You really do have to give Garth Brooks some kind of credit — for putting his head so deep in the analog sand that his digital ass is just ripe for a swift kicking.
It’s not ironic enough that — after sitting on the sidelines for most of this millennium — he’s now following in the tracks of trail-blazers like Elvis and Liberace and taking his act to Las Vegas. No, not only that, but now that Garth Van Winkle has awakened, he actually seems to think that the past ten years haven’t happened:
“What I find myself doing with these record label heads is they’re going, ‘Hey, we’re doing great!’ And the truth is, they’re doing great with what they’ve got to work with. But the truth is, they’re making one-twentieth of what they should be making. The people that are running Taylor Swift‘s place? Those people, even though they’re the most successful, I betcha in the ’90s, they would’ve made 10 times more — without piracy and without having to sell everything at 99 cents. If that young lady, if for every single she sold, she sold an album, those people could have money for artist development again and for taking chances.”
Marshal McLuhan knew all about that kind of logic. He called it “seeing the future through a rear-view mirror.” Something about moving backward, “rump bumping into the future…”
Garth Brooks has the reputation of being a pretty smart guy, but you do have to wonder if spending the past ten years at home with his children hasn’t somehow possessed him of the delusion that toothpaste can go back into the tube.
And now, here he is, putting his Stetson back on and getting back on his virtual high horse to take on the 99c download — just as that whole model itself stands on the threshold of obsolescence.
I sure wish I could be around to see the expression on Garth’s face when he finds out that what used to be a dollar is now… a dime.