He's Gonna Get a Case of Wine…


Via Jeremylott.net comes this BBC interview with Sir (Dame?) Mick Jagger, musing on Internets piracy and all that:

I am quite relaxed about it [the tubes and downloading on the downlow]. But, you know, it is a massive change and it does alter the fact that people don't make as much money out of records.

But I have a take on that—people only made money out of records for a very, very small time. When The Rolling Stones started out, we didn't make any money out of records because record companies wouldn't pay you! They didn't pay anyone!

Then, there was a small period from 1970 to 1997, where people did get paid, and they got paid very handsomely and everyone made money. But now that period has gone.

So if you look at the history of recorded music from 1900 to now, there was a 25 year period where artists did very well, but the rest of the time they didn't.

More here.

NEXT: Stossel on the First Amendment Tonight

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  1. I can’t make sense out of that Jagger comment – but he gets my respect for ‘Let It Bleed’ – the height of all rock albums.

  2. He’s just saying he doesn’t give a sh*t about piracy and most artists shouldn’t. Live performances are where the money has always been.

    1. That’s not quite what I get from that quote… Mick Jagger doesn’t give a shit because he got his during those 25 years. But artists who think they have a chance to get into a position where they could have gotten theirs if things were still like they were back then probably ought to give a shit. There’s less of a brass ring to reach for these days.

      On the other hand, you’re right in that it was always something of a lottery system. Whether or not music consumers should give a shit is a question of what effect they think the brass ring being harder to reach will have on them. Very personal, and very hard to predict even given the person.

    2. “”Live performances are where the money has always been.”””

      How do you figure? It has almost always been a loss for opening acts. Sure when you are the headliner and can sell out the Beacon Theater or MSG you’re making some money.

      I know people touring the world and the only dime they’ve made was from merch sales. They can barely pay fuel costs.

      1. Solution: Don’t be an opening act.

        1. Uh, yeah. Because everyone can start at the top.


    1. Tell it to your shrink. After you make enough money off pirated music to pay for therapy, that is.

  4. Linked from that BBC page was the following article where I learned that in the UK you can go to jail for six months for selling booze to underage people!


    To paraphrase David Lynch, “Total Fucking Bullshit!”

    1. In Texas you can go to jail for up to a year:


  5. Mick Jagger is relaxed about the tubes. Good enough for me.

    1. I was relaxed with his tube too. It was great for me. Jerry, not so much.

  6. Then, there was a small period from 1970 to 1997, where people did get paid, and they got paid very handsomely and everyone made money.

    It lasted until 2003 for “cult” types. Napster was only huge with college kids, most of whom are classic rock and “jam band” meatheads, so it didn’t hurt people who weren’t really famous.

    Google got us. When they bought Blogger, it was over.

  7. I’ve thought about this a lot, as someone who was big into goin’ to the show when I was a kid–it was all about the shows. And when it became about the recordings, things got lame.

    Most of the interesting things that were happening in underground music had already pretty much been done by the end of the eighties–it’s just that if you weren’t goin’ to the show, you didn’t hear it on the radio until the ’90s.

    What did Prodigy do that Lords of Acid hadn’t already done by ’88 or so?


    Radio changed the equation too, I’m sure. Elvis Costello was cursing the gatekeepers for deciding which records would sell, but he had control of the performance–and that’s what got him over.

    I’m afraid the live show is becoming as anachronistic as people making making music for selling the recordings though–and there’s the rub. Yeah, when people make music to sell records, it makes for a certain kind of music, so what happens when it’s made to be played over the internet?

    If there’s no scene to go to–no live audience–you can forget about them making their money at the show, Mick.

    1. What did Prodigy do that Lords of Acid hadn’t already done by ’88 or so?

      Yeah, they were both sucked pretty hard.

      1. They made music back then that was to be enjoyed…um…live. If you weren’t at the show… What? You’re gonna judge that by the recording too? Why not judge it by their posters–that might make more sense.

        Regardless, if records were originally commercials for the live show, and the radio was essentially commercials for the record, but it can all revert back to a model built on live performance again, then what happens when the audience for live shows dries up…?

        …which seems to either be happening or has already happened.

        I’m sure music will change, and I’ll talk about the way it used to be at Fender’s and the Olympic like a geyser…

        But music did change when it was made for listening to on a record player, and it’ll change when it’s made to be watched on a computer–and the Rolling Stones or anybody else pretending that live music won’t suck as the audience for it declines is just kidding themselves.

        1. Seriously dude I don’t know where you’re coming from with this “live music will die” thing. There’s a healthy concert going scene among the “youth.”

        2. I’m afraid the live show is becoming as anachronistic as people making making music for selling the recordings though

          I don’t quite understand what you are trying say, but I think I disagree.

