back to article Internet, China and Russia destroying US, rock and roll

An ageing and increasingly cantankerous rock aristocracy is pointing its arthritic fingers at the internet, blaming it for destroying America, and even more worryingly, rock and roll. Fleetwood Mac songstress Stevie Nicks told the New York Daily News this week that the net "has destroyed rock. Children no longer develop social …


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  1. austinsho

    As they told...

    ...the Dixie Chicks, Shut Up and Sing!

  2. hplasm

    That Stevie Nicks!

    She'll be putting cats in bins next, you wait and see!

    1. LinkOfHyrule


      Can we have a "warning, try not to fall off the chair" icon for posts like these in future?

  3. Code Monkey


    Who the hell are the China-Russians?

    They're 2 separate nations you ignorant hick bastard!

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: China-Russians

      Well, quite obviously there is a group of Russian quality antique tableware collectors acting in concert to destroy rock and roll, in an attempt to protect their fine porcelain from the potentially dangerous vibrations caused by loud music.


    2. I didn't do IT.

      Heed them not, for they know not what they say...

      Remember, every true "rocker" from a(ny) previous generation who "speaks out" must have their words taken with a grain of salt - they had access to recreational pharmacueticals we can only dream of today, so it is only right that it doesn't make much sense...

  4. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

    the 'China-Russians'?

    Who are they and why do thgey want to take away my rock and roll? Although if they only destroy Fleetwood Mac, my concern will be somewhat mollified...

    <-the studded leather one with Rammstein artwork on the back

    1. James Hughes 1

      Fleetwood Mac Destruction

      But what about Peter Green, one of the greatest EVER guitarist?

      1. Flybert

        Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac

        .. a completely different animal than Rumours Mac

        .. even most people my age, 57, have no clue Peter Green wrote Black Magic Woman and Fleetwood Mac recorded it before Carlos Santana became a star copying it almost note for note

        I have a copy of the unofficial Pious Bird of Good Fortune, one of the best albums ever in terms of variety song to song ..

        .. can not handle the over produced pop music Lindsey Buckingham crap though, not even rock and roll in my book

  5. Stratman


    "Fleetwood Mac songstress Stevie Nicks told the New York Daily News this week that the net "has destroyed rock. Children no longer develop social graces."

    They have turned into adulterous egomaniacs who pump themselves full of drugs.

    My mistake, that was Fleetwood Mac.

    1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: title

      You're like the most moral person ever. Can I touch the hem of your cloth? Not *that* hem.

      1. Stratman


        Well, I've never been adulterous in twenty seven years of marriage, and I've never pumped myself full of drugs.

        Perhaps the fragrant Ms. Nicks could be more precise on which social graces today's yoofs fail to develop.

        Only the lovely Mrs. Stratman may touch my hems.

        Love and peace.

        1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

          Re: title


          1. lglethal Silver badge

            To quote the late great Bill Hicks...

            "If you dont think drugs have done some good in this world, do me a favour - go home tonight and take out all your albums and burn 'em. Because you know all those artists that have made all that great music that has enhanced your life throughout the years? Rrrrrrrrrrrreal high on drugs!"

            I'll still take a drugged up egomaniac to supply my music hits over the balless, soulless corporate bitches the record companies are spewing out now...

            1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

              Re: To quote the late great Bill Hicks...

              See also: "Never murdered anyone, never robbed anyone, never raped anyone, never beat anyone, never lost a job, a house, a car, a wife or kids - laughed my ass off - and went about my day. Sorry."


  6. LinkOfHyrule

    What a load of old...


    I'm pretty bllody sure the internet was actually invented in the USA.

    Most people cant tell between a CD and a 320kbps MP3 file.

    Vinyl records have a habit of melting and sounding like crap.

    Big band music is heard very often out in public and I beleive there is even a dedicated show on Radio 2 catering to it on friday nights.

    There's nowt to stop the US hacking China and Russia.

    Bloody idiots. The reason the music industry is "dead" is because it's actually been ripping off consumers and artists alike since it's inception. I give away a lot of music I write for free. Without the internet however, I'd probably not be making music as it was kind of a expensive thing to get into thanks to the so called industry acting like a bunch of selfish pricks in the past!

    Oh and Fleetwood Mac sound like a bunch of fanbois! ;o)

    1. Michael 82


      "Vinyl records have a habit of melting"... Where do you keep yours then?

      "and sounding like crap""... I have some rather old vinyl thats just as good now as it was in the 50's! Vinly has a more larger stereo image than CD's and I am going to stop myself, before getting into a Vinyl vs CD dance off again.

