I’ve always been better at writing with a bit of vitriol, so this letter is shorter than the next one will be, but I just wanted to say, before it’s too late, thank you. Thanks for making my music available to people. And not just any people, but people who would like it. You hired a crack team of music-analysts to figure out how to do that, and I reaped the benefits, by way of a few CD sales, and a few new fans.
You didn’t charge me every time you introduced me to someone new, you just did it. You introduced me to some great acts that I really liked too. You have the right idea, and maybe you were just ahead of your time. Hopefully the beast will die soon, and we can all get back to making music and promoting music that we love.
Thank you for your help, and I wish there was something I could do to help. You have my undying respect and support, and I hope you can weather this evil storm.
An Open Letter to the RIAA:
Congratulations. You’ve taken one more step in choking the industry that pays your bills. You are the proverbial Commodus, reveling in your power, not realizing that you, hand in hand with Clear Channel were the cause of the end of Pax Romana.
You’ll be the last one standing, you know, in your old graveyard of an industry. When you look around and see that despite all your efforts to “save” the music industry have totally destroyed it, I hope, nay wish, that I am in the room to see your bankruptcy papers signed, and celebrate by popping a bottle of the cheapest beer I can find, just to emphasize that your reign of Cognac and Cristal has come to a bitter and beautiful end.
You can continue to be “The Enforcer” behind all things overproduced and under-felt, sticking up for all the Kevin Federlines and 50 Cents of the world, clinging to the carcass of 1992 with all your disgusting might, but a change is coming, and has come. As one of the artists you claim to represent, I’d like to give a firm, resounding, “No Thanks.” I didn’t ask you to take any of the steps you’ve taken to try to kill my career in the name of “representing” me.
Pandora has been a tool of such great help that a value cannot be put on it. And your complete and total incapability to recognize anything that was not a source of income in your college professor’s “Industry” will kill you. It will kill you, and to that I say that the day of your death cannot come soon enough.
Even if you last for another 20 years, your relevance has been fading for quite some time. You’re dying even now, even as you celebrate your victory over another rebel website, another single mother, another college student, another evil 13-year old. You’re dying. And right under your nose, in the echoes of your death rattle, a new music industry is growing. An industry without a name, chaotic, beautiful, bordering on anarchic. You have no control over art, over music, over fandom. So you take your top-40 radio and have fun with Leona Lewis and the Jonas Brothers for as long as it lasts.
We the people will be creating our own system. We’ll be in tiny little bars and back porches and dirty basements, and eventually the mainstream will catch on, and turn their backs on you and your over-marketed bilge. (they are already turning their backs; if you would look up for one second, you would see a lot of back pockets that are already out of your reach)
And when they do, when the exodus is complete, and your stadiums are empty, and your radio stations abandoned, When your buildings are foreclosed upon, your castles in ruin, your moat filled with piss and spray paint, rancid and festering, I’d like to be among the first to say you will not be invited to have any part in this brave new world. When your world is in total ruin, I hope the music that we listen to, that reminds us of the beauty amidst the crap, the music that tells us something more than “dance dance dance”, the music that was forged in the fires of discontent and destruction, and speaks of hope to the heart of those in disarray…
…I hope you never get to hear one more note.
Not one note.
EDIT: I’ve been asked a few times already, in the last hour or so since this was posted, for permission to re-post it. By all means, I hope you do. I hope it gets re-posted until it reaches their very desks. All that I ask is that if you edit it, please notate your edits so that you are not putting more words in my mouth. I recently got an e-mail forward of a “quote” from Ben Stein that conveniently forgot to use quotation marks and caused him to look rather ridiculous, advocating the forwarding of e-mails.
So yes – re-post away, just don’t change it 🙂