these geezers try to actually do something about it. Use the internet to help new artists or do the whole old school touring thing where you had a bunch of acts on one marquee.

These boomers simply aren’t paying forward. It’s a pervasive attitude that’s even worse and more damaging than the whole “thieving culture” that is pervasive in the younger generations.

designerfx (profile) says:

old and ignorant

there are two common types of old people: those that go with the flow, and those that go against it (and I don’t mean trendsetting – that’s going with the flow).

Obviously said fleetwood singer is quite ignorant and old, is that any surprise? I agree she should actually try to understand the issues (and fails to), but really, she’s so old it’s “get off my lawn” material.

Anonymous Coward says:

The internet (and the hardware manufacturers) gave them the chance to get rid of the labels, to be more independent, but it seems most of them refuse to embrace it.

I don’t understand why they don’t try to share their music through the p2p technology. Make an association and make a tracker like the piratebay, charge a few bucks for unlimited downloads per month/year. I would pay.

Free Capitalist (profile) says:

Feh - Her and the rest of the Hippies Screwed it up

Children no longer develop social graces. They don’t hang out anymore

Children no longer hang out because they are no longer permitted to hang out. Children are no longer permitted to hang out because of her generation’s so called “social graces”. Fuck rock and roll, it died with Chuck Berry, and was burned by the self-important losers hanging out on corners acting lewd and doing drugs in public, thinking they were “something”. Thanks for fucking every following generation’s childhood, idiot losers.

R. Miles (profile) says:

I'd like to join in on the fun.

Old people are more destructive than the atomic bomb. They simply don’t understand technology and its users. Instead of trying to embrace technology, they’d rather nuke it, blame it for all of the woes in society, then scream for it to get off their lawn.

At least they have social grace. I mean, what better way to learn about social grace than to listen to complaints about the way things are. I thought social grace meant never pointing the fingers at those to blame? Guess I sit corrected. Thanks, Stevie.

By the way: A record label is what tells parents about explicit lyrics. πŸ˜›

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

I’m not sure Nicks ever presented the rebellious rock star image very well, if at all. Not sure about Mellancamp either, to tell the truth.

Is it just me or is it that the rockers who most fit the rebellious “screw you” mode, The Stones, are the only ones to point out that the record companies are not the artist’s friend as Mick Jagger has? I’m sure others may have but it’s only Mick that I’ve seen “in print” on the Net.

Nicks isn’t just “comfortable” she’s rolling in it wealthy. She’s one of the one in a million that made it, recording contract, major label, indie or any other way.

Stevie, there’s still clubs around, places for people to play and hone their skills and presentation. There’s better ways to connect with other musicians and that horrible bunch called fans and it’s that very Internet that you dislike so much.

As for social skills, the younguns are doing just fine, thank you, far better than we mouthy boomers were doing at their age in many respects. Of course we were all too busy rebelling, drinking, smoking pot and getting fat with the marijuana munchies, weren’t we?

As far as aging bands go I’ll pay money to see the Stones, Jethro Tull and a few others who remember that they both have to play well and entertain at the same time rather than the tired, boring and still incredibly dull Fleetwood Mac sets you guys still put on.

In short, Stevie, at your age isn’t it seriously time you grew up?

Anonymous Coward says:

The day after the techdirt article on John Mellencamp I heard on NPR that he has a new album coming out. I think his rant has more to do with publicity and trying to guilt people into buying his new album than anything else.

I won’t be surprised if I hear about a new Stevie Nicks album tomorrow.

Is techdirt just playing into their hands?

PaulT (profile) says:

Heh, I agree that her statements could probably be translated as “I’m getting old and progress scares me”. But, this is probably the most telling part of the quote:

“If you’re not an established band, if you don’t have a hit single, they’re gonna drop you.”

Erm, yeah, that’s the problem and that’s what really “killed rock”. Real rock & roll is about attitude, creativity and rebellion. Hit singles depend on conformity and widespread appeal (as inoffensive as possible, please). These are not compatible ideals with a few rare exceptions, bands that often get ignored or dropped from labels before some executive realises what they have.

What’s “killed rock” is record labels trying to treat rock bands as though they were boy bands in search of profit. I’m not massively familiar with the band’s back catalogue, but wasn’t selling out like this what people criticise Fleetwood Mac for in the first place?