      Agreed about the cd vs Mp3 - Some cant even tell the difference at 128kbps let alone 320 ;)

      Mines the one with million dollar ears in the pocket.

      1. LinkOfHyrule

        @Michael 82

        Yeah I was a bit harsh on records there maybe as I actually quite like them myself as it is of course still cool to DJ with them and the fact that many records from way long before I was even born survive is both a technical achievement and again very cool!

        They all have pros and cons, digital downloads sound pretty crap too if you don't back up and have a hard drive failure resulting in them "not existing" any-more!

      2. Power Pentode

        more larger stereo image?

        To my ears, the sound from an LP seems to have a touch of added L-R, even when compared to a CD made directly from the same master tape (e.g. early Jethro Tull CDs). I've no idea whether it's due to the phono cartridge, RIAA equalization, special LP pre-processing, or whatever. Plus the low rumble, feedback from the speakers to the cartridge, clicks, pops, etc. I suspect that the larger difference, by far, is due to the choices made by the recording engineers when the LPs and CDs were produced.

        If you prefer that extra L-R "larger stereo image" you can play your CD or MP3 on your computer and dial up (slide up?) the horrid "3D spatial enhancement" slider or whatever it's labeled on your system. For an extreme example of vinyl L-R, dust off your Little River Band LP and cue up "It's a Long Way There" on the turntable. Listen closely to the sound image: there's precious little sound coming from the center. I'm guessing that's mostly due to pre-processing in that specific case, but you can always run your CDs through a processor to make them sound more like your albums if you wish. The Nullsoft Signal Processing Studio DSP plug-in in WinAmp is free and a good place to start.

        I don't mean to give the impression that I'm dissing all vinyl. Clean 45 RPM vinyl recordings with plenty of space between the grooves, properly engineered can sound incredibly good. I have a few tracks I've ripped from 45 RPM EPs that sound better than their CD counterparts, but only after I've spent 10-20 hours per track removing the worst of the clicks and pops.

        If you could dig up (!) the original recording engineers who produced your favorite LP and give them the original master and a free hand to produce a CD version, which medium do you think would give you the best end result in your listening room? I'll hang onto to the CD version of Adagio for Strings (Thomas Schippers conducting the New York Philharmonic), thanks -- even though I can hear the second violin kick the leg of his chair a couple of times in the CD version :) I know that I'm hearing essentially everything that the composer heard when he was helping on the mixing board.

      3. carter brandon

        Hot Rats

        "Vinyl records have a habit of melting"... Where do you keep yours then?"

        I left Zappa's 200 Motel's beside the oven in a pub in 1971. It melted. Best thing that could have happened to it

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Big Band

      "Big band music is heard very often out in public and I beleive there is even a dedicated show on Radio 2 catering to it on friday nights."

      I'll confess I've been to Friday Night is Music Night on three occasions now (St Luke's Church, old Street), and have enjoyed it each time. Never listen to it on the radio, grew up on Buzzcocks, Stone Roses and many a messy all night rave, but there's something about watching a percussionist running between various bits of kit and smiling old violinists in person that puts a stupid grin on my face.

      Fleetwood Mac...apart from The Chain every other Sunday, you can blow it up Stevie Nix's arse.

  7. oddie

    We're not sure exactly what technology put paid to big band music...

    electric guitars and amplifiers?

  8. jake Silver badge

    They have a point ...

    My daughter's Precision Big Block (formerly owned by Jean-Jacques Burnel) goes weeks without being played ... Might have something to do with her being more interested in making a living than making music, though. Being late in her third trimester might have something to do with it, too.

    The cycle of life continues, even though kids think they they know better then their parents. All that computer power, and they can't come up with anything better than mag tape? MP3s? ::spit::

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Don't worry

      All those belligerent youngsters will get off your lawn soon enough to go do drugs.

      1. jake Silver badge

        @AC 04:18

        "All those belligerent youngsters"

        The belligerent ones avoid me ... I'm better trained & a hell of a lot meaner than they are when I need to be ...and that set knows it.

        "will get off your lawn"

        Actually, many "at risk" kids mow my lawns ... in return for riding and/or dawg training and/or "how yeast works" lessons :-)

        "soon enough to go do drugs."

        Yes. That is an issue ... We try to reach out to the kids here in the Sonoma Valley, and we are an acknowledged refuge for kids in need ... but you can't save all of 'em. Won't stop us trying.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    The Hit Factory

    Heavy metal, rock'n'roll,

    We don't want em back,

    I'd rather jack,

    Than Fleetwood Mac.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Didn't Bon Jovi

    Destory American Rock & Roll in the 90's?

