The punk icon delivered the lecture titled “free music in a capitalist society”, on the 10th anniversary of the DJ’s death.
Punk icon Iggy Pop has criticised U2 for their free album give away, while also addressing the culture of file sharing during this year’s John Peel Lecture. Hosted by BBC Music, the annual lecture is held in memory of the late radio DJ who helped popularised punk music in Britain.
Iggy Pop gave this year's John Peel lecture
Speaking about the Irish band’s decision to give away free copies of their new album to to over 500 million iTunes customers, Pop said, “The people who don’t want the free U2 download are trying to say, ‘Don’t try to force me,’ and they’ve got a point. Part of the process when you buy something from an artist, it’s kind of an anointing, you are giving that person love.”
“It's your choice to give or withhold,” he continued “You are giving a lot of yourself, besides the money. But in this particular case, without the convention, maybe some people felt like they were robbed of that chance and they have a point.”
The Stooges frontman then went on to address the state of the music industry in the digital age saying, “now the biggest bands are charging insane ticket prices or giving away music before it can flop in an effort to stay huge and there is something in this huge thing that kind of sucks.”
Turning his attention to those who choose to download illegally, the 67 year old said, “Is the thieving that big a deal? Ethically, yes, and it destroys people because it is a bad road you take.”
However, he did go on to say that he thought people were “just a little bit bored, and more than a little bit broke. No money. Especially simple working people who have been totally left out, screwed and abandoned.”
The singer revealed that had he been forced to depend on the money he got from record sales alone he’d be “tending bars between sets.”
Pop also addressing those car insurance adverts, which had many fans accusing him of selling out. “At least I’m honest,” he said. “It’s an ad, and that’s all it is.”
Later on the former hellraiser jokingly told the audience to “stay away from drugs … and [TV] talent judges”. But on a more serious note he also urged the importance of a musical education and the value of learning an instrument. “If you’ve got a kid and you can trick them into playing the French horn for a year, that is a good thing,” he said.
Adding that being a musician was a “dream job”, being able to “make people feel something and then trust in God." But he did advise, "while you are waiting for God to show up, try to find a good entertainment lawyer.”
Iggy Pop and wife Nina Alu
Iggy Pop’s lecture, titled, “free music in a capitalist society”, was broadcast live on the BBC’s 6 Music yesterday (October 13th) and will be repeated by BBC4 on Sunday.
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