Thursday, January 05, 2012

You don't own your cold

Intellectual property isn't a term that should ever be used in association with rock n roll. Rock has always been about inflammatory expression. It is supposed to be infectious. You don't own it, you suffer from it. First you catch it as an airborne virus. Then it incubates inside your soul and blisters out through your fingers and your voice. Like any disease, it evolves with each infection. It changes as it spreads, adapting and getting stronger. The only real measure of success in rock and roll is how many people you infect. How far does the DNA of your particular strain of the virus spread? How much does it evolve through you, and do those mutations make it stronger? You don't own your music any more than you own a cold.

Engineering music as a commodity and then trying to control it's spread through profitable channels is corporate bio-illogical warfare. It ain't rock and roll. People who try to tame the process, to enslave it for revenue, are fighting against its very nature. You can't keep counter-culture on a petri dish. It is wild and alive and it will break free. Whether it is old bootlegged live records, Napster, or just other bands using your riffs, life finds a way. You can't argue with Jeff Goldblum.

So if you think you have the music bug, hack and cough and don't cover your mouth. Let the spit and snot fly. Maybe I'll catch a little of what you got. 100 years of recorded coughs and wheezes have me burning with fever, and I'll take whatever you got and cook it up with the rest and see what colors I can piss out tomorrow no matter how much it burns.

Just don't start whining and crying that I stole your cold. It's just a terminal case of influence-za. If I sweat your virus out through my music, I am only spreading your strain, enhancing the power of your infection. The less I mutate it, the more I am just your carrier. I'm not saying you have to thank everyone who rips off your shit, but suing them isn't rock n roll. If you hear someone sneeze, and like the sickness their spreading, just remember to be polite and say "gesundheit". If you recognize your rattle in someone's else's cough, be proud of your pestilent progeny.

To the corporate labs with their weaponized pop viruses, and their idiot grin ex-mouseketeer delivery systems, you can burn bodies in court all day long but you can't stop the spread. Rock and roll is already a bandemic and it has grown far beyond anyone's ability to contain. So take a deep breath and catch the fever. It doesn't kill you, it makes you rock harder.

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