I’ve been a music freak my whole life. My dad introduced me to rock and roll when I was still learning how to walk and speak. He showed me everything from The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” to “London Calling” by The Clash and even “1984″ by Van Halen, then almost everything in between.
I was always fascinated by the massive wooden shelves that held all his precious, rare, and collectible CDs and vinyl discs. I am extremely grateful that he taught me from an early age to appreciate music and the artists that create it.
The very first CD I bought with my own money was the classic metal album “Hysteria” by Def Leppard when I was eleven years old. Since then, I’ve always bought CDs, mainly because I wanted to be daddy’s little girl and have a collection like he does (that dream is still in existence).
The collection I have now is a jumbled group of electronic and metal records containing artists like KMFDM, Rammstein, Razed In Black, Mötley Crüe, Heart, Lita Ford, Jane’s Addiction, Nirvana, and even some Gorillaz.
Living in the 21st century, however, I’ve come to realize that my love for CDs isn’t a passion shared by my fellow college students. For example, when the new KMFDM album “Kunst” came out earlier this year, I drove straight to the record store after work to pay $12 and fall in love with their raging industrial noise all over again. My friend, however, downloaded the entire album for free off of Grooveshark, and instantly added all the songs to her iTunes library.
It seems to me that most Millennials (the generation born between 1985 and 2000) simply just don’t pay for their music. With the rise of computers and the Internet, our generation is accustomed to getting what we want when we want.
This is why industries such as music, journalism, art, and film are suffering: younger generations don’t want to pay or wait for new music, news, or movies. They want it all and they want it now, for free.
The troubling aspect of this situation is that artists aren’t getting paid for their staggering amounts of hard work and dedication to their craft. Imagine if you dedicated your life to a passion or career you loved, and weren’t getting paid for it because your work was being handed around for free. It’s not fair, is it?
Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails expressed this thought when he was quoted saying, “I’m not saying offering things for free or pay-what-you-can is wrong. I’m saying my personal feeling is that my album’s not a dime. It’s not a buck. I made it as well as I could, and it costs 10 bucks, or go **** yourself.”
If you truly love an artist and deeply support what they do, you should have no problem forking over $12 for their work. The next time you’re downloading a song or album from the Internet, think about the industry you are affecting and the artists that worked for hours on end to release it.
I am quite proud that my dad raised me the right way and taught me to appreciate the value of music and the importance of it in my life. When the music industry totally collapses due to the Millennials, at least I can say I had nothing to do with it.