You can stop defending Bruce Lundvall. God, the testimonials flowing in exceed the plaudits at a retirement dinner.
And ain’t that just the point, retirement.
OF COURSE Bruce Lundvall has great ears and a legendary track record. But the point is, that’s no longer enough!
Hell, MITCH MILLER was king, with a TV show, never mind gargantuan album sales, when he single-handedly held back rock as head of A&R at Columbia Records.
Point is, society, culture, technology, are MOVING TARGETS! And if you slow up, if you let one go, you’re no longer taken seriously by those who provide your revenue, those you need to be in touch with to CONTINUE to rule.
There’s absolutely no excuse for Bruce Lundvall not to know what DRM is. Hell, he’s head of the company, isn’t he? Maybe if he sold his music sans DRM, it would sell MORE! Really, are A&R and technology skills mutually exclusive?
I’ll give you an example. At Microsoft they’re techies, but they’re design-challenged.
Steve Jobs knows tech AND design. So, not only does he make beautiful computers, he designs the iPod which revolutionizes music not only because of its looks, but its USABILITY!
If distribution is king, and believe me it is, because no matter how fucking great a record is if you can’t buy it, if no one can hear it, it won’t be a success, shouldn’t someone in the business of selling music be FULLY INFORMED ABOUT DISTRIBUTION?
And how fucking stupid is Bruce Lundvall to attend this meeting at Berklee if he’s not up on all the shit the kids are into. Isn’t this akin to execs telling me they don’t understand why kids would steal P2P when they can purchase CDs? I mean the CD is good enough for them!
So compliment Bruce Lundvall all you want. But know he’s a dinosaur. Because he just didn’t see the train coming, because he didn’t LOOK!
I mean you can’t read the newspaper? You can’t ask your grandkids? You CHOOSE to be ignorant? Isn’t this EXACTLY what’s holding the major labels back? But we’re supposed to give Bruce Lundvall a pass because he was successful in the PAST??
Like the future is gonna look like the past. Like there are going to be behemoth publicly owned corporations beholden to shareholders selling lowest common denominator crap when the tools of production AND distribution are in the hands of the CONSUMER!
Bruce Lundvall is used to cherry-picking from the morass and honing and marketing his proteges. Is this really the paradigm of the future? When the MORASS has ACCESS, DISTRIBUTION! Like figuring out how to get the public to hear your creation is SUDDENLY UNIMPORTANT??
Oh, if you want to play to television and terrestrial radio, the major label is your bet. But that’s just a sliver of the market, that’s network in a land of cable. If it’s not THIS kid eating your market share, it’s some high school dropout in a basement who’s a tech genius with a guitar-playing best friend, doing it first for the love, THEN for the money!
Of the plethora of e-mail coming in, NONE of it is from anybody under thirty. You see youngsters have got no fucking clue who Bruce Lundvall IS! And don’t care. NORAH JONES? THAT’S FOR THEIR PARENTS!
And how fucking good is Norah anyway. Shit, SHE’D say she’s not that great. She’s not Laura Nyro, never will be.
But Laura Nyro’s already been forgotten, with about as much chance of coming back as W.C. Fields.
So spin those old records, make yourself feel happy, but you’re on the wrong side of a generation gap as wide as the one that existed in the SIXTIES! But it’s worse now. Because all the kids are communicating, on the Web, via cell phones, via TEXT!
Remember when David Geffen was under thirty and ruled the record business? Irving Azoff too? Why the fuck do you think TODAY’S twentysomethings can’t do the same thing? Especially when they don’t have to kiss ANYBODY’S ass to get going.
Really, enough with the fucking respect. As if Mr. Lundvall ain’t rich enough already, as if his legacy isn’t about the work he’s produced
Yes, it IS about the music. And if this Berklee student doesn’t find a good act, he’ll be working at Daddy’s pharmacy.
Oh wait, there are no neighborhood pharmacies anymore. They were all rolled up by CVS, Walgreens and Rite-Aid or were BANKRUPTED BY THEM!
Why don’t we hold a testimonial dinner for the corner pill filler. Who gave us our overpriced medications with a smile. We can’t let that go.
Or maybe we should respect George Bush because he’s President.
This Bruce Lundvall blowback resembles nothing so much as the post 9/11 patriotic blowback. When Bill Maher lost his job for saying that terrorists who die in action are not cowards, when Ari Fleischer told the public they should watch what they say.
Yup, just roll over, protect institutions, follow your blind leaders. Then you wake up to the Iraq debacle, which you have to admit you were COMPLICIT IN!
Those young punks the Beatles, should they be excoriated for pushing Frank Sinatra off the charts? Hell, how can you fuck with the Chairman of the Board?
Well, the Beatles wrote their own material, and it RESONATED with listeners. God, that ushered in the whole rock era.
But NO, since there were greats in the past, we’ve got to stop the future!
The future is already happening.
And if you don’t question authority and your elders, if you don’t risk disrespect, then you’re part of the problem, not the solution.