I’ve been reading reports of the imminent demise of the big-time record business since about the late 1970s, when Robert Fripp did a bunch of columns for Musician magazine comparing big labels to dinosaurs that were going to die out and be replaced by small, mobile intelligent mammals.
Of course, Fripp was working from an obsolete metaphor: if an asteroid hadn’t slam-dunked itself on the Earth’s surface, there’s every reason to think the dinosaurs would still be around and maybe even evolved to the point where they could sit around and bitch about the rotten music business. Lots of terrific independent music labels — Artists House and Rough Trade spring immediately to mind — have come and gone, done in by the unforgiving economics of production and distribution.
It took a couple of decades for the music industry’s asteroid to arrive in the form of the Internet, and now Fripp’s dreams have come true. And here’s David Byrne to tell us all about it.