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Elton John's Plan to Save Music: Shut Down the Internet

Elton John has some advice on how to deal with what he sees as a dearth of good music today: shut down the internet!

Eltonjohn"The internet has stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff. Instead they sit at home and make their own records, which is sometimes OK but it doesn’t bode well for long-term artistic vision. It’s just a means to an end. We’re talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that’s not going to happen with people blogging on the internet. I mean, get out there — communicate. Hopefully the next movement in music will tear down the internet. Let’s get out in the streets and march and protest instead of sitting at home and blogging. I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span. There’s too much technology available. I’m sure, as far as music goes, it would be much more interesting than it is today. In the early Seventies there were at least ten albums released every week that were fantastic. Now you’re lucky to find ten albums a year of that quality. And there are more albums released each week now than there were then."

Elton John has been sober for a while now but that's a pipe dream if I've ever heard one.

In related news, social networking sites are being seen in a new UK study as the reason for the shift of power in the music industry away from record labels, as illegal downloading has reportedly hit a new high.

Said John Enser, head of music at Olswang, a law firm specializing in intellectual property rights: "The music industry needs to embrace new opportunities being generated by the increasing popularity of music on social networking sites. Surfing these sites and discovering new music is widespread with the latest generation of online consumers but the process of actually purchasing the music needs to be made easier to encourage sales and develop this new market."

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  1. Feh, I wonder what Beethoven would have made of Elton John.

    Sir Elton is just biting the pop-culture hand that feeds him.

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 2, 2007 4:29:02 PM

  2. Interesting observation from a man who owns a website of his own.

    Posted by: peterparker | Aug 2, 2007 4:36:23 PM

  3. One could not give a more elegant proof of one's artistic irrelevance. Glitter on, bitch, glitter on...

    Posted by: Princess Superstar | Aug 2, 2007 4:37:26 PM

  4. OK... the old queen needs to STFU and get real. If anything, the Internet has contributed to an explosion of indie music. I can't even begin to tell you how many bands I have found that I would never have otherwise known anything about.

    Elton should stick to what he does best and keep his Luddite-like comments to himself.

    Posted by: Jonathon | Aug 2, 2007 4:45:30 PM

  5. He's too old to make sense out of the internets anyway.

    Posted by: DJSauvage | Aug 2, 2007 4:46:45 PM

  6. Oh, and speaking of purchasing music online, be sure and check out www.legalsounds.com. I have been using them for several months now and am quite pleased with the selection and you can't beat the price: ~$0.09 per track! You can download an entire CD for about $1.00!!

    Posted by: Jonathon | Aug 2, 2007 4:47:03 PM


    Posted by: monkey | Aug 2, 2007 4:54:52 PM

  8. since he's 100, i guess i forgive him for being completely out of touch, but the truth is that the online world has revolutionized music by taking the power out of the hands of record companies and taste devoid a&r drones, and allowing musicians to package, promote and sell their own music in a diy fashion. this has actually produced more interesting music in the past decade that at any time in recent memory, at least for those people who no longer expect it to come from mainstream sources like radio and record companies. thatnk god for this because otherwise we'd all be forced to listen to the kind of unlistenable crap elton john has been producing for the past 20+ years.

    Posted by: dan | Aug 2, 2007 4:59:07 PM

  9. He's got a valid point. People need to get out and be with each other.

    However, shutting down the Internet seems a dumb way of doing that.

    Posted by: Marc | Aug 2, 2007 5:09:05 PM

  10. Good God. I was waiting for him to talk about how in his day, he had to walk five miles to school through the snow and uphill both ways. It's hard to imagine how out of touch with people under a million he is. MySpace is spreading music right and left, and just as a fag, I couldn't have had as good a gay life at as young an age as I did without the internet. When I was 14, I got my first AOL connection and began chatting with other gays who had happy lives far away from my home town, and it gave me hope.

    Plus, I met my husband of four years on gay.com.

    I think it's time to put Sir Elton in a home.

    Posted by: Gitai | Aug 2, 2007 5:21:03 PM

  11. I'd think we'd be better off shutting down TV for five years.

    Posted by: anon (gmail.com) | Aug 2, 2007 5:28:38 PM

  12. If Elton wants everyone to get out and be with each other then he'll need to advocate shutting down not only the internet but television and videogames as well. Good luck with that.

    Irrelevant, has-been artists should just learn to keep their pie holes shut.

    Posted by: Bxstrb | Aug 2, 2007 5:37:01 PM

  13. Blah, blah, blah....and your 'cocaine years' albums weren't examples great art, either.

    That's all; I'm off to surf the internets.

    Posted by: Zinc Alloy | Aug 2, 2007 5:47:05 PM

  14. Elton John is not even funny anymore, just boring. He had a song years ago called "Ego". I think he needs to write a new one called "Ego Unchecked" because his huge sense of self worth is so out of control it's amazing.

