Saturday, February 9, 2008

Axl at the Grammys

The 2008 Grammy Awards.

It’s obvious to anyone paying attention that the entertainment industry is experiencing a major shakeup. The writers' strike. Record industry layoffs. The end of the CD. Tower Records shutting down. Artists refusing to work for free. Three months without writers. Fans refusing to shell out money for music they can get for free. ISPs, government, refusing to police the internet. Music lovers rejecting iTunes' incompatibility without other players. Bands and record companies bringing lawsuits against the fans?

Career suicide?

Don't bite the hands that feed you.

Now the rumor mill tells us that Chinese Democracy is finished but Universal Music Group and Axl Rose cannot agree on a marketing budget. Is this the Hail Mary pass that’s going to save music? Or proof that the old business model has no relevance in the 21st century?

But wait; is there a light at the end of the tunnel?

Michael Eisner says the strike is over and that the handshake will take place today.

This means that the Academy Awards will go on after all.

U2 manager Paul McGuinness has outlined several plans where ISPs can help to effectively end piracy.

Amy (Wino) Winehouse brings real danger back to Rock N' Roll.

The writers have already agreed to go to work for Sunday night's Grammy Award Show where Winehouse (who was denied a visa by Uncle Sam) will perform via satellite.

There is only one piece of the puzzle left.

Mr. W. Axl Rose.

We will all hear allot of talk on Sunday night about intellectual property, piracy, and the artists' right to be compensated fairly for their creativity. Something this writer agrees with 100%.

But amidst all the talk, don't forget that there was a time when Rock ruled and people stood in line at midnight to buy CDs and concert tickets.

The record companies have been selling CDs, not music.

CDs are an inferior product. Inferior to Vinyl in the same way that MP3s are inferior to CDs.

How could Sony Music not expect a backlash when they sell CDRs for 33 cents apiece and pre-recorded CDs (with their microscopic album art and liner notes, and highly questionable longevity - ever get one scratch on Vinyl that ruins the entire record?) for 16 bucks a pop?

Music history tells us that Sgt. Pepper (1967) was the beginning of the album as an art form. It seems as if 2007 signaled the demise.

30 years.

Will Chinese Democracy be the last gasp or the signal of something new?

Only Mr. Rose knows for sure.

See you at the Grammys.


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