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When One of my Dogs Died, My Other Dog Accepted Change. (A Metaphor for Being Scared of Spotify)

2013 July 18
by Mike Vial

This week, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke made headlines criticizing Spotify; the shit hit the fan in the music world again over a dead topic.

(Read here and here; and Lefsetz’s critique here and here. Oh and this. )

I understand his argument; but I also need to remember what it was like for Gunshy when my other dog Bonnie died. (Analogy time!)

Everyone needs a Bonnie for a pillow.

When Bonnie died, our sweet boxer named Gunshy went through a major adjustment. He went from being the beta dog, the one who followed Bonnie’s lead, to an unknown world: the only pup!

The first day as only dog, he peed in the house because he didn’t know how to ask us to go outside. He looked at us, walked behind a chair, lifted his leg, and peed. He then tried to lick up his own pee because he felt sad that he broke a rule. (He was the sweetest dog, ever)

You see, it was Bonnie’s job for years, to tell the humans that Bonnie (& Gunshy) needed to go potty. Gunshy’s job was to let his bladder hold it until Bonnie made a stink.

After Bonnie died, Gunshy learned how to be the alpha dog. It took a while for the transition to be made, but he didn’t try to recreate the past. He lived in the present, and found his new place in life. When we got a new puppy, named Lois, Gunshy had had made the full transition to alpha.

In the music business, we are still mourning death of the old guard. (Pre-Internet, CD sales, etc.) I’m sorry, but it’s already dead.

Musicians and artists need to spend energy adapting to the unknown future. Death and change are inevitable. How you adapt is your choice. Musicians need to be like Gunshy, find a new place in this complex world.

Waiting for Bonnie to tell us to go outside isn’t going to happen.

Gunshy had his turn at becoming a pillow, too.


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