          First of all, “manufactured” music is as old as the recording industry itself; specifically the bubble gum acts of the late fifties early sixties are the same model that they use for the Britney Spears and Hanna Montana acts of today – sell mass produced pablum at a profit w/o respect to ‘art’

          I don’t see the live show as becoming anarchronistic, just the opposite – I see it returning to its central place in music history. Yes the new acts geared toward the yutes today start their sets after your and my bedtime, but we ain’t 23 anymore. 🙂

          1. Or what dbcooper said more succinctly.

            1. Though less eloquently and deeply.

          2. I still wander into a show or two. And I might be older, but I’m not out of it.

            Watch for the interwebs to continue to do to the gig what the “talkie” did to Vaudeville. …no matter what Mick Jagger says.

            1. The talkie did what to vaudeville? Rock shows are a derivation of vaudeville! The Rolling Stones could aptly be described as a minstrel show without the blackface.

              Vaudeville is still alive and well. It just isn’t called vaudeville anymore.

              1. Vaudeville sucked.

                Vaudeville played the same acts and the same venues so many times…people used to talk along with the people on the stage, because the dialogue was always the same, the music was always the same…it tied because it was so old, repetitive and tired…

                You’re right–it was just like the Stones.

    2. Please don’t turn this into a music snob thread.

      1. Too late.

      2. Acid Damage, where art though?

        1. OK, I seem to be retarded this evening; maybe I should stop working so much.

          “Where art thou”

    3. House music was so friggin’ awesome. It was about 100x better than the Nickelodeon tweenpop that is popular now.

      GenX might be the only generation who can legitimately complain that music today is too slow and sappy.

      1. It wasn’t just the music–it was the show. …at least that’s the way it was for me.

        But I think you’re right that there was something generational going on there.

        There was something about being tuned in during the eighties, when being connected to what they used to call underground really meant something.

        There isn’t really an underground anymore. I mean, there’s stuff that’s exclusive, but there’s very little out there that’s isn’t accessible to anyone with an internet connection anymore.

        There used to be this thing, where you could go somewhere and see some of the same people in the crowd all the time, and you knew that this wasn’t going on anywhere else. That no one knew about it but you and your friends, and that was awesome…

        There’s very little that’s like that anymore. I mean, dhex could tell you about it–but not unless you’re worthy.

        1. Music was way better in [insert the decade of declarant’s highschool and/or college attendance].

    4. I got turned off from shows when at large rock concerts they not only banned smoking, but actually tried to enforce the ban. Even pot smoking. What the fuck kind of rock concert is that?

  8. I had respect for this website until they censored the comments on the Draw MuhHommad post. Taking a stance on free speech and expression and then repealing the venue to do so when it gets ugly is very timid. Although I did not agree with all the comments, it counters your own argument by disabling them.

    1. I’m glad someone else noticed this.

      Of course, now I’m curious as to what the comments were since I didn’t get to them before they were dumped.

      1. There were never comments. The cowards didn’t even want a sniff of free dialogue about their grand standing.

        1. Wrong. There was a thread approaching 1000 comments on the original Mohammed post.

          It’s pretty obvious that the reason admins deleted the comments because they did not want to read all of them and they were causing too much strain on the servers. If they didn’t want people insulting Mohammed, they would have shut down the thread at the first insulting comment, but they didn’t.

          1. I guess you people didn’t notice that the contest result page is served by Akamai, not reason.com. My guess is that they put the results on a static page to handle load problems. A static page can’t handle dynamic comments.

            Your conspiracy theories about it make you sound like Truthers.

      2. You didnt miss anything.

  9. I’ve done it, I’ve downloaded music gratis. Why? I don’t know. I had some of it on CD, some on tape. I have an extensive collection now. I delete stuff that I don’t like. I’ve also paid for music on iTunes.
    I don’t buy CDs anymore. I still get junk mail from Columbia House.
    Now what I want to know is how are they still in business?

    1. Oh god, Columbia House sucked. When I was a kid, my grandmother decided to surprise me by signing up for it and keeping the Pavarotti & Charlotte Church for herself, and letting me keep the rest. The choices were so dismal, I ended up throwing a Celine Dion on the list, thinking Grams would like it. Even her taste wasn’t that bad & we cancelled the subscription soon after. The 90’s were a dark, confusing time.

      1. Let’s make some libertarian babies.

      2. I love you Dagny T.

  10. “Community”. Fuck yes. THAT is the way you close a season. Major props to the writers.
    I’m lookin’ at you, Lost-writer bitches…

    1. I’m also two bottles into VQA Pelee Island wine.

    2. Am I the only person who never watched an episode of Lost?

      1. And come the revolution, you’re the first against the wall.

      2. No. I never watched an episode of Survivor, either, and the only time I saw “Idol” was over in Britain (where it’s called “Pop Idol”) while I was visiting someone else, and didn’t really have a choice.

