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Pete Townshend Calls Apple "a Digital Vampire" that Makes New Bands "Bleed"

The Who's Pete Townshend says Apple -- and with it, iTunes -- is "a digital vampire" that makes new bands "bleed."

The guitarist said this and more at the first John Peel Lecture in Salford, England, on October 31, adding that the internet was "destroying copyright as we know it" and was damaging the growth of new music, reports BBC News.

"Is there really any good reason why, just because iTunes exists in the wild west internet land of Facebook and Twitter, it can't provide some aspect of these services to the artists whose work it bleeds like a digital vampire, like a digital Northern Rock, for its enormous commission?" he asked. "Apple should employ 20 talent scouts from the dying record business to give guidance to new acts and provide financial and marketing support to the best ones."

Townshend also had some words for people who have downloaded music by The Who without paying:

"They may as well come and steal my son's bike while they're at it. If someone pretends that something I have created should be available to them free, I wonder what has gone wrong with human morality and social justice."

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Damian Fanelli
Damian Fanelli

Damian is Editor-in-Chief of Guitar World magazine. In past lives, he was GW’s managing editor and online managing editor. He's written liner notes for major-label releases, including Stevie Ray Vaughan's 'The Complete Epic Recordings Collection' (Sony Legacy) and has interviewed everyone from Yngwie Malmsteen to Kevin Bacon (with a few memorable Eric Clapton chats thrown into the mix). Damian, a former member of Brooklyn's The Gas House Gorillas (opens in new tab), was the sole guitarist in Mister Neutron (opens in new tab), a trio that toured the U.S. and released three albums (opens in new tab). He now plays in two NYC-area bands.