Anonymous Coward says:

The indie Internet Music Scene does need a central location to find bands and acts, because the internet can also be a huge vacuum where your music and url gets sucked into a never ending cloud where no one can find you. The search engines suck collecting new web sites even when you follow the rules. We need a web site where they don’t sell music, they don’t let you download music. They just do profiles of music acts and venues to allow the users / fans to find them by many different categories and then get a profile and a link to them. I don’t know how to financially support it unless the musical acts pay a small fee to support the site. The more acts on the site the smaller the payment per act. No one needs to make money off of this service because it is a public service and would help both the fans and the acts. The big problem today is that everyone just wants to get rich on the internet.

Phillip Vector (profile) says:

Weird Al

Weird Al is someone who took this idea and ran with it. I paid $125 for seats that were worth $30. Why? Because he added value content (Collectible cards, Signed photo, etc.). It was wonderful as well when during one song, he took off his shirt and there was a T-Shirt that said, “Alantic Records STILL sucks”. πŸ™‚

Sorry if this is a bit off topic. Just had to share. πŸ™‚

chrobrego (profile) says:

Article is a bit arrogant

Mike,

Have some respect. Stevie Nicks is a recording icon and I give her the benefit of the doubt when she speaks about rock and what it takes to make it in the recording industry — internet or no internet. Until you release your first hit single, I think you know about as much about it as I do — which is nothing.

Just because the internet is liberating doesn’t make it a good business model for ‘making it’ as a band.

herodotus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Article is a bit arrogant

“Until you release your first hit single, I think you know about as much about it as I do — which is nothing.”

“There’s that old trope again.”

Yes.

I wonder, does this apply to politicians as well?

“When you get to be the governor of New York, then you can criticize David Paterson. Not before.”

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: No, She is a bit arrogant

No matter how “leet” Stevie is, she’s still out of touch and speaking strictly as a 3rd person observe. She can’t do anything else. What really matters are the opinions of the bands she arrogantly presumes to champion.

She’s the arrogant and presumptuous one.

Perhaps SHE personally would have a hard time making it today. Since she is a relic, that’s not hard to fathom.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Article is a bit arrogant

“Stevie Nicks is a recording icon and I give her the benefit of the doubt when she speaks about rock and what it takes to make it in the recording industry “

I don’t. She has no concept of what it takes to “make it” in the modern industry, since she’s been a well-known and successful musician for over 3 decades at this point. Her band was old hat before I even started going to gigs and buying CDs as a teenager, and I’m 35. What perspective does that give her, other than things don’t work like they used to?

“Until you release your first hit single, I think you know about as much about it as I do — which is nothing.”

Ah, that old saw. Well, I know exactly as much as Nicks does about making a hit debut single in the modern incarnation of the industry, which is absolutely nothing. I also feel free to comment on stupid mistakes being made in the industry, although I also have the grace to apologise and admit errors when they happen. This happens rarely with the current industry’s actions.

“Just because the internet is liberating doesn’t make it a good business model for ‘making it’ as a band.”

We’re yet to hear a good reason why, other than it makes life difficult for unimaginative incumbent millionaires and middlemen. It also depends on your definition of “making it”. Before the major labels came along, making enough money from your music to feed your family was “making it”, not hoarding obscene fortunes. Maybe returning to an era where making a comfortable living from your talent was an acceptable goal isn’t such a bad thing?

Karl (profile) says:

Yay Stevie

I actually kind of agree with her about the “social graces” part, but you could easily say the same thing about TV. It’s also a bit ironic that this message is coming from her, as every jeans-jacketed, keg-swilling Fleetwood Mac fan I’ve ever met has all the “social graces” of a herd of buffalo.

Likewise, she’s correct when she says “if you don’t have a hit single, they’re gonna drop you.” But had been a problem for a long, LONG time before the internet came along. Like, since the 80’s. She’d already made it big by then, so I guess she’s out of touch with musicians who aren’t pop stars, which should surprise nobody.

It’s kind of useless to listen to people like her talk about the music business. I’ve briefly met one or two rock stars, and it’s astounding how little they actually know about the business that sustains them. That business is built to groom pop stars like her, which involves isolating them from anyone who isn’t an industry official or another pop star. It’s no wonder she can’t think straight.

Thank God that system is on the way out.

Kathy says:

Nicks comment

Nicks out of touch???? Ya right. Show some respect. What Stevie Nicks says is true in many ways. The music business has to be different now because the music is. I think one’s opinion is based on what kind of music they listen to. I have a feeling you don’t dig too many “Rock” bands. You know, where they actually play and sing without all the technolgy to over dub, or whatever you call it….voices, etc.
Stevie Nicks is a Rock Legend and if she says the Internet is destroying Rock….well then….it must be.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Nicks comment

I guess this is directed at me?

