John Mellencamp: “Internet Most Dangerous Thing Since Atomic Bomb”

John Mellencamp: “Internet Most Dangerous Thing Since Atomic Bomb”

Aging rocker complains that it’s “destroyed the music business” and that it’s “going to destroy the movie business” someday. Also contends that rock ‘n’ roll will be gone in a “few generations” time much like what happened to big-band music of the 1930s and ’40s.

Rock ‘n’ roll musicians seem to be lining up these days to blame the Internet for having destroyed music in one way or the other. Rather than see it as a chance to reach people around the world and bypass greedy record labels in the process, they appear to prefer things the way they used to be before the world went online.

Fleetwood Mac singer Stevie Nicks declared in an interview the other day that the “Internet has destroyed rock” as well as children’s “social graces.”

“There are a lot of people out there as talented as we were, but they can’t sustain being in a rock ‘n’ roll band for long without success,” she says. “We were able to, but we’re going to die out.”

Aging rocker John Mellencamp is apparently on the “Internet has destroyed rock ‘n’ roll” bandwagon as well, saying recently that in a “few generations” time it will go the way of big-band music from the 1930s and ’40s.

After a few generations, it’s gone,” he said. “Rock ‘n’ roll — as important as we think it is, and as big as it was, and as much money as people made on it, and as proud as I am to say that I was part of it — at the end of the day, they’re gonna say: ‘Yeah, there was this band called the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones, and this guy named Bob Dylan…’

He thinks everybody else will be reduced to “footnotes,” and he’s “OK” with that.

Where it gets really interesting is where says the ” Internet is the most dangerous thing invented since the atomic bomb,” and that “it’s destroyed the music business. It’s going to destroy the movie business.”

The only thing it’s destroyed is the distribution side of the record business that served as the pillar of the physical distribution-centered business model.

In the UK total music industry revenues have rose 4.7% between 2007 and 2009, and were up some 2.3% last year. How can you suggest the music business has been “destroyed” when profits keep going up?

“Since 2000, the number of recordings produced has more than doubled,” reads a a Harvard Business School study from last year, proving that artists are creating new music like never before. Record labels are no longer the gatekeepers of music, giving artists greater creative control than ever before.

I wonder if Mellencamp also considered the VCR and DVD players atomic bombs as well.

Maybe he ought to talk with Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records, who from the very beginning if the Internet has seen it as an opportunity to be capitalized on.

Stay tuned.

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