Garth Brooks Wants To Start Ropin’ The Internet

Jan 22nd, 2008 // 11 Comments

ropin.jpgGarth Brooks is emblematic of another time in the record industry–a time when the Recording Industry Association of America’s Diamond certification meant something, a time when people would happily plunk down $13.98 or more for his latest album, a time when being “about the music” meant “paying for the music,” mannn. But it’s the age of rampant cost-free downloading, and he’s trying to figure out a way to keep the money flowing in. His solution? Pinning a bright badge to his cowboy hat and handing out tickets. E-tickets, that is!

Energized by this renewed sense of relevance, Brooks still remains wary of some aspects of 21st century music culture. He’s not fond of iTunes, remaining loyal to the album format. And when the subject of illegal downloading comes up, watch out.

“What is popular isn’t always right,” he said during a 20-minute rant. “My dad, who is 70-something, all he wants to do is eat sugar. All my child wants is to eat sugar. But we know it’s not the best for them.

“As a society, all we want is more free music. But let’s talk about me being on a soccer field, and hearing ‘More Than a Memory’ on somebody’s phone. I go over there and say, ‘Where’d you get that?’ and they tell you: a file-sharing place. I call that place and they say, ‘We can’t do anything until you write us a letter.’ Now how screwed up is that?”

Brooks knows that a multimillionaire like himself is unlikely to elicit much compassion from the music-should-be-free crowd; he cites the songwriters behind most country hits as piracy’s real victims.

His solution?

Internet police.

“It’s gonna have to happen,” he said. “Every illegal download you do, you’d get a $25 ticket, like a parking ticket. What would 10 cuts for $12 feel like compared to that? And the people who create the songs will be able to pay for their children’s school.”

Ah, Garth. We were with you–c’mon, who wouldn’t love to see a reapplication of parking laws in the world of BitTerrorist hordes, if only for the massive lulz inspired by both the inept ways of “tracking people down” and the targeted kiddies’ inevitable tantrums?–until you tried to paint the whole “and then these peoples’ kids can get into expensive schools” picture. Weren’t you about the people, man? Even those who could only afford educations that were paid for by their tax dollars?

Garth Brooks is almost the retiring sort [LAT; HT Ned Raggett]


  1. Ned Raggett

    What’s interesting is that he’s using the same basis of complaint that he did fifteen years back regarding used CDs, saying that he was against it because of lack of royalties for his songwriters.

  2. Anonymous

    “cuts” ha.

  3. Diglett

    I wish he could know just how much that last sentence about the schools undermines his entire campaign. “Every time you buy ‘The Chase’, another child gets to be a Sidwell Friend.”

  4. mike a

    Who’s telling Garth Brooks to his face that they took his song off a file-sharing site? For that matter, are Garth Brooks .rar files really tops on Technorati or Totally Fuzzy? Somehow I doubt it.

    His used-CD gripe had no legal basis. Under copyright law, when you sell a CD you’re also transferring the license. That’s providing you bought the CD rather than got a promo, of course.

  5. mike a

    By the way, Idolator, i can’t believe you left this tidbit out from the original article:

    He may even revive the Chris Gaines project, which stalled after the 1999 album he recorded under the pseudonym flopped.

    Is he going to blame file-sharing or used CDs when that flops, too?

  6. brasstax

    Jeezus, was that only 1999? It seems like much longer ago.

  7. The Notorious T

    @mike a:
    “Who’s telling Garth BRooks to his face that they took his song off a file-sharing site?”

    In 2007, who’d recognize Garth Brooks if he walked up to them and started talking to them about ringtones? I’d be more concerned that he’d try to sell me Amway…

  8. The Notorious T

    In 2008 even. Leave it to my inability to recognize the changing of the year to ruin an already bad Amway quip.

    And now I have “Friends In Low Places” stuck in my head. This just keeps getting better and better.

  9. Anonymous

    I always liked the Chris Gaines album. Some good songwriting on there.

  10. AnnoyingFemaleLeadVoiceover

    I was caught by the RIAA for supplying illegal downloads of “When the thunder rolls” via Kazaa. True story.

    I’m sorry Garth, I’m sooooo sorry.

  11. Anonymous

    Garth’s sadness about downloading surely revisits the somber mood he first spoke of in “Mr. Blue”.

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