The Beatles are backing Music Matters. Well, two of them are. I’m guessing neither John Lennon nor George Harrison were consulted. Lennon, as one of the earliest experts at manipulating media platforms to communicate political messages, would probably have pointed out that Music Matters – described in the blurb as a “grass roots” campaign, despite being backed by Universal Music – has been very good at producing lovely short films, less good at achieving its core aims of communicating why people should pay for rather than steal music online.
Indeed, my favourite of all the Music Matters videos tells the story of how Blind Willie Johnson was screwed over by everyone in the music business, dying penniless despite being responsible for many popular recordings. Thus furthering the myth that labels shaft their artists anyway, so it doesn’t matter if you acquire tracks from illegal sources.
I wonder if the new Beatles-based video will hone in on how the band were royally screwed over by EMI in their early days, and how as a result relations between the major and Beatles company Apple Corps remain uneasy to this day, hence the huge delay in the Fab Four’s catalogue emerging on any legal download platform, which in turn forced online Beatles fans to access file-sharing networks in order to get digital versions of their songs.Last Updated: 08/18/11 11:48