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It is such a simple thing to say but worth saying anyway: we should make sure our young artists can work by paying for them to do so rather than commercialising them. It was Germaine Greer who said it and I agree with her totally.

In music, instead of doing deals which tie artists contractually in order to turn their work into a commodity, record companies (or the new institutions that come to run music and recording) should employ music people whether performers, writers, or producers and give them a living wage just like any other job. They could turn up for work in the morning and make music like other workers make widgets. Who wouldn't be up for a job like that?

The old record companies didn't give a shit anyway about their artists beyond their commercial potential and their ability to lay the golden egg. Okay, the successful ones became big stars and earned huge sums but the majority earned nothing. If institutions paid for their creatives to live - to eat and pay rent - rather than force them into dead-end commercial contracts then it would provide more constructive work for more talented people and be a better service to music and society generally.

record labels should pay music-makers a

living wage like any other job



music • 23.10.06