Feeds

Pete Townshend condemns Apple as 'digital vampire'

The Who's windmiller barters own bollocks for musicians' aid

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Pete Townshend, noted windmill guitarist and child pornography investigator, has called Apple's iTunes a "digital vampire", likened it to big-bucks bailout beneficiary Northern Rock, and admitted that yes, he did once want to cut Steve Jobs' balls off.

Townsend managed that invective triptych while delivering the inaugural John Peel lecture, sponsored by The Radio Academy and BBC 6 Music, and held at the Radio Festival 2011 Monday evening in Salford Quays, Manchester.

This festive event will be held annually in honor of Britain's beloved broadcaster – and after Townshend's marvelous kickoff, we can only assume that it is sure to become a stirring tradition.

The Who's 66-year-old patriarch, The Guardian reports, excoriated Apple's iTunes, saying it should do more to support musicians "whose work it bleeds like a digital vampire Northern Rock."

Apple should, in Townshend's view, set up an artist-and-repertoire effort as do – did? – music labels to nurture artists, rather than simply taking their tunes, selling them, and pocketing 30 per cent of the take.

iTunes, he said, should support artists by giving them free computers, and help guide them through the rocky shoals of marketing, copyright, and distribution. Additional ideas from the man who apparently decided that he'd prefer not to die before he got old include an iTunes area that allows bands to stream music "like a local radio station", and a program in which iTunes A&R men scout and support new talent.

Townshend also took a swipe at musical freeloaders – those who steal music rather than pay for it. "I once suggested that people who download my music without paying for it may as well come and steal my son's bike while they're at it," he said.

"It would be better if music lovers treated music like food," he added, "and paid for every helping, rather than only when it suited them."

And although he did admit that once in an interview he had said that he "wanted to cut Jobs' balls off," nonetheless his "inner artist" thought that Jobs was "one of the coolest guys on the planet."

And he suggested a deal – albeit one that Tim Cook and his Cupertinian band may be loath to accept. "If Apple do even one of the things on my wish-list, [my inner artist] will offer to cut off his own balls," he offered.

Which may not be that big of a concession for Townshend. "They've only ever been a distraction after all," he admitted. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.