Yeah, Well You Give Music a Bad Name

Warning: Rant ahead.

I have something to say. Oh, do I have something to say.

Let’s start with the background, a blurb from the entertainment section of my local newspaper.

Jon Bon Jovi has taken aim at Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, accusing him of “killing” the music industry with iTunes.

The rocker is saddened that children no longer enjoy the “magical” experience of buying records in a store because of the ease of downloading individual tracks onto an iPod.

And he lays the blame for the generational shift in music-buying at the feet of technology mogul Jobs.

Bon Jovi tells The Sunday Times Magazine, “Kids today have missed the whole experience of putting the headphones on, turning it up to 10, holding the jacket, closing their eyes and getting lost in an album; and the beauty of taking your allowance money and making a decision based on the jacket, not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it.

“God, it was a magical, magical time. I hate to sound like an old man now, but I am, and you mark my words, in a generation from now people are going to say: ‘What happened?’ Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business.”


Dear Mr. Bon Jovi –

In my best Dan Aykroyd Chase imitation, circa Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” in the ’70’s…

Jon, you ignorant slut.

Ok, so let’s say I’m on board with you recalling that “magical” time where one could buy an album and have NO idea, other than the photos on the jacket, what you were getting.

Let’s just agree that era was “good” for the sake of argument.

Might I just ask you if you remember something called a cassette tape? Well that sure took the shine off a vinyl album, now didn’t it?

Now…do you remember something called a cassette single?

They were pretty popular back in that crazy era called the nineteen eighties. Do you remember the eighties?

I think music buyers back then realized the value in buying only the songs they like and not having to suffer through an entire album of songs they don’t like.

Or more succinctly, having to pay for an entire album of songs they don’t like.

People might listen to MORE music if they get a chance to listen first and decide what suits their tastes.

Oh, and Jon, dearheart, perhaps all those years of bleaching your hair frizzled your brain….

Because do you remember Napster? Yeah? People were sampling single songs and downloading only what they wanted in the 1990’s…WAY before iTunes.

Do you remember that the music business was on the ropes back in the late 1990’s? The industry was talking about not making as many albums and not backing as many acts because they were not making enough money. The model, the one you wax rhapsodic about, didn’t work. That model, your ideas of “good” is what killed the music industry.

Do you know what singlehandedly saved the goddamn music industry?

Apple’s iTunes. Launched in January 2001.

By legitimizing what Napster was already doing and putting it into a reasonable for pay model, at least artists are getting SOMETHING for all those downloads of their music.

No, not good enough for you. You want me to suffer through some freaking navel gazing Bon Jovi “concept album.”

Oh Jon. I don’t think so.

Let me tell you a story. Back in the day, I took my hard earned money to a record store that used to be located on the corner of San Mateo and Menaul in Albuquerque.

That store was called Sound Warehouse, and I *loved* that record store. When I got my fresh new driver’s license at age 16, I’d drive myself there to spend my hard earned waitress wages on the music that would make me happy.

That year, everyone was chattering about this band called U2. They’d just released a very popular album called “The Joshua Tree.”

Yeah. I hemmed at hawed in the aisles of Sound Warehouse because I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy that album (on cassette tape). First of all, it was about three dollars more expensive than the other popular albums of the time.

But it was more than that…Something about it didn’t feel right. I looked at the cover, and it didn’t move me.

I talked to a store employee who assured me “yeah, it’s great.”

It would have been so AWESOME if I’d been able to sample a couple of the tunes and then I would have known….

…That I consider that album to be one of the most egregious and self-indulgent piles of crap that the music industry has ever produced.

I’m sure many U2 fans will think I’ve lost my mind, but I’m serious. I HATE THAT ALBUM and I’ve resented that I lost my money on that thing ever since.

I’m not sure how, dear, dear Jon, you can arrive at the conclusion that iTunes killed the music business.

Perhaps it just killed YOUR business because people have the chance listen to your drivel and realize is sucks long before dropping a single dime on an album.

I mean, who could forget such classics as:

“Shot through the heart/and you’re to blame/darlin’ you give love a bad name.”

Pure musical poetry there, bubba.

Now just go away, grandpa.

Story source.

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  • NewMexiKen

    Hey, watch it with the grandpa slander.

  • Karen Fayeth

    NMK – :)

  • Lucky

    Drivel? How dare you! I’ll have you know, I danced to Livin’ On a Prayer at my wedding.

    I’m shocked. Hurt. Offended. Crying. Sinking into depression. Possibly going on a bender. Maybe bleaching and teasing my hair in tribute. And tying on some scarves. And getting some high heeled boots. That will make me feel better.

