[f_minor] Digital Ice-Box Pitch

Pat pzumst at bluewin.ch
Fri Feb 22 12:44:29 MST 2013

Dear all

Lemme pitch you an idea how it would be possible to get access to unheard GG material and at the same time preserve his aural legacy and maybe even make a few quid. I reckon there is still some stuff to be discovered in the ice box, but that stuff has not enough commercial value to be released on CD and therefore has not yet seen the light of day, stuff that might be of interest to scholars, hardcore fans, historians but not the casual listener per se. Yet the Internet is creating the most astonishing niches for micro-distribution for artists and fans alike.

But first we must make a quick detour to the world of rock and roll.

I recently noticed that legandary DC band Fugazi have opened their live archives. For a small fee of a fiver or so you can buy a digital recording of one or more of their old live shows. Other bands are doing similar things either for free (Nine Inch Nails, NoMeansNo, Cowboy Junkies etc.) or a small fee and even mainstream rock artists like Metallica, Bruce Springsteen and Queen have opened their archives to fans.  
The CBC has started with such a project, but this could be expanded. Maybe even with a small profit.

Here’s my idea: What if the CBC or Sony would set up a similar website with outtakes, alternates, demo tapes, radio broadcasts etc. where individual items can be purchased for a small fee ? Production costs and site maintenance would be minimal and while the revenue might not be up to the usual expectations of Sony it could be used to keep the site running and even for tape restauration, maintenance etc.. The money would be entirely with the institution that sets up the site (no iTunes where Apple charges 60%, no production costs or distribution middle man apart from the transfer from tape to digital, remixing or remastering would not be required) and if small indie labels like Fugazi’s Dischord can set up and run such a site I don’t see why Sony or the CBC cannot. 

It would also have the advantage that the copyright for unreleased material could be extended (Canadian Copyright Law), one could create a minor media buzz, the fans would have summet to talk about, scholars had a field day, you would get rid of all the bootlegs with a single stroke, yet Sony or the CBC still would have the possiblity to (re-re-re-) release something major in the old fashioed way and thus everybody is happy.

I know I would pay a fiver to hear i.e. outtakes from the GG Fantasy (yes, they do exist !) or stuff from the CBC that is not primarily GG playing the piano. How about you ?

Record companies need new business models, the time where you bought your records at the store will very sadly soon be over and such niche markets might just be a part of the future for the record industry and the fans would benefit from being able to buy material that would not have seen the light of day without the possiblities of the Internet and digital distribution. Sooner or later the classical folks will want to jump on that band wagon as well and GG’s musical heritage could be there first. Music, art AND the use of modern media and technology....

So, whatcha reckon ?

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