Elton John wants the internet shut down

Last updated 00:00 02/08/2007
Reuters
WAR AGAINST WEB: Elton John has called for the internet to be shut down.

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The outspoken Sir Elton John, apparently feeling the pinch of declining album sales, has called for the internet to be shut down.
Blog: A series of deadly, deadly tubes

"Hopefully the next movement in music will tear down the internet," British newspaper The Sun quoted him as saying.

Sir Elton said the internet had "stopped people from going out and being with each other, creating stuff", and it compelled them to "sit at home and make their own records, which is sometimes OK but it doesn't bode well for long-term artistic vision".

Sir Elton confessed he was a "luddite" who did not have a mobile phone or an iPod, and wrote all his music at the piano.

"I do think it would be an incredible experiment to shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span," he said.

It may seem outrageous, but Elton isn't alone in his views; the author Andrew Keen, in his book The Cult of the Amateur, argues the internet is killing our culture and assaulting our economy.

"[Anyone] can use their networked computers to publish everything from uninformed political commentary, to unseemly home videos, to embarrassingly amateurish music, to unreadable poems, reviews, essays, and novels," Keen writes in the book, which went on sale in Australia this month.

Sir Elton is scheduled to perform five solo concerts in Australia starting at the end of November this year, with tickets set to go on sale on August 13.

It is not clear whether his latest tirade was motivated by declining album sales due to internet piracy, although he has spoken out against the practice in the past.

Elton's latest album, The Captain & The Kid, has rapidly slid down the charts since its debut in September last year

"We're talking about things that are going to change the world and change the way people listen to music and that's not going to happen with people blogging on the internet," Elton continued.

Ironically, in March this year Elton made his entire music catalogue of 400 tracks available through Apple's iTunes music store.

Furthermore, a concert celebrating the pop idol's 60th birthday and the 250 million albums he's sold worldwide since the 1970s was streamed live over the internet.

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- Sydney Morning Herald

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