    1. Flybert

      Bon Jovi was 80's

      and along with Journey, Styx, Lover Boy, Foreigner, Ratt, Poison, Cinderella and Def Leppard destroyed rock and roll ...

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Shocking news

    Breaking news: old people do not understand what young people do and like. Now that's some food for thought. I might even invent a name for it and call it "generation gap".

  12. Dave 52

    Old people will complain about the young...

    I can see Stevie's parents complain that she stayed out too long and ignored her chores. Not like I'll be any better when I'm older, but hopefully I'll remember what I'm writing today, and not be too harsh on the younger generations.

  13. The Indomitable Gall

    Big band

    "We're not sure exactly what technology put paid to big band music, though we understand Glen Miller had his doubts about valve powered amplification,"

    3 guys with valve amps can fill a room with sound and will demand less money than a 30-piece band. This led to two things: a proliferation of mid-sized music venues, both building a new audience and discouraging people from travelling further to get to the big-band auditoriums and ball-rooms; big name small acts were able to be put on the bill in the big venues, squeezing the expensive big bands off the bill.

    So yes, the valve amp did it.

  14. Dave Murray Silver badge

    Destroying Rock

    That was done by the music industry, with lots of help from the TV industry and the likes of Simon Cowell.

  15. There's a bee in my bot net

    Kids prefer the sound of mp3s...

    I read somewhere about a college professor who plays a music track to his new students every year (for the past however many years) and asks them to select which track sounded better - one encoded as flacc one as mp3 (possibly others I can't remember) and with each new generation more and more students prefer the sound of mp3s.

    That and them all becoming unsocial, politically jaded, environmentally aware freetards. Or some such.

    Cant these ageing and embittered cheese wits simply enjoy that they contributed something creative to the world and presumably made a living from it?

    p.s. John - I'm listening to your entire back catalogue for free on spotify - just to spite you - I don't like your music - but I'm going to listen to it all damn you! "Oooohhh yeah life goes on"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      The real draw to mp3 is that it quickly plays, and takes up less space. It is not better quality. Nor what folks in the industry use.

  16. blackworx

    Thumbs up

    It's exactly this kind of tongue-in-cheek, gentle piss-take commentary for which I love the Reg. I mean, the proper tech stuff's /interesting/ and all that, but reading about washed up old toots getting their well-worn knickers in a twist about something they neither understand nor really even care about? That's entertainment!

  17. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    Thanks, Stevie for pointing it out

    Because I thought the US (and UK) rock'n'roll music has died as the result of the record companies realising that it's far easier to mass-produce sickly-sweet teen-oriented crap on their conveyor belts than invest in risky development of real talent playing real music.

    If you, Stevie, join Sir Rich Cliffard and the likes, lobbying for copyright extensions, DRMs, internet disconnections and other IP "protection" you will sure help to put the final nail in the musical coffin once and for all...

  18. Moo Moo
    Thumb Down

    Inernet is not destroyed the music business

    Greed, ripping people off and creating a commercial engine to churn out throwaway pop trash is killing the music industry (I'm finding the apparent implied definition of music industry being the economic value of the biggest labels interesting...).

    Music industry will never die, its like nature, some animals who do not adapt to change will go extinct but others will flourish and evolve in their absence. There is great music being produced off the mainstream, its just not deemed worthy / profitable enough by the big labels.

    Internet provides a wonderful access to music, the number of major artists that were recognised through myspace and youtube is enormus. It provides a mechanism where a pennyless artist can upload some tracks to a billion wide audience -- how can that be destroying the music industry?

    1. I didn't do IT.

      Re: how can that be destroying the music industry?

      "It provides a mechanism where a pennyless artist can upload some tracks to a billion wide audience..."

      That means that the "industry" doesn't make any money off of 'em, that's how.

      Icon - because I'm happy about it.

  19. Stone Fox


    That is all.

  20. John Savard Silver badge


    I'm just distressed to hear that time marches on, and the lovely Stevie Nicks is now 62.

    But she's wrong to claim it's the Internet that's destroying social interaction.

    It's the big downturn in the economy that keeps men from getting steady jobs so they can buy a house and a car. And it's this feminism that allows women to refuse to settle for less before they'll get married.

    And never mind the death of rock and roll. It's not just that they're not going out dancing. At a birthrate of 1.3 children per couple, I'd think that the dying out of the entire human race, rather than that of one of its art forms, would be the major concern.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @John Savard

      Must be why the population is falling - Oh, wait...

    2. skeptical i


      1. It is not feminism that is giving women pause before they marry someone with no job, no house, or neither: it's common sense. Why should anyone haul the load (financial, &c) of a partner who can not carry her/his fair share? I can become poor on my own, I don't need any help.

