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Music Media The Almighty Buck

Gene Simmons Blames College Kids For Music Industry Woes 860

drcagn writes "Gene Simmons has blasted 'college' kids and claims that they have destroyed the music industry, with the labels also to blame for not properly suing them out of existence when they had the chance. When asked about Radiohead and Trent Reznor's recent support of a different direction in music distribution, he says "that's not a business model that works. I open a store and say 'Come on in and pay whatever you want.' Are you on f---ing crack?" When asked about music being free and making money off of merchandise, he says, "The most important part is the music. Without that, why would you care?" even though earlier in the interview he brags that he believes that KISS's merchandise is more profitable than Elvis's or the Beatles.'"
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Gene Simmons Blames College Kids For Music Industry Woes

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  • by kaos07 ( 1113443 ) on Friday November 16, 2007 @05:59AM (#21376375)
    Actually considering Winston Churchill is English, and the quote has Liberal and Conservative with capitals, it's more likely he was talking about the British Liberal Party and the British Conservative Party, the Liberal Party (Now called the Liberal Democrats), is in the centre of the spectrum though in some cases lies slightly to the left. They're not to be confused with the Australian Liberal Party which is in fact Australia's conservative party. Great stuff. Also above poster is incorrect. In Europe liberal does not mean anti-government, and it is nowhere near libertarian. Just about everyone outside the US views libertarianism as some sort of extreme anarcho-capitalism being economically far right, and socially conservative (Small government). Liberal's (In Europe) lie to the left on matters of the economy and as a result believe in free healthcare, education, a reserve bank etc. The main reason for these differences in ideology, I believe, is that in the US the matter of the economy is already settling - capitalism is the only force people will tolerate, so the choice between parties lies on social issues. Whereas in Europe it's not so cut and dried. There's Communist Parties, Socialist Parties and Green Parties who all believe in government interference in the market as well as disagree with the conservatives on social issues. Anyway, how's that Gene Simmons doing these days...
  • Re:He's right though (Score:4, Informative)

    by dave420 ( 699308 ) on Friday November 16, 2007 @06:37AM (#21376565)
    "Stealing" is depriving someone of property, not gaining something for free. Downloading is copyright infringement, not stealing, as no-one is losing anything. The only way you can say someone's losing something is saying that maybe each and every person who downloads the music will no longer buy the album in a store - but if they're not going to buy it anyway, no-one's losing out. The music industry is different from nearly every other industry out there, as it exists only to further itself, and not that which it claims to promote - the artists. Artists get hardly anything from record sales, due to the labels using out-dated payment schemes based on low-yield vinyl production, which means artists get most of their income from live performances and merchandise. If you take the record labels out of the picture, the bands get just as much money as they did before, the bands get even more exposure (as everyone's downloading their music, thinking "wow this is great!" and going to their shows, netting the artists a cool $20 or more (compared to the cents an album sale gets), or the people listening don't like their music, and instead spend that $20 on a band they do like. You end up with artists getting paid a decent amount for their work, and music fans finding music they absolutely love, and getting to see these bands/artists live for the money they save on buying overpriced albums that only serve to fund the cartels controlling the sale of this promotional material (as that's what albums are - advertising for live gigs).
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Friday November 16, 2007 @07:24AM (#21376825) Homepage
    Another album with a similar selling model is the new Saul Williams album []. You can download it for free, or choose to pay $5. I downloaded it for free because there was no sample. I'm trying to figure out if I'm going to buy it. I'm not a big fan of hip hop, but I do like the music, and will probably end up sending the $5. Anyway, the album was produced by Trent Reznor. So not only is he doing great things with changing the business model for his own music, he's helping other artists do the same.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2007 @07:59AM (#21377007)
    It's apocryphal, apparently. There are various other suggestions [] for the origin of the quote.
  • by iainl ( 136759 ) on Friday November 16, 2007 @08:57AM (#21377385)
    Wheras to this non-fan I know KISS did the song for Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, and that's it. I don't remember 70s music much, as I was born in them. I've been told that they're famous, and wore amusing costumes, but I genuinely couldn't tell you of another tune. Have they even released a bad record in the last decade, let alone a good one? He's squarely filed in the niche called "retro".
  • by Goaway ( 82658 ) on Friday November 16, 2007 @09:24AM (#21377617) Homepage
    Churchill meant nothing, as he never said that. The original quote is quite different in flavour: [] (Thanks to another poster earlier in the thread.)
  • Re:Capitals? (Score:4, Informative)

