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Amanda Palmer Urges Morrissey to Try Kickstarter

"You’re one of the best candidates on the planet to use crowdfunding, because of who you are and what you mean," writes the indie artist who famously raised more than $1 million for her latest album and tour.

Amanda Palmer Morrissey - H 2013
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Amanda Palmer, a famous fan of crowd-sourced album funding, has penned an open letter to Morrissey urging the British singer to consider using Kickstarter. In a letter on Salon’s website, Palmer suggests that the former Smiths frontman skip finding a new record label and fund his next album through his fans.

“You’re actually Morrissey,” Palmer writes. “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.ean.”

Palmer, who funded her last album project, Theatre Is Evil, last year via the site, explains in the letter that she has been a fan of Morrissey for a long time -- and even met him at a German festival eight years ago. She notes that she recently read an article that “said you’ve been told by doctors not to tour, and you were quoted saying that you wanted to make music, but you cannot find a label.” In reaction, Palmer explains that she tweeted the link to the article and asked her followers, “How many people out there would pay $5 to crowdfund/pre-order a digital-only Morrissey album?”

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“There were many, many answers,” Palmers writes. “You were discussed, anecdotes were shared… and I said very little. People, not surprisingly, said both super-worshipful and super-critical things about you, as you’d expect. But the point is, after a few hours, somewhere upwards of 1,400 tweets came in saying that they’d gladly pay $5 to fund a digital album.”

The extensive letter lays out the fundamentals of a Kickstarter campaign and how artists can use the format to become their own record labels, and what means are required to create, manufacture and promote an album on your own. Palmers explains that Morrissey would likely need about $2.5 million in crowd-sourced funds to achieve this.

“If your album costs half a million to record, you’ll earn about $1.5 million,” she says. “I don’t know what kind of advances and royalties you were getting from any of your previous labels, but I doubt they could compete with that. And if there’s no label you can find to work with, anyway… is there even a point in making the comparison?”

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Does Palmer expect the singer to take her up on this proposed plan for his next record? Not so much.

“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,” she writes. “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. The Buddha once said that ‘if you were to carry your parents around with you for their whole lives -- your father on one shoulder and your mother on the other -- even to the point where they were losing their faculties and their excrement was running down your back, this would not repay your debt of gratitude to them.’ As your devoted songwriting-spawn, I must say: I cannot get on board to quite this gruesome extent. But I’d be totally keen to help you crowdfund.”

Morrissey, who recently canceled several tour dates due to health problems, has yet to respond to the letter.

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