“The Internet enabled everybody to steal,” Jones argues, asserting that in many countries, as much as 95% to 99% of the music is pirated. Jones pointed to China as one of the biggest offenders, and said sales of albums have plummeted as a result. He said top artists like The Black Eyed Peas, Lady GaGa and Taylor Swift don’t sell nearly as many albums as they could because of piracy.”

The International Federation of the Phonographic Industry estimates that global music revenues declined by 7% in 2009, primarily due to music piracy. The Institute for Policy Innovation estimates global music piracy accounts for $12.5 billion of economic losses each year.”

There are photographs of Quincy Jones all over my apartment including one where this legend is hugging me. It’s my favourite shot- the Mighty Quinn with me, a then-struggling journalist and in total awe of the man who had just produced “Thriller”.

Quincy Jones is all about respect, but he’s recent statement that “the internet has enabled people to steal [music]“, well, that is something with which I don’t agree. People steal music today as, for the most part, it’s crap and not worth keeping.

For years, for decades, some have kept their vinyls- some still do. Others have kept “classic” CDs. I still have every CD by the Beatles, Dylan, Henley, Lennon, Hendrix, Jimmy Webb, Queen, Joni Mitchell, Daniel Lanois, and a few one-offs- Emmit Rhodes, Judee Sill, Robbie Robertson etc.

I, we, keep these as the recordings have a special place in our hearts, our lives, our psyche. They really are the soundtracks to our lives. We love and respect this music as it is inter-twined with our memories.

Mr. Jones talks about people only buying 1-2 tracks and not compete albums. When was the last time you heard a “complete” album like “Sgt Peppers”, or “Abbey Road”, or “Beggars Banquet” or “Highway 61 Revisited” or “Dark Side Of The Moon”?

Today, because of the emphasis on singles or single tracks, it’s all a bit like buying a sampler from a musical buffet table which is the iTunes store: One track from Rihanna, maybe her duet with Eminem, the “single” from Bruno Mars, a Dance track, something by the new band your mate mentioned, The National, Thee Attacks from Denmark ‘cos you know them…

The devil is not in the “internet” forcing you to “steal”. The devil is in the internet ‘cos the music industry- and every other industry- put him in there.

The genie that left that bottle is the devil and the devil is in the internet dictating where you should go and what you should take.

He is appealing to us humans’ greed factor which would be a far better name for Cowell’s X Factor.

Porn, online shopping, online movies, television shows, yes, music, it’s all there. And if we wish to not pay for anything, we don’t really have to “steal” anything. There is so much we can receive- for free- as all these online publications, especially, are trying to build up their data bases so they can attract advertisers or pump up the number of subscribers to sell their empty vessels.

Did anyone force people to join Facebook? No, but, for whatever reason, it has become one of life’s necessary evils. And which says much about “life” today when people can lose themselves- their identities- and have this “second life” on Facebook.

So, here, people “meet” and we have and can control everything that appeals to our greed- and feeds our ego.

Sure, sure, Facebook is all about “keeping in touch” and “finding old friends” and once this is done, then what? Isn’t it then having to continue to live the charade?

To add to the “personality” you have created and to add quotes that you want others to believe “shape” your “individuality” along with your choices of music, books, movies etc- the more obscure, the more quirky, the “better”- you “look”- online.

Plus, you can check in anytime you like, but you can never leave. I “left” Facebook over two years ago, but I am still there. And here.

Quincy Jones talks about the rampant internet piracy in China. He is very right about this and he should know as Mr. Jones is a frequent visitor to Shanghai.

I love the fact that at 77, he is doing so much. He could attend music conferences and pontificate, but he is out there actually doing things- producing records, writing books, working with artists- old and new- and some of who produce this “crap” I mention.

An active, creative, and not geographically-challenged 77-year-old is a wonderful person for a new generation to look up to and learn from and is a huge example against ageism.

I wish Mr. Jones would actually speak to kids and the media in China- and everywhere- about music- and its rich history and why music is an art form and explain the roots of music- and those who fought to get it to where it has come.

Ray Charles, Billie Holliday, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles, Coltrane, Charlie Parker, the great Paul Robeson etc, they led this movement. And Quincy Jones.

In Shanghai, especially, Quincy Jones is a well-known name to many who are only now learning and appreciating music as an art.

Let’s not forget for how long, music in China was banned for being “decadent”. China is making up for lost time and now is the time for every International musician traveling through China to devote a small part of their journey to speak to about this now lost art.

The irony might be that the world’s biggest pirate of music- China- turns out to be its greatest supporter.

Stranger things have happened.



“Chalk some of them up as victims of the cult of self-esteem. No one they have encountered in their lives – from their parents to their teachers to their president – wanted them to feel bad by hearing the truth. So they grew up convinced that they could become big pop stars like Michael Jackson.
“On American Idol, of course, these self-esteem-enhanced but talent deprived performers eventually learn the truth.
“After they’ve embarrassed themselves for the benefit of the producers, they are told in no uncertain terms that they, in fact, can’t sing, regardless of what they have been told by others. But in the wider world, these kind of instances of hard-truth-telling are increasingly rare.
“Instead of eventually confronting the limits of their inflated egos when it comes to paying the rent and putting food on the table, Americans are increasingly told not to worry about it. Someone else will provide for them.
“(…) Instead, a growing chorus of voices is trying to convince our kids that hard work isn’t necessary any more, that they are entitled to a lengthening list of benefits paid for by others, and that they don’t have to accept the consequences of their actions when the consequences are bad.”
Who wrote this crap?
Sarah Palin whose Daughter Bristol will probably win the show, “Dancing With The Stars”.



Doug Morris is to head up Sony Music?

Will L.A.Reid join him?



People use the word “creative” and “creativity” all too flippantly. There are very few truly creative artists. One of them is Winton Marsalis. Here is a teacher, a guru, an innovator. Film-maker Martin Scorsese, yes. Tarantino? Nah. “Kill Bill” kinda killed off his career. He is more of a caricature than anything else.

Lady Gaga is creative. Danny Elfman has created brilliantly creative music scores for everyone from Tim Burton to The Simpsons.

Dylan was creative. The creativity of the Beatles and Sir George Martin lives on as does the genius of Peter Sellers and the Goons. And now, there is Akram Khan.

Just watch the videos below, look up others and imagine all the ways in which this man’s talent is being used and how he is pushing the creative envelope- and bringing the very diverse worlds of creativity together. Amazing stuff- and truly creative.

  1. Christy says:

    Ah yes, and this is Sarah Palin, host of her own reality TV show, who also laments against violations to her privacy.

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