Published on November 1st, 2011 | by Alan Cross


Pete Townshend is Not an iTunes Fan

In fact, he calls Apple a “digital vampire” that should do more to support musicians.  From the Guardian:

Pete Townshend has called on iTunes owner Apple to do more to support musicians “whose work it bleeds like a digital vampire Northern Rock”.

The Who star used a radio industry lecture on Monday evening to call for Apple, now run by Tim Cook, should employ A&R executives to spot new talent and provide financial and creative support to emerging artists.

Townshend also hit out at illegal downloading, saying: “If someone pretends that something I have created should be available to them free … I wonder what has gone wrong with human morality and social justice.”

Read the rest here.


About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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One Response to Pete Townshend is Not an iTunes Fan

  1. Jesse says:

    The Who Sell Out. Sell out of what?
    Why no one feels bad about stealing music

    Townsend has just said that taking his music for free is the same as “coming to his house and stealing his son’s bicycle.” Oh PLEASE! Pete, you are not a saint. You are a kid who learned how to play guitar and is fabulously wealthy because of it. You won the lottery, you were lucky, in the right place at the right time. Stop looking for back-payment for being lucky. No musician that has reached your stature has “earned” their money. You have made more money than you need for 10 lifetimes. You should be proud to give your art away for free to the people who bought your house, your collection of guitars etc. Your fans have given you everything you have- you’re gonna turn your back on them now? You know how your son got his bike? With the money your fans spent buying who records in the 60’s and 70’s. (if the bike was bought with the money made from your music in the 80’s and onward then I’m sure it’s some crummy 10 speed).

    So please stop whining that you aren’t making enough money on your art. You have made plenty. Why don’t YOU consider sharing some of your considerable wealth on 500 bands and see how that pans out. Music appeals to the very nature of the soul, we’ve been making and enjoying music as long as we’ve been making babies. Only in the past 100 years have artists started to achieve levels of importance of politicians and businessmen. You know people who really had to work to earn their living. People who don’t charge other people to watch them work.) Do you deserve to be paid for making art? Do you make art to get paid? Maybe that’s why your music sucks now. The purpose of art is art. Expression. It’s only if you are the the fantastically lucky .01% of artists that you have the privilege of buying ANYTHING other than KD and smokes. I’m sorry if the past 50 years of hosing your fans has made you feel entitled to making a profit anytime you touch a guitar. If you wanted to understand the mind of people who download at all it comes to this. We the consumer were tired of being ripped off. Tired of buying a whole album for $18 when only 2 songs were any good, tired of not being able to buy the one song swe like for $2, tired of paying too much to see bands we like. You put the screws to us and kept twisting and twisting getting every last penny you could but you were so busy milking this cash cow you missed the bull behind you. Now it’s our turn to make you pay. If you’re art is awesome. People pay for it- they always will. The playing field is leveled now. We download because we can, you sell your music because you can. I own one house. You own 10. Please die before you get old.

    PS- I DID steal your kids bike. He’s a whiner just like you, old man.

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