Jack White Calls Out This Generation of Musicians as “Entitled”

At the risk of sounding like an old man yelling at kids to stay off my lawn, I kinda agree with Jack on this one. I’ve addressed dozens of gatherings of young musicians with more-or-less the same message: “Just because you make music doesn’t mean you deserve to be heard. You gotta work really, really hard and get really, really lucky. And above all, you need LOTS of talent and write nothing but GREAT SONGS. No one owes you anything. Ever.”

In an interview with Dan Rather, Jack White says much the same thing. Read more at Wondering Sound.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

3 thoughts on “Jack White Calls Out This Generation of Musicians as “Entitled”

  • September 17, 2014 at 10:21 am

    I’m not sure I agree with the statement that musicians today are entitled. I run a small promotions company and I deal with independent musicians who have been slogging away since the 802 – Attrition, Mona Mur most notably – and people that have just released their debut EPs and each and everyone of the them is dedicated to making the best music possible and being as professional as they can be.

    The main different that I see with the young artists today is that they don’t believe they can make it. Music will always be a part time gig to them. The death of the label system has left a giant hole in talent development which has yet to be filled. Because of this, artists now have to do everything themselves. This is the most important thing that Jack has brought up in this article but that isn’t a matter of entitlement but a massive shift in the way business is done.

    Right now, competing in the music business is harder than ever. Labels are giving less and less support as the slowly die, musicians are able to produce more music – in quality and quantity – more cheaply, there are fewer and fewer trusted music sources to get the information out and there are more entertainment options than ever before. Given how much more stacked the deck is today than it was in the 60s, these kids making music today aren’t so much entitled as they are heroes for helping fight what has been a mostly losing battle.

    • September 17, 2014 at 12:54 pm

      Could not have said it better myself, nail on the head.

      Thanks for saying what we’re all thinking (or should be).


  • September 17, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    I totally agree with Ryan’s above commentary. No comment on the originators comments


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