Download Dis

Rock stars are a funny breed. They like to present themselves as leading lights of innovation and inspiration in the recording studio, and far ahead of their reactionary record companies when it comes to understanding their audience. But how many of them are familiar with the technology in the hands of their fans? In Q Magazine’s 20th Anniversary issue, most of the twenty featured cover stars were asked “What was the first track you downloaded?” Here are some of their answers:

Paul McCartney: “I haven’t ever downloaded a track. Never.”

Noel Gallagher: “Not owning a computer, I’m immune to any of that filth.”

Keith Richards: “I get my daughters to do it…. I always looked on the computer as like, Well, now everybody wants to be a fucking typist.”

Kate Bush: “I’ve never personally downloaded a track.”

Dave Grohl: “That was probably recently, once I discovered iTunes.”

David Gilmour: “I don’t think I have.”

Paul Weller: “None. I don’t want to get caught up in all that.”

Richard Aschcroft: “I’ve never downloaded a song.”

Beyoncé: “I’m so behind: I don’t know how to.”

Damon Albarn: “I’ve never downloaded anything. I don’t know how to.”

Ian Brown: “I’ve only just learned how to e-mail.”

Jimmy Page: “I’ve never done it. Imagine Zeppelin without the album covers. Terrible.” (Why? They sound better with the album covers?)

The exceptions? Few and far between. Newcomer Johnny Borrell (the only featured Brit under 30). iPod poster boys U2, to an extent. (Bono and Edge seem au fait with the concept; Adam Clayton “don’t remember” and Larry Mullen Jr has “never downloaded a track. I still buy CDs and put them on to my computer.”) And Material Girl Madonna claims Goldfrapp’s 2001 song ‘Human.’

That just leaves our favorite Internet pioneer, web trawler and diarist/blogger, Pete Townshend, who boasts, in typically emphatic fashion:
“Been doing that since 1985.
An exaggeration as always, but one not to be ridiculed in the face of such pathetic competition from his peers.

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August 2022