    Posted by: fat gay piglet | Aug 2, 2007 5:47:11 PM

  15. This from a guy who has put out absolute drek for the last 30+ years! He's also had how many hit albums in that time? Or singles? Outside of the treakly "Candle in the Wind", it's hard to think of anything enduring he's done in ages. maybe if he used the internet for something other than hiring rentboys, he'd realize that music moved there from corporate radio where almost nothing new or outside the pop mainstream gets airplay.

    Posted by: Rich | Aug 2, 2007 5:47:38 PM

  16. Any other great ideas Elton? As far as people getting out and about, he's spot on. It is really a matter of inventing a new type of venue that does not attract the druggies in mass. Ever notice how many people post on message boards and personals that they are bored, looking for friends, even someone to go to the movies? Also notice how many great looking guys are home alone on weekend nights? They are seeking activity partners outside "the scene (bars)." Intelligent people who are focused on working out, getting ahead in life and not succuming to the vices easily available in bars including second hand smoke, are avoiding them like the plague. As a former gay bar owner, I watched this trend evolve from the late 90's. The super hot guys slowly drifted away until my customer base consisted mostly of wild, loose and drugged out guys. We couldn't evict the drug dealers fast enough. Totally disgusted and realizing the excess liability that insurance would never cover, I sold out.

    Posted by: Johnny Lane | Aug 2, 2007 5:56:26 PM

  17. ...damn...pile on bitches...pile on...!

    Posted by: yeahisaidit | Aug 2, 2007 6:00:07 PM

  18. Stop taking Elton's comments here so literally! The guy is making sense, because he's just pointing out how the internet has influenced music. Everyone knows most music out there today sucks. Sure, there's always going to be music that sucks, but these days it's flooding the charts. Music is a lost art. The internet and technology has made everyone a music producer with the means to do whatever they want and do it fast.

    So the internet isn't going to be shut down for five years, but Elton's point is to get off of it and start doing creative stuff. Creativity doesn't just happen because someone has the technology for it.

    There's almost no inspiration behind today's music, and that's what Elton is talking about. Get off the internet and get in touch with the kind of inspiration that creates great art and great music. That's not happening.

    Posted by: Shawn | Aug 2, 2007 6:00:34 PM

  19. It's just sad what a mess he became. But I guess he's lucky it took this long for him to become a caricature of himself. Unlike poor Britney. At some point very soon I think she's going to be a mirror of Elton. You can almost see it even now.

    Posted by: JR | Aug 2, 2007 6:01:00 PM

  20. Well, it looks like we've found our easy target for the week. Meow!

    Posted by: Frank L | Aug 2, 2007 6:14:52 PM

  21. CRANKY. OLD. QUEEN. That's what comes from giving Eminem a bloww job.

    Posted by: rudy | Aug 2, 2007 6:52:02 PM

  22. How many of the folks who took the time to compose a bitchy comment in response to this article will sleep alone tonight?

    Posted by: Elton | Aug 2, 2007 6:54:00 PM

  23. This is interesting, as I was just at a helluvva concert Tuesday night in Portland with Rufus Wainwright, A Fine Frenzy, and Sean Lennon. Lennon, who did the most mediocre set, actually said from the stage "Who buys music anymore? No one. Fuck it." Nice way to talk, little man with daddy's royalties in your back pocket. The internet has been a boon to many, many grass-roots artists, but what about folks like Rufus or the kick-ass Fine Frenzy, when concertgoers very jadedly go, "Oh, I'm not going to buy the CD, I'll just burn a copy off the net." That's not hurting the labels or the parasites at the music labels, it's hurting the artists. So I think Elton's overstating and melodramatizing things, but he does have a point.

    Posted by: Dean | Aug 2, 2007 7:00:15 PM

  24. Shawn, I could not have said it better.
    Thank you.

    Posted by: Stephen | Aug 2, 2007 7:19:50 PM

  25. Interesting how all the puppies so quick to snarl and bite anyone who even hypothetically threatens their bowl of gruel overlooked entirely his, "Let’s get out in the streets and march and protest instead of sitting at home and blogging." Ooops, sorry I forgot. This is the "virtual reality" generation. And actually doing anything about all the things they bitch about, like getting up off their asses, is unimaginable to them; thereby making the Human Rights Champagne fund the perfect-fit Kool Aid factory. The corporeal is merely a convenient delivery mechanism for vodka and Red Bull, Tina [except for the "super hot guys" who we now learn never do drugs], and blow jobs, as well as a port for ear buds. Trust me: 30 years from now Steve Jobs will be marketing an iColostomy Bag.

    Posted by: Leland | Aug 2, 2007 7:31:14 PM

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