At 63, Chrissie Hynde has just released a new album. After several hearings I can say this is not an album that knocked my headphones off my head, but it’s still definitely Hynde, voice and all. And I love her: I love her voice, I love her music, and most of all I love the personal experiences her music took me through.
It is definitely a privilege to be able to listen to her new album on its release day.
Laugh it off, if you will, but I recall this 16 year old dedicating an entire Friday afternoon/evening to a special radio event: ahead of Hynde’s band, The Pretenders, visit to Israel, this radio station – Galei Zahal (the Israeli army’s radio station) ran a six hour long Pretenders special featuring rare recordings and interviews. And I remember me being glued up to the radio and making sure I have enough stock to keep the cassette deck recording. Oh, the pirate that I was!
Indeed, some music was pretty hard to get at the time. I still remember the lengths an army friend of mine had to go through in order to put his hands on special vinyl versions of Pet Shop Boys and Yello music. I benefitted there, too, feeding him with cassettes so he can make this pirate a copy of his achievements.
Now I can get the entire Pretenders discography on Spotify at the press of a button. Those rare Pet Shop Boys and Yello recordings? They’re saved for offline listening on my phone through the Spotify app (they’re great for driving music!). My City Was Gone, the song with the wonderful bass line I remember best from that special Pretenders radio marathon? It’s also saved for offline listening on my Spotify app.
Indeed, nowadays, when I want to hear a band’s special, I just look it up and press play. I don’t need to wait for a radio station, nor do I need to work my ass off locating rare pieces of plastic. It’s all there, and it’s even legal. In fact, I run these private marathons on a daily basis and I enjoy them immensely: the music I listen to is a significant component of me being the person that I am.
You can take whatever message you want to take from the above tale. One of the main things I take is just how much further society progressed through the introduction of enabling technology (the Internet) and facilities that utilise this technology (e.g., Spotify). It’s my message to the copyright monopoly’s constant complaints, coupled with its constant demand for draconian measures to fight piracy with: give us the product that we really want, and there will be no reason to pirate.