Nicks out of touch???? Ya right. Show some respect.

It’s not a matter of respect, it’s a matter of circumstance. When was the last time she listened to an unsigned band in a dive bar?

What Stevie Nicks says is true in many ways. The music business has to be different now because the music is.

Except she’s not saying the music business has to be different, she’s complaining that it is. She’s saying things are bad becuase the music business is different.

I think one’s opinion is based on what kind of music they listen to. I have a feeling you don’t dig too many “Rock” bands. You know, where they actually play and sing without all the technolgy to over dub, or whatever you call it….voices, etc.

I listen to plenty of rock music, though it’s mostly non-major-label stuff, so I doubt you’ve heard of any of it. The bit about “over dub” doesn’t make any sense – Fleetwood Mac overdubbed vocals on every album they made. Maybe you mean “auto-tune?” I don’t listen to that stuff.

Stevie Nicks is a Rock Legend and if she says the Internet is destroying Rock….well then….it must be.

Let’s switch one rock star for another, then maybe you’ll see where you went wrong:

“Bill Gates is a Computer Legend and if he says Linux is destroying Software….well then….it must be.”

Anonymous Coward says:

So sad to hear this. My wife and I spent $300 to see her a few years ago and now I can’t see me spending another penny on yet another artist that has no idea what they are talking about. The internet has helped and is currently a large tool in todays new bands. The RIAA is on its way out due to its own greed. I hope she would reconsider her stand or she will find that she will be standing alone.

Marcel de Jong (profile) says:

Could this be an attempt to harness the Streisand Effect? By screaming like a pig on how bad the internet is for their business, they get media attention, and maybe sell a few records/tickets?

Though, I don’t think it’s working.
It’s causing a Reverse Streisand Effect. By complaining about this in such a ignorant fashion, she shows her age and frankly her irrelevance to todays culture.

I, for one, will not be buying a ticket for a Stevie Nicks concert.

Dan Zee (profile) says:

Record companies are not your friend

Ah, yes, things were nice back in the ’70s when you were the biggest band in the world. Your record company spent $1 million in studio fees to have you record “Tusk” which immediately went into the cutout bins by the millions.

But you haven’t been paying attention. When the record companies consolidated down to just 4 major players, they CUT hundreds of rock bands, some of whom had hit records. They didn’t sell ENOUGH hit records to matter to the accountants who took over the music business.

They decided that rock wasn’t necessary and concentrated on hip-hop and r&b acts since that segment was selling the most CDs. Well, you don’t expand any business by contracting your field of interest. And that’s what the record industry did.

Rick Kepple (profile) says:

Stevie's financial stability

Okay, first she tried to enlist my assistance in this and I write on the Internet. I refused and she won’t talk to me anymore even after taking on her Internet stalker after he threatened Obama, but the guy crossed the line into national security issues. Reprise Records let that guy progress and publicist Liz Rosenberg “resigned” as a result. Secondly, the woman is a hypocrite! Concerts are announced on the Internet. The Nicksfix is on the Internet. Fleetwood Mac’s site is on the Web. Heck, she probably even gets direct deposit of her royalty checks courtesy of the Internet! That’s not even the start of it. Nicks apparently has connections with the Arizona Republic azcentral.com site because her parents met while working for that paper long ago and now offensive bloggers are being cut leaving only approved bloggers, according to some bloggers who are being cut. No doubt she had something to do with that because you can’t mention her name on azcentral.com without being attacked by a committee. I used to like that woman, but I’m a journalist and she crossed the line into censorship. She seeks only to retain her wealth and she doesn’t care one bit about the new artists. All she wants to do is leave a legacy as some old cokehead that suddenly cares. Folks, I’m also a disabled veteran and I know veterans who were at Walter Reed. One was given her phone number to call if he needed anything and the wounded hero called and Barbara Nicks (just call me Mom) said Stevie didn’t want to talk to him. The woman has a pattern of lying to her public. Sorry Stevie, but you crossed the line.

Rick Kepple (profile) says:

Clarifying the Stevie thing

I used to be a journalist and not all of my facts are straight yet, but I have had to learn a lot about Stevie Nicks. You see, the VA insisted that I go on VA for pain suffered in the military. It caused some amnesia and possibly hallucinations that seemed like real memories! Too much to go into here, but in the journey to find the truth of my own life, I’ve helped Stevie Nicks. I’ve also criticized her. Didn’t mean to focus on her, but for some reason … I don’t know. I just go by evidence is all I can do and the evidence says that while Stevie is benefitting from the Internet, she is also condemning it which makes no sense. I have found her to be a woman of honor. Everyone that knows her says she’s nice and sincere, so she probably means well. BTW, the morphine wasn’t needed in my case and that doctor has since resigned. I don’t the government ever expected me to go looking for Stevie Nicks which probably saved my life because I was messed up. So I got quite an education of Nicks in unraveling my own life to verify what memories were true and which weren’t.

