Events off come in threes, and there are three recent post-worthy events in the world of rock.
Eric Clapton on Larry King's gabfest on Friday night was calmly revealing. Clapton on tour for his auto-bio and CD set, talked easily about his creative muses, his past addictions (including his zest for his friend's (George Harrison's) former wife Pattie B.), his perfectionism which led to him being a nasty person to work with, his tragic loss of his four year-old son, Conor, and now his mature and fun side fate, married to a much younger woman from Columbus, Ohio, where he claims to live an average-mid-America life part of the year. Clapton was refreshing.
Madonna is apparently taking another step to advance the further disintegration of the traditional recording industry (the litigious-minded RIAA and the established labels who don't have much of a clue on marketing rock in the 21st Century). Madonna is reportedly leaving her longtime record label to sign a $120m recording and touring contract with a concert promoter.
Radiohead has engineered perhaps the most promising move. Radiohead’s first major album since 2003 is available for download for whatever price you feel is appropriate. It is like visiting one of DC's art museums: you pay what you want to. If free seems appropriate, then free is it; if $8.99 seems fair, then.... The decision to bypass the big record labels and reach out directly to the public at the prices the public are willing to pay, might inspire shakeups in the music industry (apparently other groups are also considering similar approaches), and beyond. The “pay whatever" approach is refreshingly counter to the RIAA's lawsuits against grandmothers and students for downloads. A UK web site WhatPriceDidYouChoose.com. is surveying what people pay for the Radiohead album for posting on Record of the Day at the end of October. Interesting times ahead.