Monday, October 27, 2008

Dear Feargal Sharkey,

I was suprised to learn from my mate J.C. that you have become rather successful lately. Quite a long way from singing in a grievously underrated band to becoming a Chief Executive for British Music Rights, isn't it? Well, it must have been a long way, Feargal, because apparently you seem to have forgotten some things. Important things, my old friend. I came to this impression because of the statements you made in this article.

Feargal, have you ever thought about why it is that you now have the successful job you currently have? Have you ever thought about who it was that made you so important? No? Well, I'll tell you, Feargal: it was us. Yes, us, the people who spent their hard-earned money for your records. The people who followed you around and paid to see your gigs. Some of them still exist nowadays, believe it or not. Those people are called fans, Feargal. Sometimes I think this is an expression which isn't used very often in your nice little BMR - office these days, right? Fans. Hmmmh. Sounds strange these days, I admit. But, the thing is, Feargal, fans - in the true sense of the word - are not criminals. Nor have they ever been. They are just little people who like what someone else has done or is doing. And they want to share their joy and excitement with other people.

Come on Feargal: you're not that old, are you? Do you really have forgotten what you did back in the mid 70's when you were short of money and your mate had the latest single, by, let's say, The Faces? I bet he taped it for you, didn't he, so that you could listen to it at home over and over again: "Pool Hall Richard, You're Far Too Wicked, We Know ...". Boy, that was fun, wasn't it, Feargal? I bet you sang along with it in your room like nobody's business, didn't you?

Your mate taped it for you for free, Feargal, so I assume. Or did you pay him for it? No, I bet you didn't. Now, would you describe your mate - and yourself, mind you - as having been criminals back then? Did you even give a toss about the fact that you stole Rod Stewart's money? Be frank to me, Feargal: you didn't, no way. Rod is a multi-millionaire by now, even though you and your mate stole his money. Deliberately.

You see, today the tape decks have gone. Out of fashion. Replaced by computers, Feargal. But the attitude has remained. Still some fans want to share stuff they really appreciate with other people. People who might not have the chance to listen to it that easily. And please don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about the real pirates. Those are criminals, I admit. I'm talking about fans. Fans who post a little something and in doing so they encourage other fans to go and buy other stuff from the artist. As easy as that, Feargal. Fans have a blog which is read by some thirty other fans per day, if at all. Pirates steal music on a commercial basis. Don't mix this up, Feargal, please!

If you want to save artists' rights, kindly attack the pirates and their battleships. Don't bomb the fans' rubber boats, my friend. I understand this is the easier thing to do, but that doesn't mean it is the right thing to do. So please leave us fans alone, okay? Ed, Steve and Coxon are not your enemies, Feargal, they're just fans. Not more, not less.

Think about this if you have a minute, Feargal. That's all I would ask for, mate.

All the best, your old fan,


PS: and to show the young fans - who probably can't afford to pay some 50 quid for this single (or whatever it's worth on ebay these days) - that you made some fantastic records some years ago (and therefore can't be such a bad chap after all), here's your 1978 debut on Good Vibrations Records:

1) Teenage Kicks (mp3)

4) Emergency Cases (mp3)

I'll await your kind response to this, Feargal. In one form or another ...



Anonymous said...

well said dirk you nailed it there, i for one wouldn't care if i never listen to anything he's been involved with again as the twat just turns my stomach, a shame as his bands have turned out some sublime music, i would like to think they disassociate themselves with such a grasping egotist as him and the same goes for all the other bmr gangsters bullying the bloggers and fans alike; good on you dirk, and to ed, steve, coxon, and all you other countless blogs out there for making a stand; don't let them beat you down we love reading your articles and opinions with or without the music being posted; i'd urge you all to tell don sharkey & his like minded mob 'you've got my number, why don't you use it?' as we all love & support you out here
matt, worksop
ps what do you think the late mr peel would think of it all?

a Tart said...

Brilliant darling! I love it xoxoxo

Dirk said...

Thanks, folks, your comments are highly appreciated, as usual.

Well, Matt, Peel, because of working for the BBC, would have had to be rather quiet about the dilemma, I'm afraid. At least in the beginning. But if all of this will get worse, and I'm afraid it certainly will, I think he would have tried to use his name and position to calm things down. The thing is, you know, at least that's how I see it, a platform for us 'victims' is missing ... the BMR won't give a fuck about my letter to Feargal, nor will they care at all about whatever JC, Ed, Steve and Matthew and all the others have to say. Not unless someone stands up who has at least a certain influence. But who might that possibly be? Dunno much about British politics, but here in Germany I don't know a single politician who could do this job.

So, yeah, Peel would have been some kind of help, Matt. But he can't be replaced easily, as we all know ...

Anonymous said...

Excellent post, Dirk.

Keep on keeping on

david said...

Nice post. Nice attitude.
I love(d) The Undertones. I actually bought all their records on vinyl, and then again on CD.
I can't believe I'm kind of regretting it now.
Then again there was more to The Undertones than the smug and hypocritical Mr Sharkey....

So It Goes said...

An open letter to a hero turned complete wanker for the cash. Beautiful, Dirk. Sorry I haven't linked you before: I will remedy that straight away.
P.S. My epistle to FS is just this: Dear Feargal, you're a cunt. Take your legal fascism and shove it up your skinny chuff. Sincerely, one of the people who put you where you are, Steve.

JC said...

Sheer Genius amigo. Sheer fucking genius.

Ed said...

chuckle! Ed

Anonymous said...

hey sexyloser, you got balls, i'll give you that! good luck in the fight, man - i hope you get to keep them!

explodingboy said...

long time reader first time poster.. nice post.

Always remember that Steve Cook and Paul JOnes stole the guitars, amps and drums to get the Pistols going.....