Monday, April 05, 2004

I AM TRYING TO TAKE YOUR ART: If we'd just stuck up a band's album onto the internet several weeks before release, we doubt if we'd be sending the songwriter our transcribed lyrics for his yea or nay as to their accuracy. But Wilco fan Rone Givony is made of stronger stuff than us, and also he doesn't find himself in the unpleasant position of being a Metallica fan; so he sent Jeff Tweedy an email promising to buy the album when it eventually came out (we're sure he didn't mention 'just as soon as the guy outside the Frisco Burger has got them burned off and the artwork laser-printed out'). Tweedys response was to launch, offering fans the chance to donate a few quid in compensation for the ill-gotten gains. In less than a day, it pulled in USD1,500 (the sort of cash-sign-up that would have had Glastonbury ticket servers falling over, in other words.) Not only has Tweedy and Wilco demonstrated that people who share illegal files would give money if only they could, but the bucks raised by Just A Fan will all be going to Medecins Sans Frontieres, the charity established to help Stuart Hall, stranded in Southern Italy since Its A Knockout was axed. Oh, alright, the International medical charity. Point proven; honours even and some cash in the back pocket of a well-deserving cause. If only Metallica had been half as smart, eh?

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