      2. With a global population of +/- eight billion, why are we worried about producing fewer consumers? An economy based on more people buying more useless crap faster than important natural resources (potable water, arable land) can be replenished is not tenable.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Sir:

        Oh yes, I missed that one. Obviously feminism has ruined everything for everyone.

  21. f1rest0rm


    Stevie nicks books about kleptomania .....

  22. YumDogfood

    Unplug and go to a gig

    Forget the charts, the real music scene is alive and kicking; lots of acts from the decaying pension fund mob to new unsigned acts gig all the time. Not that you would know it from the zero media exposure and the 'play it safe' majors.

    Everybody dressing to the new casual conformity, like it was the bloody 50's with freaking 70's Sláger dross pumping out from the radio and a recession from the 80's.

    The internet is my Radio Caroline, and I'm hopeful that the young uns' will wake up soon.

  23. jonathan keith Silver badge

    I'd Rather Jack...

    ... Than Fleetwood Mac.

    Now, The Reynolds Girls. There was real talent.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    Rock is dead? Who cares?

    Rock is dead? Who cares? Music genres come and go like any other fad or popular culture interest.

  25. peyton?

    Once again

    The infinite wisdom of The Simpsons provides the answer.

    Abe "Grandpa" Simpson: I used to be with it, but then they changed what "it" was. Now, what I'm with isn't it, and what's "it" seems weird and scary to me.

  26. Anonymous Coward


    John Cougar Mellonhead? He's on the moldy-oldie stations now....

  27. TEQ

    The music industry....

    I hate that term. The creation of art that so touches and moves the human spirit should NEVER be an industry.

  28. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    The nucleus of "Grumpy Old Men (and Women), USA" ?

    Well they certainly *sound* it.

  29. Anonymous Coward

    Stevie and John should press for an outlaw of stages.


    After all, they're heavy, and you can pinch your fingers in them when moving, assembling, and tightening the locking mechanism, sometimes people fall off of stages, just ask Aerosmith, Pink, or Biff. I mean three people were kille .d--I mean.. hurt in just the last year alone.

    With such high numbers, It's a dangerous stage pandemic, and everyone needs to get their CDC / WHO certified "STAGE-1-NO-1-LEFT" (S1N1L) shot's. Don't worry about becoming a vegetable from all the militarized pallet snuffers, only outlaws will have stages.

    Stages block the view, Stages discriminated against little people, Stages are dark and not well lit. Stages have splinters, and lead paint.

    All concerts should be in an underground cave, at the bottom of a pit, this way the musicians can't fall any farther, and all the people can just "look down" e.g. the natural state of depression.

    We are still in a depression after all.


    Really, I'd like to see Nicks make an dvd without a computer these days. Unless she bought ISLAND RECORDS on eBay a year or two back back, then I guess if she has 6 phase steam and I don't know how many phases electric she could press her own albums (Yeah vinyl)

    Still even then seems there's some electronics which behave like a computer. The more I think about it, neither John nor Stevie know what the hell they are talking about. Seems they are trying to live in the 80's still (which was a wonderful time for music.)

    I know they could have Acoustic shows for now on... like Tesla kicks out now and then. Maybe everyone attending can bring their Polaroid insta cameras. After the show maybe buy a couple of 8-track tapes and a t-shirt.

    Or maybe Stevie and John, should visit Willie Nelson and stfu? okay okay getting back into sarcasm again. But it's not clear, not sure where the legal sarcasm ends and reality begins again. Is this just a dream, or are people really this stupid?

  30. Cyfaill

    Mp3's and music...

    ... is mutually exclusive. Different discussion for another day.

    Time marches on... But for those who don't remember "Fleetwood Mac" with Stevie Nicks, had the top selling record of all time, for a long time.

    Its too bad that some of the most creative talent was the most popular at a time when transistor technology was at its worst.

    Not to be a Luddite or anything but Mp3 barely rates as a format for music.

    Even CD's are not competitive with DSD or even SACD.

    The recording industry itself is to blame for the demise of the (their) market.

    Computer technology is a wonderful dual edged sword that cuts as much as it creates... but what it caused was change. Whether or not it causes a rise in the state of humanity or its fall... is in the hands of a population that is less able to understand the complexity of it as the technology gets more complex, at a time when education is failing to keep up.

    Soon machines will design machines (we are already there). And just as young ones now can't do long division anymore in their heads, an appreciation for music itself will be represented with examples of junk for the masses. Feed to them from the major labels losing the intellectual awareness of just what music is, while the lawyers feed on themselves in a greed fest.

