If you’re a music fan then you’ll know who Bill Drummond is. If you don’t, he’s a South African-born Scottish artist, musician, writer and record producer. He was the co-founder of late 1980s avant-garde pop group The KLF and its 1990s media-manipulating successor, the K Foundation, with which he burned a million pounds in 1994. In 1993, Select magazine published a list of the 100 Coolest People in Pop. Drummond was number one on the list. “What has this giant of coolness not achieved?”, they asked: “Like the Monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Drummond has always been a step ahead of human evolution, guiding us on. He’s also someone who is so tapped into what’s going on with technology and culture at any given point in time. Which was why I was reminded of this awesome quote of his about the worlds movement to digital music because of devices like the iPod;
Within days of getting [an] iPod, I was having unforeseen problems — I found myself skipping through tracks. I would hear a few bars of one of my all-time favourites and then decide it was not what I wanted to listen to and skip to something else. Nothing seemed to satisfy, even though in theory I had every recording on it that I had ever wanted to listen to. Was this just part of the ageing process? Was my palette getting jaded? Then I noticed other people doing the same thing, people in their early teens, 20s, 30s, not just blokes like me who were fast approaching 50. The iPod was changing something in all of our relationships with music. I love it when things change.
It’s a great summary of how technology manipulates and changes ingrained, seemingly unchangeable behaviours.