Earlier this week, blogger Kevin somebody-or-other was arrested for posting and streaming 9 songs, all of which appeared to be near-studio perfect recordings of GN’R’s long-awaited 6th CD, Chinese Democracy, on his blog. He appeared in court on Wednesday morning, when his bail was set at $10,000. In June, after he streamed the songs on his website, he apparently told Rolling Stone:
I’m not so worried about that. It’s a legal grey area since it wasn’t for download, it wasn’t a finished product. We aren’t sure who owns the recordings. I feel like I might survive this.
And I’m sure he probably will, but one might wonder precisely how.
Apparently, the songs were only on his website for a little while before two things happened: first, it sounds like the host’s server crashed (which makes sense, because ZOMG NOO GNR!!!111!!!), and second, someone associated with GN’R asked the guy to take the songs down and erase the digital files, which he did (which was why he couldn’t supply the FBI with the original files when they later asked). So, really, no telling how many people managed to catch the audio stream at exactly the right time. In the meantime, after the songs were taken down at GN’R’s request, copies managed to make their way around the tubes. It was one of those copies a friend of mine convinced me to listen to.
I had mixed feelings about doing so. I’ve heard a few people call Axl names for suing the guy who posted them, but I just can’t help seeing the situation from Axl’s perspective: here’s a guy whose name is on two of the greatest rock albums of all time (Appetite for Destruction and Use Your Illusion). I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to have to try to make a follow up to Illusion; both CDs are, first minute to last, terrific. I still listen to them all the time. And Appetite? It’s turbo-charged summer on vinyl, barbecues and beers and bonfires, the groin-tightening excitement of making out for the first time, knowing you want to use your body but having not a clue what you want to use it for. So he’s got both those albums under his belt, and now everyone’s been waiting for the follow-up for, what, like, 13 years or something?
Not to mention all the press he’s gotten in the meantime. People who have probably never actually seen him in real life, even on a stage, writing about his “neuroses” and “depression” and “erratic behavior,” and etc. And I’m not saying his behavior hasn’t been erratic at times, but I am saying I can totally understand why he’d want to become total recluse. With pretty much everyone scrutinizing your every move, would you want to leave your house?
I wouldn’t. I’d sit down in the studio and I’d spend a decade trying to write something better than what I had done before, and it would probably take that long, too, because let’s face it; what he’d done before was awesome. So Axl spends more than a decade trying to get it right, trying to get it better, and then some random dude posts the unfinished work on his random website.
Heck, I’d be pissed, too.
But, then, as a fan, man, do I want to hear what he’s working on. Which was why I had mixed feelings about listening to the songs; on one hand, I’m just dying to. On the other, I know that if they’re not out yet, there’s a reason they’re not out yet, and Axl probably doesn’t think they’re finished yet. And I’ll admit I ain’t musical enough to detect an extra note here or a more produced layer there, most of the time, but then again, I’m not cinematic enough to really know anything about lighting or whathaveyou, and I wouldn’t presume to try to view, say, Quantum of Solace before I sit down to watch it in a theater.
In the end, the GN’R fan in me won out, and yes, I listened to those 9 songs. I thought it’d be neat to do a review of them, but then I thought: as a writer, would I want someone to review an unpublished novel I didn’t feel I had finished revising yet?
Of course I wouldn’t.
Hell, I’m not even sure I should tell you that I thought they were awesome. The kind of awesome, in fact, that’s worth waiting nearly a decade and a half for.
So I won’t. I’m not going to tell you that I think it’s the best thing the man behind Appetite for Destruction and Use Your Illusion (I & II) has ever done.
Not right now.
Maybe when it comes out.
In the meantime, I think we should all wish Mr. Rose luck in finishing what he’s started.
(cross-posted to MightyGodKing.com)
August 29, 2008 at 9:22 am
I’ve told you that I’m a twilight fan and that I like Stephanie Myer. Well, after she finished the 4th book, concluding the series, she was decided to re-write the first book from another character’s perspective. At first I though it was dumb, but then I remembered that this character confused the hell out of me sometimes and knowing what was in his head would be a good thing.
Some one leaked the in complete draft and everyone was talking about reading it. Some fans speculated Ms.Myer leaked it her self to bring back hype ti the twilight saga after some fans dis-liked the last book. I doubted this. Well, now she’s announced that she won’t finish it because of the mood this has put her in and she posted the draft she never wanted fans to see on her website so they wouldn’t feel obligated to not read it.
As a aspiring writer I get it. If I’m not in the right mood every thing goes to hell for my characters. As a fan I’m upset. I never read the illegal draft and now that it’s on her web page I feel worse about the idea of reading it.
At least Axl knows whose directly responsible and can sue them. At least those 9 songs will still come out completed and on a shiny CD. At least you can hold the work in your hands and enjoy how tangible it is.
I hate the internet today.