      3. I never made it through a whole episode.

      4. No, you are not alone. And it is even on the one channel of commercial TV I get.

      5. You are not alone. Not only have I never seen one single second of that show, I’m not losing one single second of sleep over that fact.

        I also have not seen one second of 24. Or pretty much any other of the “big hit” shows.

  11. Shorter Mick: Time was on my side.

    1. + (Billboard Number) 1

  12. Parks and Rec, too? Ok. Maybe this is easier than I thought.

    1. Quote of the night from Ron, the Dept Head on Parks and Recreation: “I am an official member of a task force dedicated to slashing the City budget. Just saying that gives me a semi.”

      He’s my libertarian hero. Except for that part where he works for a municipality.

  13. Hey Jagg-off … er, Jagger!
    I downloaded every single Rolling Stones song every recorded off a torrent.
    For FREE, you fuckin’ dick-stain who has gotten plenty of money from me over the years.
    You can’t always stop me from fucking you. But if you try sometime, you just might find, you can fuck yourself.

    1. I’m sure Mick take a break from burning $100 bills to be offended at your statement, Jaime.

  14. Sir Mick isnt the first person to figure this out.

    In the mid-late 90s (before the ipod… and Napster even) there were a lot of ‘open house’ debates about the future of music… people like Michael (?) Kuhn (big time music licensing lawer, general council to Polygram), Scott Dinsdale (CTO BMG, then Sony), and others more strictly from the tech world would get together and brainstorm about how people were going to make money with the possibility of limitless digital reproduction. Some of the more skeptical in the crowd made the same point Mick did, which is that the high-profitability era of music was a relatively short lived phenomena anyway, and that nothing fundamental was really changing. Others (the more starry eyed) countered that part of the high profit era was also about control of distribution and limiting access and competition. They argued the ‘long tail’ thesis…where although everyone is making less, many many more people are/could be making *something*. I think so far the optimists are winning the argument, frankly. Meaning, I think net-net (no pun) the intertubes has been a good thing for the music industry. Free digital downloading is not a fundamental problem (despite what the RIAA has to say about it), and has not stopped Apple from kicking the moribund record companies in the groin and taking market share away from them while they dithered. If they (the record co.) had acknowledged reality sooner, they could have reinvented the entire industry and made billions…but in many ways they had their hands tied by partners like in retail and in marketing/promotion. They didnt want to give up the vertical supply chain, and they all wanted proprietary formats and players and different levels of licensing fees, etc. (remember liquid audio? MusicMatch? ATRAC3? Audible1-4?) They lawyered their way into irrelevance. The story of how so many big companies screwed the pooch on digital music would actually make a fairly interesting book. Its true creative destruction in action… also a case study in how different people see either problems or opportunities in changes, either technological or cultural. Anyhoos.

    1. Blah blah blah blah. I’m not reading that whole fucking thing over my martini.
      Make your point and get on with it, Fuckmore.

      1. What kind of vermouth you mixin’ that with, JP?

        1. When you mix coke into your martini, you tend to kind of freak out a bit.

      2. JazzPiano (Jamie Kelly)|5.20.10 @ 9:15PM|#

        Make your point and get on with it, Fuckmore.

        Ok = “Record companies are really fucking stupid.”


    2. They should have gotten ahead of Napster and had an Itunes like service years before they did. As Itunes proves, people will pay to download music. But it has to be cheap and reliable. But even Itunes with its bullshit digital rights management is starting to lose out. I would rather steal it than have I tunes tell me what device I can use it on. Most people don’t want to steal it. It is a pain in the ass. You risk getting a virus. But, if they are so wedded to their bullshit theft business model, they will make stealing attractive.

      1. I download from Amazon. Since I can burn CDs to play in my truck, I can deal with that.

        And I generally believe in IP. However, the RIAA and the music industry have been such a cluster-fuck both through their business models and through their dumbass PR moves (e.g., charging some single mother $200,000 in fines), that it’s small wonder people are happy to rip off music.

      2. Most people don’t want to steal it. It is a pain in the ass. You risk getting a virus.

        Reputable torrent trackers are your friend.

        1. That and ESET and you’ll be fine.

      3. Itunes dropped DRM a long time ago, or at least made it possible to convert songs so you could burn them how you choose.

  15. While attending a party one evening, Mick Jagger was introduced to jazz singer George Melly.

    “I didn’t expect you to have so many wrinkles,” said Melly.

    “They’re not wrinkles,” Mick declared. “They’re laughter lines.”

    “Really?” Melly replied. “Surely nothing could be that funny!”

    And Their Satanic Majesties Request is a fun album.

