Thanks to Irenie for providing a link to a recent interview with Bobby concerning his views on the whole downloading controversy.
Well, he certainly took a different spin on this situation, stating that the decision was made in part over concerns over distribution rights of the artists whose songs they have covered over the years. I'm no legal expert, so I have no idea as to the merit or accuracy of those concerns. I am disappointed however about the attitude. As I listened, I felt talked down to, like he was annoyed with us and we should either accept it or go away, good riddance.
His views most certainly align more closely with recent statements made by McNally and Owsley than they do with his former band mates, Phil and Mickey in particular, and others closely linked with the band like Hunter, Barlow and Gans.
What Bobby and the others don't get was that downloading from The Archive wasn't simply about getting free music. Yes, that was nice and was certainly more convenient than traditional tape trading. It was about much more. The Archive had become a vibrant community which enabled fans, new and old to share their thoughts and experiences. It was about exploration and re-living wonderful memories. Overall, it represented the epitome of the spirit of the band for so many years, that once they had played their music, it was ours. For many regular users, it was an online community that brought together people in a way that traditional tape trading never could.
These are my opinions of course. Probably the most disappointing thing about this past week is the fact that this issue has fractured the band and the community worse than ever before. Bobby's hardline stance on this subject certainly has not done anything to improve his image with many fans. It's a damn shame too, I've always loved Bobby's music, and probably always will. I'm just disappointed, that's all, disappointed that he saw The Archive as a threat rather than the great 'experience' that it provided many of us.
There are some deep wounds now, hopefully they will be healed in time. Peace.