Random Notes

You’ve probably received emails from the likes of the New York Times and the Washington Post encouraging you to subscribe in order to support the investigative journalism that the papers perform. Yes, while there’s lots of stuff that you can get for free online, paying people to do the work is not free, so if you want to get that information, you have to support it. (Ironically enough, you are getting this for free and I am getting nothing for it. Go figure.)

I recently received a subscription solicitation in my inbox with the subject line:

Support the journalists speaking truth to power

One of those papers or The New Republic or The Atlantic or National Review or Mother Jones?

No. Rolling Stone.

While I know that the solid work of Matt Taibbi appears in the pages of RS, here’s the question: If the objective is to support solid political reporting (assuming, of course, that speaking truth to power doesn’t mean the heads of record companies or Daniel Ek), is getting a subscription to Rolling Stone the right place to spend?

Well, there is that tote bag.


In 1997 David Bowie created, working with Prudential Financial, “Bowie bonds.” When issued, they had a face value of $1,000 and were a long-term investment, as they had a maturity of 10 years.

The purpose of the bonds was to raise money so that Bowie could buy back the rights to the music on albums released between 1969 and 1990.

There was $55 million raised.

This approach became something like the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) phenomenon that is now all the range especially in tech circles, as variants were created for James Brown and others. (One would have thought that the King of Soul could simply mint is own money, but alas. . . ).

Bowie bonds came to mind as the management company for BTS, Big Hit, went public on the Korean stock exchange and had an immediate valuation of initially $7.6-billion, which then dropped to about $4-billion, and while the number is probably something entirely different right now, odds are that unless something completely unexpected happens to the seven-member band that has been performing since 2010, odds are Big Hit will continue to be a big hit, as the members of the band are undoubtedly fungible.

The thing about music that isn’t often taken into account is the fact that it is the “music industry,” just like, say, the “auto industry.”

The $55-million of Bowie 1997 would be worth about $89 million today.

Or $3,911,000,000 short of Big Hit.


There is an interesting stat from the Morning Consult regarding how people feel about doing things. As we are in the midst of the political campaign it is interesting to look at a demographic breakdown based on party affiliation rather than age.

When it comes to going to a concert as in right now, 23% of Republicans are ready and probably going, while only 9% of Democrats are. (And oddly enough, 23% is the same percentage of millennials who say they’re ready, so maybe there is a bit more at risk here for the Dems than seems to be the case.)

It would seem that traveling abroad, given the lockdown news out of places like London and Paris, would be very low, yet those concert-ready Republicans say they’re ready to go, as 21% indicate they are would strap on their traveling shoes right now, while only 8% of Dems would.

Given that the margin of error is +/-2% to 3%, the concert-going and traveling numbers are approximately the same. So maybe the thing is that there are lots of Republicans are anxious to go abroad to see a concert.

However, it is curious as to where those Republicans would go. The European Union is not letting U.S. vacationers in, nor is Japan. Hell, the border with Canada is closed. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in an interview last week, “The U.S. is not in a place”—COVID-19 containment-wise—“where we would feel comfortable reopening those borders.”

Not even to Nickelback fans.


And one more of a political nature.

John Fogerty told CNN that he is “confused” by the Trump campaign using “Fortunate Son” at his rallies.

Fogerty said, “I wrote the song back in 1969 and back in those days we still had a draft and something I was very upset about was that people of privilege, in other words, rich people, or people who had position, could use that and not be taken into the military.”

As in, in the words of Senator Tammy Duckworth, Cadet Bone Spurs, clearly the Fortunate Son nonpareil.

The Trump campaign has proven itself to be particularly tone deaf, as among the musicians who have taken exception (including legal exception) to the campaign’s use of their music includes Neil Young, R.E.M., Twisted Sister, The Rolling Stones, Rihanna, Guns n’ Roses, Phil Collins, and many more.

Who is it that all of those Republications are going to see in concert?

One thought on “Random Notes”

  1. A message to Republicans young and old: strap on your traveling shoes for a trip abroad between now and Nov 2 – and leave the mask at home. Maybe Axl Rose or the remains of Lynrd Skynrd are playing Paris.

Leave a Reply