Apple isn't Bon Jovi's enemy. Complacency is

Steve Jobs
Maybe Jon Bon Jovi needs to... KEEP THE FAITH. Tee hee!

Something horrible happens to rock stars when they become too successful. They start to believe their own biographies.

People who owe their entire success to glossy hair, white teeth and a nice arse suddenly become convinced that they're enormous talents rather than enormous twats. They turn into Norma Desmond from Sunset Boulevard: "I am big. It's the pictures that got small."

This week's Norma Desmond is Jon Bon Jovi, who reckons that the music business got small - and it's all Steve Jobs' fault. In the near future The Kids will say, "Steve Jobs is personally responsible for killing the music business", he told the Sunday Times.

By a happy coincidence, I reckon Jon Bon Jovi represents everything that's wrong with the music business. I think there's a reason why Bon Jovi albums don't sell like they used to.

It's because they're rubbish.

And thanks to technology, they can't get away with it any more.

All killer, no filler

Here's how it used to work. You'd hear the single on the radio, or on MTV, and you might read a review in your chosen music paper. You'd rush to Our Price or Woolie's, pore over the packaging on the way home, and rush upstairs to get the headphones on.

As Bon Jovi puts it, you'd buy a record "not knowing what the record sounded like, and looking at a couple of still pictures and imagining it".

And you'd discover that most of it was crap.

With the possible exception of Half Man Half Biscuit's Back Again in the DHSS, most albums have a hefty dose of filler: for every work of genius there's a bunch of duffers and at least one song written by the drummer so he could get more royalties.

In the bad old days, we had to pay for all of it.

Now, we don't.

Our iTunes libraries can be all killer, no filler.

And filler is largely what Bon Jovi's in the business of selling. The albums are half-arsed loss leaders, promos for the band's real business: playing the hits for ridiculously inflated prices.

In 2010 Bon Jovi barely figured on the cultural radar, their The Circle album attracting rave reviews such as "it's getting pretty hard to tell one song from the next", "tired" and "rich men fretting about a world they've left behind". So what? With average ticket prices of $105 a pop, the band's tour was the highest grossing of 2010.

It's all about tickets. The next album could be seventy minutes of Bon Jovi shouting "balls!" while Richie Sambora plays the banjo with his buttocks, and Bon Jovi would still make tens of millions of dollars from the subsequent stadium tour.

If that's the music business Bon Jovi would like to save, perhaps we're better off without it.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.