You probably thought the only sure things in life were death and taxes, didn’t you. Well, we can throw one more thing into the pot roast of life’s guaranties.
Death and sales. I don’t remember the last time it wasn’t a sure thing.
Chuck Berry died last weekend. A rock and roll pioneer without question; he was one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and influenced generations of artists. But Chuck’s last hit record was back in the early 70’s and he had been averaging 39 album sales prior to his death.
But then he died and his record sales increased 11,684 percent. Really.
Now this is not unusual. The same thing has happened following the death of other musicians and I’m having a difficult time understanding the mentality. Then again, the human mind is difficult to figure out on a good day.
But really, what compels people to buy an artists music after they die when they had no interest in doing so before they died? The music has been out there for decades, readily available. Why are they enough of a fan now to buy their music, but not before? Chuck’s songs have been around since the fifties. They’ve been all over the radio, movies, television, etc, forever. If people liked these songs before, why did they wait until he died to download them? It’s the same song. Sung by the same artist. But they like it better today? Are they afraid it’s going to somehow disappear or that Apple will go out of business? Do people sit around and wait for the evening news to decide what they should download that night based on the obituary reports? Does the music somehow sound better after someone dies? It all sounds a little macabre to me.
In some ways, this same phenomena happens in food stores the day before a snowstorm. People rush out to stock up on essentials because the roads may be snow-covered for maybe a day. Maybe. I always feel like they’re expecting Armageddon to arrive and bread will be have to be bartered with a laptop.
I wonder if all my blog posts will suddenly be in monetary demand when I’m no longer around. Maybe I should fake my demise, stay away for a couple of years and reap the financial rewards after I decide to return from my self-imposed disappearance. Sort of like an Eddie and the Cruisers thing.
Okay, I think might be getting a little carried away.