    1. I saw them on their last tour. They are still a great band. Keith Richards is a great band leader. Listen to Shine a Light (live in 07) and then listen to Get your Yas Yas Out (live in 69). Get Your Yas Yas Out is better. But not by much. And in some ways Shine a light is better. The quality of the muscianship is better. The band is much tighter and less lose, which is both a good and a bad thing depending on your tastes.

      1. I saw the movie Shine a Light. It was pretty good.

        “”The band is much tighter and less lose, which is both a good and a bad thing depending on your tastes.””

        And substance consumption.

  16. “You can transfer Holly back from Nashua.”
    Yeah. I’m NBC’s bitch.

    1. I have never watched Parks and Rec. But I saw the begining of the episode tonight and it had one good line. They were at some community meeting about the decision to close something down and a woman said

      “School ends in two weeks. What am I supposed to do with my kids? Keep them in my house? Where I live?”

      It was a good line.

      1. Yeah. P&R sucked hard at first, but then climbed an amazing learning curve and became one of the best comedies on TV. But I’ve heard it’s in fourth place in its time slot.

  17. And 30 Rock sucks hard, as usual.

  18. It’s what I do everyday. Not hit birds.

  19. Soon you will know the awesome that is spotify.

  20. That doorman is hammered

  21. Nice, I could go for a case of wine! Yumy


  22. Band of Horses on the Letterman show tonight. Now that will be some fine music.

    1. They went from having an interesting aesthetic to being just another indie band. I haven’t heard the third album, I’m hoping its better than the last.

  23. Band of Horses on the Letterman show tonight. Now that will be some fine music.

    1. stupid server monkeys

      1. Must be a newbie… Reason uses server squirrels not monkeys.

    2. so here’s their new single, live on Q


      1. Insert TNG joke.

    3. Band of Horses is for pussies.

      1. I always preferred; “Band of pussies is for horses”.

        1. Or, horse pussies are for bands?

      2. What a coincidence! My cock is made for pussies too.

  24. people only made money out of records for a very, very small time.

    When (wholly nonmusical) I say this, people look askance. Now, I’m vindicated.

  25. I love the Stones. . .Fred and Wilma.

    Okay, I stole that from Steven Wright. And I do love the Stones, though I never have seen them live. The Rolling Stones, that is. I think Wilma and Fred are dead.

  26. Yes, they are. It was terrible, they died in freak gravel pit accident. After the funeral, I became a rock smoking whore. But I’m better now.

  27. “”The Rolling Stones started out, we didn’t make any money out of records because record companies wouldn’t pay you!””

    Maybe he didn’t understand the part where the label was loaning them money and then recouping.

    1. Yeah but the record companies were thieves back then. Serious thieves. They sold a record for a dollar and gave the artist a penny a record. And they recouped the production costs with interest.

      1. Or, they just flat-out lied about the number of records sold. Frank Zappa found out that MGM-Verve was secretly selling records to distributors out of the back door of the pressing plant, which were never accounted for on his royalty statements.

        Essentially, the record companies went from being petty thieves in the ’60s to a much higher class of criminals in the ’70s and ’80s.

        1. They had to support their cocaine habits somehow.

          A great book on the music industry is Hit Men.

          As someone said, it’s the safe way to see that side of the music business.

      2. Well if they give you a loan they are going to charge you interest. Get a loan from the mob and see much you pay. That who was in charge. They loaned you $100,000 and after paying on it for 5 years, you still owe $500,000

        They would throw very expensive parties for you, but the not so funny joke is that you are paying for it. Labels spent money like it wasn’t theirs, bascially because it was yours. They would buy a house for you to live in, with your money, yet the deed was their’s and they would toss you out down the road.

        I’m not defending labels, but the more money they could rip you off, the more they would promote you, the more promotion the greater the odds of doing well, albeit while being ripped off.

        But, is it wrong for the labels to make a dollar and give you a penny but ok for a bootlegger to make a dollar and give you nothing? Or just hand you record free to everyone so you can’t make money to repay the cost of the recording?

    2. I think its generally known that their accounting was highly suspect in the 1960s, downright criminal in the 1970s, and at least able to be audited thereafter.

      1. True. Many big companies accounting is suspect. That hasn’t changed.

  28. Did I miss a post about Mick Jagger’s call this week to legalize drugs on the Isle of Man? If I didn’t, then check it out.

    I won’t link to it because your filter thinks I’m spam when I try that kind of thing.

  29. I was watching a DVD of old Dick Cavett shows with the wife last week. During his interview with David Bowie, he mentioned Mick studied economics before kicking off his music career:


  30. Who is the Elvis/John Lennon/Michael Jackson/Kurt Cobain figure of the 2000’s?

  31. The next dead superstar?

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