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Jay Currie

One Damn Thing After Another

4/03/2004

Pete Townsend on Napster

Over at The Tyee, Dana pointed to this interesting 2001 diary entry from the Who's Pete Twonsen on his first use of Napster.
Ultimately, in the face of all this exploitation of my art, whether by fans, criminals or incestuous and lazy institutions like BMI, I do feel gently forced into reliance on what only I can do - that is, to perform live, and to constantly produce new work.

If everything I do is immediately used by others for their own collateral will there be an inevitable fall in quality in what I do? By turning out too much, will I fail to honour my audience? I think not. As things stand I am aware I rarely do enough. And, as so many artists have said, radio stations, newspapers and magazines have freely used and abused the reputation, work and images of pop artists for the last 50 years. Artists cannot control over-exposure of their image. They can only run with publicity and hope for the best.

What's my reality? My reality is that because of the certain knowledge (gathered in the main from the internet) that people want to hear my music, I am writing today. I run a web site. I give away some of my music. If it is packaged well I sell it. I was armed with information gathered from the internet when I approached last year's Who touring work. I was certain we would sell out wherever we played, and barring the loss of a ticket here or there, we sold out. (How nice for BMI).
Thanks Dana.