Prince Declares the Internet “Over”

Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Posted in category Just Stuff

I bet his publicists/managers are lying awake at night over this one.

“The Internet is completely over,” Prince told the Mirror. “I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won’t pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can’t get it.” He added: “The Internet’s like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated.”

Prince is not a fan of digital devices, either. “All these computers and digital gadgets are no good,” he said. “They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.

Computers and digital gadgets “fill your head with numbers?” Definition please? Certainly, he’s used no technology in producing all of his music over the years? Or is that …… somehow different?

Comparing MTV to the Internet is like comparing spinner rims to the invention of the internal combustion engine. For the record, in spite of the guy’s weirdity, I have forever loved his music, and I think he has been one of the most ingenious pop musicians ever. But I will never buy this idiot’s music again – not that he makes much good music anymore that I need to worry about abstaining from something I covet.

He is also shutting down his website – surely that’s good for business in the Internet age! The guy is in outer space, and he is so good at destroying any possibility he may have of resurrecting his dead career.

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8 Responses to Prince Declares the Internet “Over”

  1. liberranter says:

    July 7th, 2010 at 2:17 am

    Prince is just another washed up, has-been artist who recklessly abandoned his fan base once he decided that he was too successful to need it any longer. Having realized that cutting off the hand that fed him was a bad idea and that royalty money doesn’t sustain retirement for as long as he thought it would, he’s desperately trying to resuscitate his moribund career and is now lashing out at his erstwhile fan base because it has lost interest in him and has moved on to new (if not necessarily better) things. Bilious raging against technology is merely a pathetic projection of his own failures as both an artist and human being.

    There’s a lesson for other artists to be learned here. Whether any of them are sufficiently humble to learn it remains to be seen.

  2. Richie says:

    July 7th, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Maybe he should buy advertising space in a newspaper and announce the release of his new album; and forget buying the CD, I will wait for the 8-track to come out.

    Seriously, this guy is a moron. “Liberranter” nailed it. He is pissed that today’s technology has left him in the dust-bin of history.

  3. Robin says:

    July 8th, 2010 at 7:50 am

    I forget who coined the phrase (it may have been R. Emmett Tyrrell), but it appears that Prince is stumped by The Mystery of Earning. It never enters his head that he should produce better music to get better sales.

  4. Alex says:

    July 10th, 2010 at 7:52 am

    The irony is that Prince used to be a good example of black American entrepreneurship. He was able to produce his first album by bartering for studio time as a janitor at a studio when he was still a teenager. He created a major recording studio while still in his 20s, while living to see it thrive unlike the drug-adled Jimi Hendrix and Electric Ladyland studios. His Jack Welch propensities as a manager actually helped producers and musicians Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis become bigger than himself when he fired them for being late for a gig (showing that unemployment need not be the end of the world for a person). When they weren’t overflowing with sex hype, Prince’s lyrics were usually about hard work and good old fashioned elbow grease, such as this song he wrote for The Time’s second album:

    “One day I’m gonna be somebody, one day I’m gonna be rich.
    I’m gonna say my prayers and work real hard, so that I never have to dig a ditch.
    The only way I’d work at a carwash, is if I OWNED the whole damn place.
    But if gettin’ to the top means washin’ a car, I’d be scrubbin’ with a smile on my face!”

    Sadly, Prince is like Todd Rundgren, Paul McCartney, and Stevie Wonder; a multi-instrumentalist pop star and songwriter who becomes so wrapped up in their own reputation and hype, they think that they don’t need outside input and they feed on their own insular and limited thinking. Paul McCartney’s best music, of course, was written when he had ascerbic partners to counterbalance his sacharrine propensities such as Lennon and Elvis Costello. All of Stevie Wonder’s best albums were produced when he had real bands backing him up, as opposed to the insufferable drum machines and computers he’s relied upon for nearly three decades. Rundgren is best when he’s involved with the production of OTHER artists, such as XTC and Meatloaf.

    Prince, like Bill Clinton and Obama, is a product of being somewhat talented but having too many people repeatedly tell you and reinforce just how clever you are. You then think more of yourself than you should, and you think that every little thought that appears in your “genius” brain is worthy of being uttered and shared. He’s also probably used to the cashflow that came from the pre-digital structure of the music business, and now with the democratization of production and distribution, there are a lot more things to compete for the entertainment consumer’s attention besides his music and the Compact Disc.

