fwd: Open Letter to Metallica

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From: Udhay Shankar N (udhay@pobox.com)
Date: Thu May 04 2000 - 19:50:22 PDT

To paraphrase Charles Babbage, I am unable to comprehend the confusion of
ideas that would lead to a band machine-gunning themselves in the foot like


On Thu, 04 May 2000 19:05:44 -0700, in alt.rock-n-roll.metal Nyarlathotep
<crawlingchaosNOcrSPAM@damnage.com.invalid> wrote:

>To whom it may concern -
>This letter is in regards to the latest controversy
>surrounding the Napster "MP3" lawsuit and media-circus.
>First of all, let me point something out to the members
>of Metallica and their record-label :
>Back in the early-to-mid 1980's when Metallica was an
>unknown "underground" band, they could not get radio
>airplay to save their lives. It was through extensive
>tape-trading and bootlegging that Metallica got
>"their name out" so to speak. Without this grass-roots
>type of activity, Metallica would still be wallowing
>in obscurity. Now, all of a sudden, Metallica is
>acting as a proxy for the major (greedy) record-labels
>in their fight against MP3 technology and the Napster
>trading system. Make no mistake, the lawsuit against
>Napster is not about illicit distribution of
>copyrighted materials, it is about stopping a new
>cutting-edge technology (MP3) that promises to
>revolutionize the music industry. Comon, get serious
>for moment, NOTHING can replace owning the actual CD
>release of an album. MP3 does not provide album-cover
>art, lyric sheets, liner-notes, songwriting credits,
>or other materials that routinely come with the
>purchase of a store-bought CD. Prospective listeners
>who download MP3 files are merely "tasting" the music
>and giving it a trial-run. If a user downloads a
>Metallica song and likes it, then undoubtely that user
>is going to go out and purchase the CD at a record store
>or similar retail-outlet to get the above-mentioned
>materials (lyric-sheets, cover-art, etc).
>By jumping on the lawsuit bandwagon, Metallica is
>merely reinforcing and supporting the same greed-driven
>recording industry that denied them radio-play in the
>early 1980's. Everyone is aware that the recording
>industry is run by a few powerful magnates and their
>lackey disc-jockeys who control the major-market
>radio stations. Without the rubber-stamp approval of
>these greedy institutions, no band can hope to get
>air-play or a major recording contract. This same
>system is the one that keeps the air-waves filled with
>mainstream garbage like N'Sync and Britney Spears.
>It is no secret that many bands with real talent are
>often denied their fair due by the machinations of
>promoters, agents, and label-reps. By "pouncing on"
>Napster, Metallica is turning their backs on the
>very system and fans that helped (in large part) to
>create their commercial success.
>I am shocked that Metallica would do this. Is this the
>same band that once encouraged "bootlegging" and
>provided bootleggers with special access to their
>shows? Is this the same Metallica that stated in
>various magazine interviews (in the 1980's) that they
>would never let commercial success go to their heads?
>Apparently Metallica has not only watered down it's
>music, but now Metallica has become a puppet of the
>major record-labels. How disgusting and a slap in
>the face to their loyal fans.
>God forbid that the billionaire record-labels or the
>multi-millonaire members of Metallica might lose some
>money because some geeky kid downloaded an MP3 of
>"Enter Sandman". I am sure that their children will
>now starve due to lack of royalties.
>I was once a big Metallica fan. Back in the day when
>Motley Crue and other glam-rock crap ruled the airwaves,
>I bombarded radio-stations with requests for Metallica
>songs and I spread the word about his great up-and-
>coming underground band. Hell, I was responsible for
>half of Tampa Florida discovering Metallica - through
>my word of mouth canvassing and my now defunct fanzine.
>Alas, Metallica has now become just another cog in
>the record-label money-machine. James, Lars, Kirk,
>and Jason should be ashamed. But I am sure their
>fat-wallets will cure any blues that this latest
>controversy may have caused.
>And by the way, this is off-subject, but since I am
>here, let me state something quickly for the record :
>Every album Metallica has put out since the 5.98 EP
>(right after "And Justice For All") has been complete
>pop-like crap. Sure, Metallica may be selling
>millions of albums and selling out shows left and
>right, but that is no excuse to water-down their
>music and do tours with the likes of Kid Rock.
>Cliff Burton must be rolling over in his grave.
>Please Metallica, PLEASE, go back to your roots and
>give your early die-hard fans something to cheer
>about - let's hear some of that old grinding, in-your-
>face "thrash metal" like "Kill'em All" and
>"Ride the Lightning". This black-album and "Load"
>shit is mainstream garbage - little different or
>better than Britney Spears. Record and release
>something that has balls, please.
>And I don't want to hear that crap about how many
>shows Metallica is selling-out with their new
>material. Take a look at those audiences who buy
>tickets now - all baggy-pants-wearing kids and
>closet rap/pop fans. How disgusting...is this what
>the metal-music scene has become? Just another outlet
>for mass-mainstream garbage.
>By the way, I am NOT a Napster user nor do I use
>or own any MP3s. I still prefer to buy the CD from
>the store and get my liner notes, cover art, and
>lyric sheets.
>So let it be written,
>Nyarlathotep - The Crawling Chaos
>(WebMaster of Thought-Crime)
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