Reporting Scott T. Sterling
Amanda Palmer, who achieved notoriety by raising more than $1.1 million from almost 25,000 fans on Kickstarter to finance her most recent solo album, Theatre is Evil, wants to help Morrissey do the same for his own music.
In an open letter published by Salon, Palmer lays out a convincing case for the former Smith frontman to appeal directly to his large and devoted fan base in order to release what would be his tenth solo album, the first since 2009’s Years of Refusal.
“You have some of the most fanatical fans in the world; 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 explained.
“Given your record sales and history, let’s make a very conservative guess that 500,000 people back you (i.e., pre-order a digital album) at $5 each. That’s a total of $2.5 million.”
Palmer goes on to break down the numbers, coming up with a ballpark figure of $2 million that Morrissey would have to work with after paying management and other costs.
“You would own all the material, and then cut whatever deal you wanted with whoever, should you choose to distribute the record further,” she wrote. “You wouldn’t have to tour and risk your health. You wouldn’t have to do any promotional work for it if you didn’t want to. You wouldn’t have to do anything, really, other than simply go into a studio, record 10 songs, and deal with the small headache of getting the digital information to a bunch of people.”
While the former Smiths frontman debuted three new songs on BBC Radio 2 DJ Janice Long’s show in 2011 (including “Action is My Middle Name, which he performed on Late Night with David Letterman this past January), Morrissey explained to Pitchfork in 2011 that he was without a label. He later told Billboard, “Universal [his most recent label] say they are interested, but their communications have gaps of eight weeks, so they obviously aren’t that serious.”