...busting up my brains for the words

Monday, July 04, 2005

Bowie alert

One of my favorite columnists, Mark Steyn, has this insightful piece of old rockers and Live 8.

Don't get me wrong. I love old rockers - not for the songs, which are awful, but for their business affairs, which so totally rock. In 1997, David Bowie became the first pop star to hold a bond offering himself. How about that? Fifty-five million dollars' worth of Bowie "class A royalty-backed notes" were snapped up in minutes after Moody's in New York gave them their coveted triple-A rating.

Once upon a time, rock stars weren't rated by Moody, they were moody - they self-destructed, they choked to death in their own vomit, they hoped to die before they got old. Instead, judging from Sir Pete Townshend on Saturday, they got older than anyone's ever been. Today, Paul McCartney is a businessman: he owns the publishing rights to Annie and Guys & Dolls. These faux revolutionaries are capitalists red in tooth and claw.

The system that enriched them could enrich Africa. But capitalism's the one cause the poseurs never speak up for. The rockers demand we give our fokkin' money to African dictators to manage, while they give their fokkin' money to Winthrop Stimson Putnam & Roberts to manage. Which of those models makes more sense?



  • At 5:31 AM, Blogger Douglas said…

    I don't think anyone else besides Bowie has adopted such a business model. Do you know of anyone?

  • At 6:56 AM, Blogger pinkmonkeybird said…

    No, I do not.
    And there aren't many artists who are in a position to do so. Bowie's back catalog is very remarkable. The sale of these bonds made him a millionaire. It was a smart move and was probably a needed move after all the years of skimming by a certain manager.


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