    by EastCoastSurfer ( 310758 ) on Friday November 16, 2007 @09:48AM (#21377863)
    If you look at your paycheck, you're already giving up an excessive amount of your money under the guise of improving the standard of living in your nation.
  • Re:Capitals? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Dr. Evil ( 3501 ) on Friday November 16, 2007 @09:58AM (#21377979)

    It's not a deep nugget of wisdom. It was a clever insult. Best not to read too deeply into it.

    But then, those who are using it are probably not the best judges of brains anyway: []

    "Conservative by the time you're 35"

    "If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain." There is no record of anyone hearing Churchill say this. Paul Addison of Edinburgh University makes this comment: "Surely Churchill can't have used the words attributed to him. He'd been a Conservative at 15 and a Liberal at 35! And would he have talked so disrespectfully of Clemmie, who is generally thought to have been a lifelong Liberal?"

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 16, 2007 @10:05AM (#21378059)
    Here in Sweden, "liberal" means you want to bomb Iraq and enact stricter laws against immigration.
  • by sm62704 ( 957197 ) on Friday November 16, 2007 @10:09AM (#21378091) Journal
    He's like the guy who still owns (exclusively) an eight-track player in a world of people who use iPods and compact discs.

    I had a thing or two to say about 8-tracks a couple of years ago in Good Riddance to Bad Tech [].

    This sorry piece of crap is proof positive of American stupidity. The cassette - the (now obsolete) four track, two-spindle, 1/8th inch, 1 /78 IPS shirt pocket sized tape cassette was produced before the 8-track. The four track cassette was originally made as a dictation device, but advances in tape manufacture and head design soon gave them a frequency response that came close to human hearing's limit, signal to noise ratio low enough that you had to turn it up very loud to hear the hiss, and inaudible harmonic distortion which made them ideal for music.

    Nevertheless, the 8-track was born anyway. With its transport speed at twice the 4-track cassette's speed, it should have been audibly superior. However, the "powers that be" decided that 8-tracks were going to be for automobiles, which at the time were not as well insulated from outside sounds and wind as today's cars, and with the auto's horrible acoustics, it was OK for a car's music to sound like effluent.

    But the deliberately bad sound wasn't bad enough. The eight track tape had a single spindle, a very clever design where the tape fed from the center of the spindle, around a capstain roller inside the housing and back to the outside of the roll of tape. This made for an expensive setup, and one that was prone to wow and flutter, as well as having the tape get "eaten" by the tape player. And unlike a cassette, if your 8-track got ate, you might as well throw it in the trash.

    But wait, there's more! This thing was deemed to be for the car, while cassettes were going to be (by about 1970 or so) for the home.

    This made no sense whatever, since the "portable" eight track took up as much space as four cassettes, without being able to play any longer than a cassette. In fact, you could buy a longer playing cassette than 8-track.

    But the one thing more than anything else that made 8-tracks suck like a Hoover was the fact that it had to change tracks four times during an album. This usually necessitated at least one song and usually more being interrupted in the middle!

    Folks finally, after about ten years, started figuring this stuff out for themselves and replaced their 8-track cartriges with 4 track cassettes. Me? I never had an 8-track, although all my friends did. I, the geek, used the far more logical cassettes since about 1966 or 7. Hah! The geek gets the last laugh again!

    I honestly think a band like KISS could get away with giving their music away for free, since they have other avenues available to them to make a crapload of money

    He works for the record company, and has worked for the record company for almost 40 years. You badmouth your employer at your own risk.

    I have always been amused by Lynard Skynard's Working for MCA, especially the verry beginning of the song - it starts out with the buzz of an ungrounded amp, and it's obvious (to me anyway) that they put that there on purpose.

    I never heard the CD version, is the buzz still there? From all the bad remixing for CD I've heard in various RIAA fare, I'd bet it's gone.

