Sunday, November 18, 2007

Prince Greedhead

Everybody’s favourite squiggle, also known as the mega-huge rock and roller, Prince, has gone howling off the deep-end and issued a song calling down the wrath of all that’s holy on, get this, his fans. It would appear that years of make-up, odd clothes and exotic hair gels have finally taken their toll and Mister Prince has completely snapped his rubber-band.

As I understand it, Squiggle has taken offence that his fans are posting photos, lyrics and/or bits of his music online. Unlike a “normal” celebrity who would have been pleased that folks like his art. His first blast was at a young mom from Pennsylvania who had posted a video of her 18-month old son dancing. This criminal master-mind almost got away with it except for the hawk-eared Prince who noticed while watching the video that if you listened very carefully, turned up the volume real loud and filtered out the child’s laughter and the static, you could make out Prince’s song “Let’s Go Crazy” playing on the radio in the background. Ha! Busted! Immediately he notified the media and sent off an e-mail to the criminal ordering her to get the video off the ‘net forthwith, which she did. Unfortunately the media reported the story and the video which had had only a dozen or so views suddenly had over 200,000 views before it was pulled. And then, adding insult to injury, this hardened Pennsylvanian crime-lord put the video back up and filed suit against Prince and Universal Music, saying (and these are my words not hers) that Prince is a jerk and a dick. Unbelievable.

Prince took the low-road and lawyered up, filing a cease-and-desist against his fans. His team of legal-beagles have gone after certain web-sites, ordering them to take down photos and lyrics, and demanding information on, “susbstantive details of the means by which you propose to compensate our clients [Paisley Park Entertainment Group, NPG Records, and AEG] for damages.” I’m guessing that the “damages” are that these people buy Prince’s CDs, DVDs, and attend his concerts.

Well I have to admit that it is at about this point that had I actually ever been a fan of Prince, in whatever phase he was in, that I would have taken all my Prince CDs, scratched pentagrams into them and sent them to his record company wrapped in a used diaper. But that’s me. Prince’s actual fans are made of sterner stuff.

What they did was they got together and formed a group called Prince Fans United to try to convince the little fellah to allow the people who support him, who buy his music and who attend his concerts, to display his like-ness and quote his lyrics on their web-sites. The P-man, who is apparently not used to not getting his way in all things, responded to his fans by recording and posting on-line a song called PFUnk (get it?), which at one go both shows how clever he is and insults his fans. Of course it also shows that the legal hi-jinks are not, as claimed by some, a ruse by the record companies to make him look bad but are, in fact, his idea. Brilliant.

Traditionally it has been the record companies themselves that go after the fans, accusing them of “ripping off the artists” by downloading music from the Internet, and when it comes to ripping off the fans the record companies don’t like competition. In fact the record companies (represented by the Recording Industry Association of America, AKA: the RIAA) have taken to suing university students in the States, probably because those guys are just top-heavy with extra money. Of course before they get to court, the RIAA offers a one-time out-of-court settlement to the students where they can pay a very reasonable tens of thousands of dollars settlement, or else the RIAA will sue them into the stone-age. Of course these people are criminals so they do not deserve any sympathy at all. So there. But these are the sorts of behaviour that one would expect from a company, not from the artist him/herself.

And that’s the weird part for me. To hear about an artist going after his own fans. It’s sort of like a racecar driver pouring sugar into his own gas-tank just before a race. I have to assume that Prince knows what he is doing though.

Anyway… Humouroceros

Prince's new symbol (a suggestion)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Jeez, You're obviously a member of or the Prince.Org. How about a Journalist with a more objective view pro or anti Prince.

7:08 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alfred's already taken

3:42 pm  
Blogger humouroceros said...

Journalist? Oh, dude, come on.
Your friend... H

1:02 pm  

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