    Lady Gaga is a terrifying example of the ridiculously bad in both recording technology and cultural taste.

    Yes, there is much creative talent in the world today it just can't get out into it without a functional "recording industry" and a less greed oriented culture that drives it. What is needed is a more artistically educated audience that demands some form of quality to the recordings... you-tube is a blessing and a curse... sorry I have no answers, but it is not the internet that is to blame.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    Tech destroyed big band music?

    If you could ask Glenn Miller about dangerous tech he'd probably mention aviation.

  32. -tim

    Rock and Roll is noise pollution?

    One of the major things killing rock and roll is the auto compressor used on all new tracks and most of the digitally remastered ones as well. This fun bit of dodgy software on a modern sound board fixes the problem of turning up the volume knob during the softer bits of a song. The interesting thing is that the auto compressor seems to remove the warmth and emotional feelings from a bit of music as it sanitises the volume levels. Rap tends to trick confuse the auto compressors and so far has been immune to this RIAA sponsored technology and that explains why rap is gaining popularity.

  33. enerider

    As a member of the younger generation...

    I would like to point out to Stevie Nicks that we play games (at LAN parties, no less!), listen to (and pay for) music and still get together and drink a few beers, and even go bowling.

    Heck, we even go out and meddle with our cars and play paintball!

    So "hanging out" still happens despite computers, Ms Nicks.

    Pint - because we're enjoying a few at the LAN party this weekend :-)

  34. Tom 35

    By their logic

    The valve amp should have been banned since it was destroying the Big Band music industry. Then there never would have been a Fleetwood Mac. Poor Disco, no one saved it! They just let it die... the bastards!

    How many zillion copies of Rumours did they sell? How many people bought it more then once (LP, CD...). The poor babies!

  35. John X Public

    Some things never change

    1.) IMNSHO, on media. I've listened to pristine old mono 78s my parents had. They sounded crap. Old worn vinyl also sounds like crap. Some modern production techniques will make the music sound crap, on vinyl or CD, but is most prevalent on CDs. Well produced music on CD is indistinguishable from the vinyl version.

    2.) A quote from almost 3,000 years ago:

    "I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words... When I was young, we were taught to be discreet and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise [disrespectful] and impatient of restraint" (Hesiod, 8th century BC).

    So at least Nicks and Mellencamp have *something* in common with ancient Greek poets.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Stevie Nicks....

    Go and hang out - and shove coke up your nose? Sure. I liked SOME of her own songs - but when you get the whole set, the mockery of South Park portraying her as a sheep bleating on stage comes into it's own.

    "There are a lot of people out there as talented as we were"

    I guess Nicks for me was another vacant emotionally unavailable drug addicted dream girl to try and bond with, just like my own drunken mother......

    Push off Nicks - loser.

  37. Ian Michael Gumby

    Taken with a grain of salt, she kind of has a point...

    I think you have to take what she says, add kosher salt (larger crystals) and translate it to the techno educated folk speak... ;-)

    She makes a couple of valid points.

    First, full disclosure... I grew up in the 70's in Cleveland, so yeah I your typical rock n roll kid.

    As a kid, someone would fork over a couple of buck for the album. We'd share it, or share a tape copy of the album. If we liked it, we would then buy our own copies of the album, make our own tapes because you didn't want to scratch the album... While the tapes weren't as good as the album, they were 'good enough'

    We supported our favorite bands by buying their albums and t-shirts. When they produced crap, they knew it when we didn't buy their albums and stopped wearing their band's t-shirts.

    The only exception was the Grateful Dead.

    Because of music, there was face to face social interaction.

    Speed forward to today...

    You don't have albums, you have mp3 cuts that are all digital. You download the music instead of buying a CD SACD or whatever. Each copy is as perfect as the original.

    So when you shared the music, you didn't need to go out and buy the album, you had a copy that was the exact same.

    Instead of heading over to 'Jimmy's house' to head down to his basement crawl space that was converted in to a 'pit', you just put on a set of ear buds and listen on your own.

    Again, the music is no longer shared, but now enjoyed individually.

    So I can agree that the social dynamics of how we listen to and enjoy music today is different.

    Do we blame the technology? Maybe not.

    Her criticism of Russia and China is based on the notion that most are downloading their music illegally from sites hosted in those countries where the laws are less stringent and harder to chase down those who would break the law...

    Here I do agree that both Russia and China's enforcement of cyber law are weak and China has a dismal record on protecting intellectual property and copyright laws. So again, taking what she said with a grain of salt, there is some truth to her view of the world.

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