    -mcgrew []
  • Re:Capitals? (Score:5, Informative)

    by AndersOSU ( 873247 ) on Friday November 16, 2007 @11:19AM (#21379011)
    Umm, healthcare is expensive because (a) it requires doctors, who are highly trained professionals, (b) it is a matter of life and death, we place a very high value on life, (c) it uses state of the art technology, (d) somewhat parallel to c, it uses novel chemicals, which are expensive to develop, and (e) combining d and b, it requires human testing and as such is highly regulated, regulation adds cost, and (f) we live in a highly litigious society, and as such the cost of a mistake is enormous.

    That's not to say it shouldn't be cheaper, or that there isn't plenty of waste, but I personally think that doctors and researchers should be paid well, I think that we should have very good (read: expensive) people managing all the systems involved, and I am willing to pay for the safety and the new technology.

    Universal healthcare, or health insurance in general isn't about making healthcare cheaper, but rather about making the people with Jaguars subsidize the inherently high cost of healthcare for those with Kias.

    A great universal healthcare system would reward hospitals who successfully improve efficiency without impacting quality, but and acceptable universal healthcare system will not worsen efficiency and provide affordable healthcare to poorer americans, because we find value in our working class not dieing of cholera.
  • Re:I have no brain (Score:3, Informative)

    by JonathanBoyd ( 644397 ) on Friday November 16, 2007 @11:44AM (#21379355) Homepage

    America is strange in that its "conservative" party the Republicans would have you believe that they are Christians, when Christianity is decidedly anti-capital.

    It's against making money and the pursuit of wealth into an idol, but it's not intrinsically anti-capitalist. Take the story of Anias and Sapphira in Acts for example. They sold a field for profit and gave some of the proceeds to the church, but lied about how much. What was their sin? If capitalism was wrong, you'd think they would be criticised for not giving everything to the church, but they're not. Instead, they're punished for lying. Making money was no problem and neither was keeping some of it. Making it an idol was the problem.

  • Rock Band? (Score:3, Informative)

    by mabu ( 178417 ) on Friday November 16, 2007 @01:27PM (#21380769)
    People complain that KISS is not exactly great music. Of course not. This is the band that had to dress up in ridiculous costumes, employ every gimmick imaginable from fire breathing to smoking guitars to get peoples' attention. I'm amused at this point, that people don't realize Simmon's chauvinistic and anti-P2P comments are merely part of the same gimmicks he's always employed to get attention: do/say something obnoxious.

    Simmons falls into the same category as Ann Coulter and Bill O'Reilly. The worse thing that can ever happen to them is to be ignored. If you really want him to be as irrelevant as he ultimately is, you'll ignore his idiotic rambling. Even his reality show is staged. It's all a farce and he's laughing at all of us for even taking the time to call him a douchebag.
  • by encoderer ( 1060616 ) on Friday November 16, 2007 @02:13PM (#21381435)
    "Don't assume that you're getting all that stuff from federal income tax. Most of that is allocated to paying off loans, so you're actually mostly servicing the banks, not The People."

    The federal budget is, obviously, free for all to peruse. According to my math, our debt service last year amount to about 13% of our federal budget.

    Not a small amount, but no where NEAR "most."
  • Re:Logic? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kingrames ( 858416 ) on Friday November 16, 2007 @04:12PM (#21383139)
    Actually gold is one of the most useful minerals the world over. It's used in computers, for one, and happens to be a mineral that can easily be sliced very thin - only a few atoms thick. (I've heard of gold foil only 3 atoms thick, new records may have been set since then) Gold is a very versatile resource and for that reason, has been valued heavily in nearly every decade of humanity's progression.

    Its value is the standard unit of currency exchange the world over and is used to measure purchasing power in many countries because it's the most stable form of currency. An ounce of gold today purchases the same amount of goods and services as it would have 30 years ago, for example.

    Why? because it just happens to be. There's no real written in stone reason for it. If another candidate stepped forward to become the new standard currency, it'd happen nearly instantly and nobody would pay much attention to it whatsoever. It would be just another novelty bit of trivia.

    But it's wrong to say that gold is expensive because we all agreed on it. Nobody gets to decide that.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger