Amanda Palmer has penned an open letter to Morrissey on Salon, urging the singer to try crowdfunding as a way to fund and release new music after the former Smiths frontman has said he was having trouble finding a new record label.
“You have some of the most fanatical fans in the world,” Palmer wrote, “caring and devoted people from countries far and wide who would be really, really happy to support you at levels far beyond $5 just to have the songs in their ears.”
Palmer’s insistence should come as no surprise: Not only is the singer a rabid Morrissey fan – she recalls not being able to muster up the courage to meet her idol when her band the Dresden Dolls shared a stage with him at a German festival – she’s done well on Kickstarter herself, raising nearly $1.2 million for her last LP, Theatre Is Evil.
In her note, Palmer pointed to what she sees as the increasing obsolescence of record labels in an era when record stores and commercial radio stations are shuttering, and charts mean little to artists who have music-hungry fan bases. By turning to Kickstarter or Pledgemusic, Palmer gave a “conservative guess” that if 500,000 people backed a Morrissey project with $5 each the singer could raise about $2.5 million – plenty to pay commissions to management and a digital team, record a full LP and still make a hefty profit while owning all of the material to boot.
There would be no need to tour, she added, noting Morrissey’s recent health issues, which caused him to cancel a slew of dates, and much of the promotional work would be built in. “You’d also be the first artist of your fame and caliber to undertake a project of this kind with your fanbase, which would make it historic,” Palmer wrote.
“Since I know you almost definitely won’t do this and that you may well think I’m a bothersome asshole for writing you this open letter, I’d just like to say this,” Palmer continued. “You may be the end of a family line, but you have spawned a lot of singing, songwriting children, whether you like it or not, and I proudly count myself as one of them.”