    Perhaps Prince should have become Amish instead of a Jehovah’s Witness. Then again, even the Amish still believe in commerce of their wares with modern consumers, so maybe not …

  5. Jeannie Queenie says:

    July 13th, 2010 at 1:18 am

    Alex says that ‘now with the democratization of production and distribution, there are a lot more things to compete for the entertainment consumer’s attention besides his music and the Compact Disc. ‘ So Alex, just what do you mean by the democratiziation of production and distribution? Are you saying that the bigtime pilfering of any and all things like the Chinese do in spades, is okay?
    I once worked at a venture capitol outfit in Boston that dealt only in media and communications…everything from newspapers, magazines, tv and radio stations to music publishing. I was just part of the administrative staff, but I watched six partners making millions off of artists and the artists got short shrift in many cases. I always felt there was something wrong with that picture. When I started working at this place, they had just picked up Motown records for something like 30 million smackeroos, and when I left several years later they sold it for over $300 million!
    The real rub came in learning that artists were mere tools to be used by the business makers, not the music makers. I still see that as just plain wrong…sorry. You might call that democratization, I call it old fashioned being ripped off. Yes, I know that business people are into it for just that, the business, but who says an artist should work for nothing?

  6. Alex says:

    July 13th, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Jeannie, I have no reason to doubt your experiences, but I have a hard time seeing Prince, or other artists as victims. Prince, to put it bluntly, is just another racial whiner like Michael Jackson ended up being. Prince claimed he was being “ripped off” by “white music companies,” even shaved the word “SLAVE” in his metrosexual beard and demanded complete control of his masters from Warner Brothers. Well, he finally got complete control and guess what, he didn’t know what the hell to do with his own product or how to market it properly in the Internet age. Guess those evil A&R and music companies weren’t so evil after all.

    This is the second time Prince has done a giveaway in a British newspaper of a new CD. If his new music was worth buying why would he have to essentially give it away? And why should ITunes or any other music distributor have to pay an artist like Prince “an advance” for unrealized or projected sales? So he can get a guaranteed paycheck regardless as to whether his stinky new music is selling or not?

    What artists like Prince hate is that services like ITunes make payola that much harder to push, and that we get a truer picture of what the music consumer truly wants and will buy given greater, more extensive choice. Reminds me of when SoundScan was first introduced in the early 1990s, and we got a truer picture of actual music sales. The mainstream music industry’s downplaying of Country and Rap music were shown for the scams that they were, and those genres and their artists were finally able to get the monies they deserved, because SoundScan proved that most Americans were listening to Country and Rap in great numbers, and not Milli Vanilli and Michael Bolton.

    Being an egotistical asshole, Prince thinks his music is so sacrosanct that he refuses to open his catalog to new revenue streams (ringtones, commercials, event licensing), and then throws a purple hissy fit he deliberately for curtailing his own potential sales through his prima donna behavior. I’m reminded of Morris Day’s comment in the film “Purple Rain”: “Your music only makes sense to yourself.”

    So, let’s not blame the Chinese for Prince’s—and other artists—declining sales. I seriously doubt kids in China would even waste the time and blank discs to copy anything Prince has to offer. Recorded music today is nothing more than a loss leader for those artists who are talented enough to tour and perform live. I don’t see the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, the Police (in 2008) or any other traditional acts complaining about record sales, as they make far more money in concerts. Other artists like AC/DC are still making dough even through unique distribution deals (such as their “Black Ice” being sold exclusively through Wal-Mart).

    Prince needs to just shut the hell up and get some good investment advice like Paul McCartney (who made most of his fortune AFTER the Beatles due to his inlaw’s investment advice, not DURING the Beatles). Believe me, I’m no Lawrence Lessig, and my attitude towards I.P. is more Pat Choate than Lew Rockwell, but I have no sympathy for whiny assed artists who think that they are supposed to keep getting big checks merely because of a name and a rep.

  7. Michael says:

    July 20th, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Eh, let them resist. Only fools like newspaper publishers, magazine peddlers and travel agencies who failed to come to realize the awesomeness of the Internet are getting wiped out. This the other half of the free market complex; organizations that fail to react to socio-demographic and technological advances will be selected out. Basic Darwinism, I guess.

    Prince’s reservations remind me of the music industry as a whole; the entire institution put the Internet in its sites and resisted, dragged its heels, sued, litigated, threatened, coerced, etc. And then along came Steve Jobs with iTunes and revolutionized the industry.

    Food for thought.

  8. clark says:

    August 8th, 2010 at 6:42 pm

    Maybe he was on to something, did you see this?

    Will small webpages be the new normal? Or is this b.s.?

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