Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Blogger to Guns N’ Roses: Sorry I Shared Your Album. Best Buy to GNR: Sorry We Bought Your Album

The blogger who leaked most of “Chinese Democracy,” the sort-of long-awaited album from Gun N’ Roses, has pleaded guilty to copyright infringement and will cooperate with the Feds in order to stay out of jail.

But he isn’t the only one who’s in hot water over the album. Someone at Best Buy (BBY) has to explain why they thought it was a good idea to buy 1.3 million nonreturnable copies of the album, most of which look destined to become drink coasters.

Before anyone gets tempted to put two and two together here and blame the Internet for poor music sales, be warned: The music that is most popular among file sharers is the music that is most popular among buyers. In retrospect, it was easy to tell that this album would stiff, based on the reactions of MySpace browsers who came to check out a legal stream of the album–they listened to one track and bailed out.

The Wall Street Journal floats another theory: That Axl Rose, who is the only person left from the original band and whose cloistered neuroticism/paranoia became legendary during the gazillion years it took for the album to come out, didn’t work hard enough to sell the album. He shunned interviews, didn’t make a video for the album, etc.

But just because Axl Rose is turning down a chance to chat with the likes of the New York Times doesn’t mean you can’t find him online. He’s been dropping by fan sites to leave message on bulletin boards, and this weekend did a lengthy Q&A with his followers, who seem to have lots of patience. If you’ve got a similar amount of time, the entire transcript is here via Idolator.

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— Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, in their farewell D post