What I do……

I’ve mentioned before that I write about music. In a way the internet has made it much more simple to produce articles. It’s way easier to do research. On the other hand there is something about the tone of pieces on the internet which I find very strange. Too much writing is not about the music anymore. I’m glad that some of the musicians feel the same. This from Donald Fagen of Steely Dan:

“I don’t like to visit the fan sites because there’s something creepy about the whole thing to me. I remember when I was a kid I was a big jazz fan and later on there were a few popular singers and groups I liked but I was always interested in the music; I never made a fetish out of their personal lives. I never really got that, you know? I appreciate whatever they do to keep the interest in the band and all that sort of thing but it’s really not part of my world.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

9 thoughts on “What I do……

  1. Same here.
    It’s funny, as a musician, I have managed to meet many of my heroes and some have become firm friends.
    If I didn’t have the music card to play (and thus something in common that both isolates and unites me with them!), there would NO WAY I would want to know much about them other than the music they make. Unfortunately, I have had to accept that sharing a sweaty tour bus and backstage loo with many of my fave luminaries shatters any golden illusions I may have had about them.
    It’s funny how the internet has broken down the boundaries because you have to be careful what you write and who you speak to…I am sure you would not want to know what size underpants John Foxx wears, for example! :oD
    As a nobody, I don’t worry about people knowing my pant size as nobody knows who I am anyway! LOL!

    • Used to be if you were Donny Osmond that people wanted to know about your personal life. Now it seems its like that for everyone. Music becomes Hello magazine or something! I’ve met a few professional musicians who I’m quite happy to hang with and a lot more who I wouldn’t want to socialise with. That Swarf (and yourself) are not better known is a crime!

      • Innit just?
        Most proper artists would never sell their souls to Hello though.
        We have had a hiatus of over 2 years due to personal issues. Hence, a lack of exposure recently.
        We already have dates in our comeback calendar coming on!
        It’s not over until the fat lady stops singing. :oD

      • Mmm…. Don’t mean to suggest that the musicians want to sell their souls so much as the writers try to get them to and the fans seem to want it. It’s one of the reasons I stopped writing full-time. The editors want the intrusion and I want to be able to set my own agenda

    • I don’t think that he would be opposed to either if it wasn’t for the content. I think he’s gone to some of these sites before and seen that some sites (many sites) don’t know where to stop in the desire to know about the person behind the music. I think he thinks that for some its not about an interest in the music anymore but that they want to intrude on a person’s privacy and become a part of their lives. Now I’ve had some contact with these guys (Steely Dan) and their management and they are particularly private guys but I think it goes for many of their generation who are the ones who have seen the rules change and who are conscious of living in post-Mark Chapman times. I remember one Eagles website taking flak for posting photos of Glenn Frey’s kids when they were little. I think sometimes that people who write internet fan sites and on internet message boards just need to catch a breath and consider what it would be like if it was their lives being discussed….

      • And yet these guys (at least the Eagles) often discuss family in interviews and seem happy to talk about them – yet they do not want people to remark upon those comments? Recently, Glenn Frey held up his young son Otis to the cameras at a Los Angeles Lakes basketball game so that the press could photograph him. At the Minnesota concert I attended a couple weeks ago, Glenn had his sons onstage and one of them performed a few songs. Yet we are not supposed to post photographs of his kids online? The photo of Otis was taken by the AP and distributed worldwide, with his blessing! I guess with such mixed signals it’s unsurprising that fans don’t know where to draw the line.
        I think the most ludicrous instance I heard was that apparently, this Eagles fansite you speak of was asked to take down the name of Don Henley’s daughter… yet he has released a song called Annabell and tells everyone it is named after his daughter.
        Of course, we do have to keep in mind that all of this is second hand and so we do not know exactly how any of it went down. I run several Eagles fansites and have never been molested by any representative of the Eagles, far from it.

      • Uh…okay. My point in mentioning the Eagles was more to give an example of a band that I knew you followed who have been twitchy in the past than to be critical of websites run by Eagles fans. But I do think you hit the nail on the head here. If a band / artist takes the initiative and issues or allows photos of their kids / partners etc than printing those seems to be fully legitimate (just simply having those photos available through the Associated Press is not quite the same thing in these days of intrusive photographers grabbing what photos they can). However, it is important that they take the initiative and that it is photos they have approved and references they have approved. Their families are not public property and its important that they keep the control over these things. Here in England, we have David and Victoria Beckham who have almost traded on their kids to increase their popularity which I think is really sad. Going back to the original paragraph I quoted I’ve no idea whether Donald Fagen has kids and I think this a sensible position to take with the media but if he has then I don’t think they should be discussed on fan sites unless the artists are involved in that discussion and are setting the tone and the boundaries.

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