If you look at the acts that are still filling some of the largest venues, a vast number are older acts that built a career around more than one or two hits. Look at all the nights Billy Joel has sold out the Mohegan Sun! He hasn’t put out an album in 15 years but he could live off his massive backlog of hits for years. The Police, Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Rolling Stones, The Allman Brothers, Santana, Prince, Jimmy Buffett, Stevie Wonder, etc., etc. are examples of stars from the past still doing tremendously well in this market. Who’s going to fill vast arenas in 20 years? For the most part we’ve seen a parade of one or two-hit wonders rise to stardom and crash in burn because the music industry has not been intent upon building the careers of these artists they’ve been far more intent on cashing in as quickly as possible and now they are paying a price.
This response confirmed my fears about the record industry, and the lack of integrity within it. The result has been the same from all of the interviews that I have conducted. There is a major problem with the misuse of technology in the industry, but far worse of a problem in the ethics and motives of the decision makers of the record companies.
Another issue lies with the fans, and consumers of music. The fact is that despite all that is wrong with the industry, the people are at fault as well. People continue to consume the trash that they are handed by the record companies. In order to enact change, people need to stop being ok with bad music. There needs to be a revolution against the music of today, or music will never again be what it was. The main problem as I see it lies with the parents. Children are constantly being exposed to crappy music, without knowing how bad it really is. They are left on their own to try and find music, and unless by some chance they are exposed to quality music, will never know what they are missing. Some parents even encourage this filthy behavior by doing such things as watching American Idol with their children. Such an act of child abuse leaves me shocked and chagrined. If a parent were to send their child to a prostitute, the child would be taken away, and brought to a more responsible family, and rightfully so. But when a parent exposes their child to the musical equivalent, the brutish and barbaric ritual dubbed American Idol, it is looked upon as family time. Just as the Romans had the Coliseum, we have American Idol with its screaming mindless masses of fans under the spell of mob mentality. This is a classic example of irresponsible and neglectful parenting. Parents who want the best for their child must take it upon themselves to teach their children right and wrong. This goes for every aspect of the child’s life, including music. Of course in the end, the decision must ultimately be the child’s, however without exposure to quality, genuine music, in our corporate controlled culture of advertising and media buys, young impressionable children will undoubtedly fall victim to the Satan that is modern day mainstream music.