Why we love Lily Allen (and Sir Elton John) pt. 3

Somebody asked me if I knew The Bald Guy from the music business. Apparently there is someone out there sending out newsletters acting like he is/was/might have been in the music business and said some very nasty and misogynistic things about Lily Allen’s recently public statements against file “sharing” or what we call “bartering” around here. Not to mention gratuitous and homophobic things about Elton John.

I have never run into The Bald Guy on a deal, at a company, never known anyone by that name who actually sold a record, humped a trap case, nurtured an artist’s career, worked a hit record, or worked a stiff record for that matter. No one ever said—wait! I have to check with The Bald Guy. In short, I have never run into anyone by that name in the music business. Neither on the tech side of the house. Or indeed—anywhere.

Now I have heard of someone by that name who is in the email business. That’s not a business I’m very familiar with, so it’s entirely possible that the guy is an email rock star.  I actually sat next to a bald guy at the music awards during Canadian Music Week this year. He seemed to be getting bad vibes from Gene Simmons. Of course—that’s kind of like my brother’s in the army, maybe you know him. I got the impression that The Bald Guy is kind of like the Glenn Beck of the email business or something.

The thrust of the email that I heard about from The Bald Guy is that Lily Allen isn’t pretty enough for his standards (???) and that she’s not a good enough singer (given his superstar A&R track record) and that artists don’t know anything about the record business. And the most damning fact in the email business—she hasn’t made it in New York. And then there were some things said about Sir Elton that just aren’t worth repeating.

Now—is there a connection between The Bald Guy and Sir Elton’s letter to Lord Mandelson against file bartering? Maybe, maybe not. But the timing is curious. Which do you think will get more weight from Lord Mandelson? The Bald Guy’s email or the views of one of the greatest songwriters of all time?

Would Sir Elton have written his letter were it not for Lily Allen? Maybe, maybe not. But the timing is curious.

I have learned that the very best person to ask about what to do with a record is the artist. They may not know all the answers, but they usually have some pretty good ideas. And it is, after all—their record.

I wouldn’t ask someone in the email business what they think about selling records, and I wouldn’t expect them to ask me about the email business. I’d be more likely to ask them what they think about giving email away for free, and they’d probably tell me.

The email business must be a tough business. It sounds like it must be like the music business was 30 or 50 years ago, a bunch of wannabe Svengalis (speaking of wannabes) telling girls that they aren’t pretty enough to get a ride in the big black car, or their record wasn’t good enough to be worth paying off 100 jocks to play it instead of something they wanted to play. And then of course, there was that world outside of New York—New Jersey. If you ain’t made it in Jersey, baby….

That’s the problem with the Internet—everyone’s a critic. Even people in the email business. And it is very important to some that they tear down anyone who stands up. Particularly women. We have a name for that.

Us Baldry alums have to stick together.