Iggy Pop on U2 iTunes download: Apple stole the listener's choice by giving it away

The former Stooges frontman lambasted the modern music industry during the annual John Peel lecture in Manchester

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The Independent Culture

Iggy Pop has criticised technology giant Apple for “stealing the listener’s choice” by giving away the most recent U2 album for free on iTunes.

"Part of the process when you buy something from an artist ... It's a kind of an anointing, you are giving people love," he said.

“It's your choice to give or withhold. You are giving a lot of yourself, besides the money. But in this particular case, without the convention, maybe some people felt like they were robbed of that chance and they have a point."

The Stooges frontman, 67, also hit out at the music industry during the annual lecture in honour of the late BBC DJ John Peel who died a decade ago this year.

The “Passenger” singer called the modern music industry "laughably maybe almost entirely pirate" and said musicians have exchanged being ripped off by corporations for being exploited by “power nerds”.

In the lecture at Radio Festival 2014 in Salford, Pop, who is one of the pioneers of the Punk era, said that despite the failings in the music industry he did not blame the consumer. He said he understands that some music fans who access tracks for free do so because they have been "totally left out, screwed and abandoned". The musician said the development of new digital devices has seen people become estranged from their morals, allowing them to "steal" music.

Pop said he empathised with people struggling in a time of financial hardship. "I think people are just a little bit bored, and more than a little bit broke. No money. Especially simple working people who have been totally left out, screwed and abandoned. If I had to depend on what I actually get from sales I'd be tending bars between sets."

Pop, who famously performs bare-chested and whose major hits include “Lust For Life” and “Real Wild Child”, paid tribute to his own personal music mogul Richard Branson whom he described as a “good guy” after signing him to his Virgin Records music label.

Pop follows figures such as Pete Townshend, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church in delivering the BBC Music John Peel Lecture.  The lecture was broadcast live on the BBC’s Six Music digital channel and will be screened by BBC4 on Sunday.

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