  • Dirty Butter

    My fond memories of music go back farther than Bon Jovi. We used to go to the record store and take an album into a little glass booth and listen to the music on the record before we bought it! And, of course, we listened to a lot more than we bought. hehe

    So being able to sample music before buying has been around at least since the 50’s.

    I follow you on ExposeYourBlog.

  • Karen Fayeth

    Lucky – Wow, didn’t mean to shock and offend. Perhaps put on “Slippery When Wet” and put on the headphones and let Bon Jovi get you through the pain…..

    :) You rock!

  • Karen Fayeth

    Dirty Butter – Good point!

  • Aaron Lindsey

    Great rant!!! And I couldn’t agree with you more. MP3’s not only ‘saved’ the music industry (that was most certainly dying) but they are the most convenient invention since bread! Sliced or not!

  • Karen Fayeth

    Aaron – Thanks for stopping by! And thanks for backing me up! :)

    I looked at your Flickr page, amazing stuff!!

  • Alan

    Great post, Karen.

    I’m really split. I’m a spoiled man of the digital revolution. I don’t want to go back. But would you smack me in the back of the head if I said I think I get where Mr. JBJ is coming from?

    There *is* a magic that’s gone in the music buying experience. There’s a risk of buying an album sight unseen (erm, rather, sound unheard)and taking it home for the first listen.

    Back then, I’d give an album much more of a chance because I felt like it was an investment. And some of those albums that I HATED on the first, second and fifth listen became some of my all-time favorites.

    As long as we’re waxing sentimental, my mind goes back to my time in college in the mid-90s. I was working as a “runner” for an ad agency. When a new album was coming out from one of my favorite artists/bands, I would go to a music store, buy it, go grab a burger, fries and Coke at one of my favorite local places, and take all of the food and booty to one of the nearby parks. I’d stick the CD into my portable player, and just let the whole new album seep into my veins. Most of the songs were new aside from the new single that may or may not find its way to the local airwaves. I used to look forward to a “new album day” like a birthday or holiday.

    I’ve not really experienced that in a long time. But, again, I wouldn’t go back.

  • Karen Fayeth

    Alan – Thanks for your comment to my whoa so ranty post. You raise some really good points. I think that I, at a base level, actually do agree with Jon Bon Jovi too. I agree that the music experience has died, and what we get today just isn’t the same.

    But to blame Apple or Steve Jobs for that is preposterous. If he lamented how the music business has changed and become too corporate and homogenized, I’d probably blog those quotes and say nice things about Jon. But he came off sounding like an ass. And I got bitchy.

    Blaming Apple just makes him sound like a whiner.

  • Natalie

    I started my retail career in a “record” store in 1980. We actually had vinyl, 8 tracks, and that new-fangled thing called a cassette. I remember when we got the first CD’s-free Michael Jackson, Thriller, with purchase of Sony CD player.
    Prior to that I had big-ass headphones and a record player. First album I owned: soundtrack to Wizard of Oz (my parents wouldn’t let me get anything else); first *real* album was Beatles, Rubber Soul (my aunt gave it to me); first r&r lp I ever bought; Santana, Abraxas. I think I was like, I dunno, 10. I had a drum set (my poor suffering parents) and used to play along to that and a 45 of The Archies, Sugar-Sugar (ahhh… Honey-Honey…)
    What killed the music?

    Greed. No one wanted to buy “albums” anymore because they cost an arm and a leg.

    Napster was along well before itunes. I actually used WinMix ’cause I liked it better. Along comes itunes and, voila! Easy-peasy downloads for EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANTED. Latest purchases? Rhianna, S&M. Latest Eminem. I’ll admit to purchasing all of Jay Z’s stuff. Who woulda thunk?
    Jon Bon Jovi, while I love his/their music, is way off base. Mega concerts are a thing of the past and some fond memories but just not the same in today’s world.
    Who killed the music? The music business. Didn’t keep up with the times and the equipment and charged outrageous money.
    Glutonous greed.
    I was a dj for almost ten years and loved my vinyl. Still do…
    Sound Warehouse has been gone for years and true record stores are now just a memory. For almost ten years I answered the phone with, “Cheap Thrills; this is Natalie. How can I help you?” Hahaha! The company survived, somewhat, but is now more of a headshop/comics/posters/buttons/jewelry and, oh yeah, some music. San Luis Obispo, circa 1977…
    So, sorry Jon… it was your own industry that destroyed the music.

  • Karen Fayeth

    Nat – Ok, your comment is more logical, meaningful and well thought out than my post. Thank you for that! You hit the nail square on the head!

    So, really, to my readers….What she said!!! ^^^^

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