Why does Sir Elton want to kill the Net?

by Jason Gross

12 August 2007


Oh that cheeky, out-spoken Brit… after bashing fellow pop stars, Sir Elton John is now turning his wrath on the Internet, claiming that it’s destroying the music business, which pretty much tows the line of the RIAA and the major labels.  You could easily write off his Luddite musings as bluster but maybe there IS something to it…
Let’s pick apart some of his statements.

“I mean, get out there—communicate.”

Obviously he’s referring to face-to-face communication as Web 2.0 is full of communication, from social sites like MySpace to video sites like YouTube and so on.  Still, there is the element of selfishness where these are mainly ways to call attention to yourself rather than build communities.  Then there again, there’s political sites that do just that like Daily Kos.

“Let’s get out in the streets and march and protest instead of sitting at home and blogging.”

See above.  Also, I don’t remember Ol’ Elton penning too many protest songs (not that he a lyricist anyway).  When did he get bitten by the political bug anyway?

“In the early ‘70s there were at least ten albums released every week that were fantastic. Now you’re lucky to find ten albums a year of that quality.”

One big difference is that technology has leveled the playing field so that just about any band with a computer and bandwidth can get their name out there to some extent.  I don’t agree with him about there only being a handful of good albums out each year.  I think that’s a symbol of age and being a fogey where you endlessly repeat “I remember how good things were back in my day…!”

Also remember that this is the same guy who was involved in a multi-millionaire dollar lawsuit with his management and even afterwards claimed that he still didn’t read any of the contracts he signed.  I only bring that up to point out that as much as I love his old music and his recent prickly streak, sometimes he doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

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