Rock and roll rebels

Macdonald Stainsby mstainsby at
Sat May 27 13:50:31 MDT 2000

> >From Metallica's "...And Justice for All"
> Halls of Justice Painted Green
> Money Talking
> Power Wolves Beset Your Door
> Hear Them Stalking
> Soon You'll Please Their Appetite
> They Devour
> Hammer of Justice Crushes You
> Overpower
> =====
> >From an interview with Metallica at
> Question: In several articles about your actions against Napster, you were
> quoted as saying something like (paraphrased): "Napster takes our music
> treats it as a commodity, instead of as art." My question is, how is it
> that trading your music for free over the internet makes it a simple
> commodity, but selling it for far too much money through record companies
> and stores makes it somehow "art"?

there are two seperate points I want to make here: One is that Metallica (I
can hardly beleive this myself anymore, but...) used to be high on my play
list around a decade ago, and helpen me with two things: Radicalisation and
poetry appreciation. The song lyrics listed by Lou are from the last album
they put out before they did a 180 degree turn in their politics and became
just another bourgeois band. I can still remember the shocked anger which
the headbangers in the smoke pit vented when Metallica, a band that had
refused to do any videos (except for one masterpiece about the horrors of
war, called "one", their interpretation of the book "Jonny got his gun"),
had always spoken out against the vices of the system itself, particualarly
the "Big Brother" aspects, etc. Then they were approached by Bob Rock, big
time producer, who "molded their next album into nice little radio-playable
tracks and pushed them into centre stage. They have been useless ever since
(I find almost all pop music useless these days, but that's another matter).

The other thing is Napster: The program (available at ) was developed and became opensource (meaning it can
be freely re-copied if someone knows the code) by the backdoor, and now has
become a tremendous boon for any, like myself, who cannot afford to but CD's
regularly. It is a fully decentralised system, whereby all users who go on
it have their music files visible and vice-versa, to be down/uploaded by
other users. I have managed to build up a collection of 50 Phil Ochs songs
that would have cost something like a hundred bucks, seeing as how difficult
it is to find Ochs for less that 25 bucks "in the case". I have been able to
track down many Paul Robeson tracks, you can find comedy and songs off of
albums released last week. It is understandable that compainies would feel
so threatened by Napster, but there are already hundreds (if not thousands)
of clones out there on the net as well.

With the new CD Burners now almost cheap, there is no reason that anyone
like myself will pay for CD's again. All the lawsuits in the world cannot
shut down Napster, or at least that form of technology. This is, of course a
good thing, the right to culture.

If anyone wants help getting the program (etc) set up on their machine to
start "stealing" music, just contact me off-list, I'm more than happy to
help revolutionise the distribution of "stolen" music.

So sue me.


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