John Mellencamp: The Internet Is An Atomic Bomb For Music

from the that-radioactivity-may-have-gone-to-your-brain dept

What is it with old, out of touch and just downright wrong music industry folks slamming things they just don't understand? Following U2 manager Paul McGuinness' recent rant, rocker John Mellencamp has announced that "the Internet is the most dangerous thing invented since the atomic bomb," and that "It's destroyed the music business. It's going to destroy the movie business." Funny. If it's the atomic bomb, it seems that living here in the nuclear winter is actually quite nice. After all, more new music is being released than ever before in history, more artists are making money from their music, and the overall industry (if you don't just look at direct music sales) appears to be continually growing.

That's a funny sort of "destroyed" industry, and a funny sort of atomic bomb. The music industry appears to be absolutely thriving. It's true that the selling music business may be having some trouble, but that's not the music industry. So why does the press simply take the obviously false claims of folks like John Mellencamp and repeat them? Aren't journalists supposed to point out when people say things that are false?

Either way, this isn't the first time Mellencamp has made this sorts of claims. Last year, he wrote an article about the mythical good old days of the music industry, where apparently his success came from the ground up -- as compared to today... when it's all top down. Of course, that made us scratch our heads, because Mellencamp was a major label artist, who benefited tremendously from major label (i.e., top down) promotions. And that was fine. Because there was no bottom up option in those days for most artists. Yet, today, we hear about totally independent artists building successful bottom up careers all the time. So, once again, it seems like Mellencamp has a view of the industry that might sound good from where he's sitting, but don't seem to reflect reality.

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  1. identicon
    Maxwell Smart, 18 Aug 2010 @ 10:57am

    Nude Bomb?

    It's more likely the internet is the "Get Smart" nude bomb, stripping down bare the lies, deceptions, corruption and manipulations of an industry grown fat and repungant by standing on the backs of musicians. A giant leech that was once needed for "bleeding the wounds", but which is now a repulsive, life-draining creature only interested in bleeding more and more artists dry.

    Whereas before, they were the only outlet to distribute your music, now there are many, many outlets... including direct sales from a band's own website... not to mention artists can now put their music DIRECTLY onto services like iTunes WITHOUT granting the lion's share to some big brother corporation.

    And sadly, only the old, senile leech addicts are proclaiming "The End is Near!"

    All of the new artists - especially ones who have not felt the sting of the leech's bite - who think that this wonderful "Nuclear Winter" is truly a paradise for their kind. No longer are they bound in shackles to the slavery of the almighty music beast. Now, they are free. Free to make whatever music they want. Free to sell it at whatever price they want. Free to reap the unadulterated rewards of their labor and creativity without the mammoth, bloated leech sucking their life away.

    The problem is, those to whom the warped, blood-gorged leech is already attached are having the leech suck away SO much of their profts, that the tiny amount of blood it leaves them is so pitiful, of course they feel starved. Of course they're going to feel like they need more.

    But, instead of looking an the huge monstrosity attached to them, they look around at the tools of the new generation and cry out in frustration.

    The true frustration is that they are so helplessly, hopelessly bound to that leech, that they can't even imagine a world without it.

    Truly... sad.

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