Rick Kepple (profile) says:

An Internet music story

I took a teenager into a radio station today for an audition and I asked to see the program manager and walked right in, and I’ve worked with him before. Introduced the kid and said he might have something they’d play on the air. So the manager brought up the kid’s Myspace site and played a few songs and told him to bring in a professionally made product of the second song and they’d be more than happy to play it. Even recommended professional musicians to talk to for getting things done. So Sir Elton John says the Internet is bad for music. WRONG! Stevie Nicks says it’s bad for kids, but this teen hangs out with others while putting their original songs on the Internet and John Mellencamp said it’s the atomic bomb, but the only thing explosive was “Nick West” from a trailer park in Waynesville Missouri getting his song auditioned. He plays acoustic guitar, he’s from a broken home and the Internet is giving him his chance. The only thing John, Nicks and Mellencamp don’t like are their profits disappearing due to the competition making original songs. Maybe not better songs, but these kids are getting a chance in life! What are John, Nicks and Mellencamp doing? So far, all my work is free and I’ve helped a lot of people. What have they done?

Brian Rhodes says:

Rock, new rock, grudges, my generation, and Stevie Nicks needs to retire.

Letter to Stevie Nicks:

I used to be a big fan of Fleetwood Mac. When I was a kid in the 1970’s I remember picking “Hero’s Hard to Find” which is any irony about this article.

My friends had many different tastes in music. Some liked the Sex Pistols, to me there were all hype, not much music.

Others Bowie. He has his merits. He has sustained but I believe I’m right it’s because he continued to put out good albums. And he choose seminal players in his quest for success.

Readers of this commment may not know. Geddy Lee and Rush do not like Lou Reed’s music. They were never fans of his later work. The one and only Eric Clapton doesn’t like Later Zepplin. Neither did the Who. Pete Townsend can be seen on You Tube admitting that fact. In fact all of the slights and grudges and insults in our industry can easily found by googling it.

So when John Cougar, Stevie Nicks, and David Byrne go on their hate speak. Reader beware it is not to be helpful, or compassionate. Those qualities are not avaialable to human beings. You know that, I know that and so does Ms. Stevie Nicks.

Hug and hit compliments are bogus. Fact is that she should have retired 10 years ago. She is not pertinent in todays changing rock world. Neither are the remaining members of the Cars.

They’re last album “Move Like This” was garbadge. And the should retire.

So when a new songwriter, bless your heart, I was too when I was 16 years old. I am now about 35 years old. I would not go reading comments written by the cagey, somewhat older, not as wiser Ms. Stevie Nicks.

It remains a shroaded mystery about her careers demise in rock. Steve Nicks may lietarlly alive but her career is dead. RIP.

A younger, more pertinent alive rock musician. Who is not stuck in 1977.

Dead Careers
David Bryne RIP, John Cougar RIP Stevie Nicks RIP

Finally digital music does not affect your live concerts. He is a crafty old man, with no good in him. But like many old people he needs to move aside.

Brian Rhodes-Power Play-Lead Singer-Lead Guitarist

Robert Vanderliet says:

Stevie Nicks

Among other things, Ms. Nicks means the fading of social graces is a consequence of excessive use of the Internet, in general terms. Personal contact will lose ground when more and more people cave themselves in at their computers (yes, I do have one myself, but I do not feel the urge to always find myself in a virtual world; very rarely do I send e-mails; I prefer handwritten letters/messages). As Ms. Nicks states (quote): “When I have dinner with a friend, it bothers me if he/she has his/her cell phone lying on the table because of the FOMO syndrome. Give me one hour of your time” (or something along those lines, between which I can read), Ms. Nicks then requires. Granted, I came across this on the Internet, scouring it for profound perceptions from Ms. Nicks. As to the Internet destroying the music industry as a whole, I think Ms. Nicks is referring to Internet piracy. (In her audio commentary to go with the song ‘Talk To Me’-yes, I do watch YouTube myself, esp. Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks clips- Ms. Nicks says it is a commercial one. For me, its title takes a further meaning: talk to me, to anyone in the outside world, do not sit glued to your computer screen 24/7.

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