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  • Writer's pictureFred

Rolling Stone's Obituary Scam

You like the Pogues?


They were way off my radar. I was vaguely aware of their lead singer Shane MacGowan due to his jacked up teeth, but their punk music should have been right in my wheelhouse.


But it wasn't.


Teenage Fred gravitated toward punks such as the Ramones and the Clash. Years later, the music of the Dead Kennedys and their label-mates became my punk rock staples.


"What about Fairytale of New York?"



What about it? I didn't think it was that great of a song.


I thought Anthrax captured the New York vibe better in Who Cares Wins.



Then what are we doing here?


Shane MacGowen hadn't released new music with the Pogues in the 30 years before his death. Actually, he hadn't released almost ANY music in the 2 decades before his death.


But when he passed, Rolling Stone Magazine released article after article espousing his greatness, like they were along for the ride the entire time.


They weren't.


Every time time anyone even marginally talented in the music business dies, Rolling Stone creeps to the top of Google's search engine with flowery rememberances.


Since the Pogues were on the Warner Music Group's Label, do you think that it's at least feasible that the record labels have been paying Rolling Stone all along? Record sales tend to spike after an artist's death and it's one last chance for record companies to cash in at the expense of an artist.


  1. Artist dies

  2. Label pays Rolling Stone

  3. Rolling Stone finds a writer (or writers) sympathetic to the dead artist to write an obituary.

  4. Rolling Stone pays money to Google

  5. Fans flock to Rolling Stone to read about the dead artist when they Google their name

  6. Thousands buy dead musician's music

  7. Artist still explotied in death


Now don't get me wrong, Rolling Stone writes great eulogies...because they're in the BUSINESS of writing great eulogies.


If you pay attention, it works for nearly every musician.


Again, that's quite the business model.

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