Dead Men Left

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Apple launches iTunes music store in UK. Cue predictions of imminent death of the album, collapse of CD market, transformation of music as we know it etc etc - just like they did with Napster, if people can remember those far-off days. Frankly, as with so much else in life, Iggy Pop had the most sensible thing to say about the music industry and its solution:

If I could join a real musician's union - like a coal miners' union for musicians with the power to guarantee me the right to put my fingers on a guitar eight hours a day, no matter how good or bad I was as long as I tried my best - and if they would give me, say, $250 a week (is that a reasonable sum?), I would be happy to sing and play for the entire world on command. You know, I would almost rather do that than be in the capitalistic music industry today.

Being in the capitalistic music industry I've learned one thing. You are either on the bottom or you are on the top. Yo're either scrounging around for scraps or you're on top as a popular toy - Ken and Barbie syndrome - and being made a fool of, a laughing stock. You are either them or you are... sorry.

Now if the socio-economic system in America was organised in such a way that I could be guaranteed work - as long as I was willing to work to the best of my ability, six days a week, five nights a week, and Sundays for overtime, as a Socialist musician at a given wage - I'd do it.

(Iggy Pop with Anne Wehrer, I Need More: the Stooges and other stories, New York: 1982, p. 107)