North London, UK. Fans and vagrants hold a silent vigil outside of the home of the late Gordon Holmes, who earlier this week became the first musician to die of wounds caused by file sharing. The shocked, despondent faces of the onlookers say it all; I am shocked, and I am despondent.
Holmes had lived a life for the duration of his 34 years, 12 of which were spent as a member of techno outfit Raging Beats 69. Twenty-seven hit singles under his belt, twenty-six of which charted, Holmes was the last person anyone would have expected to die in this manner.
“He was the last person”, said a mourner, “I would have expected to. Die in this manner.”
Information regarding the death is, at present, sketchy, with the police report being frustratingly vague. “Holmes’ death”, it states, “Seems to have been caused by an overdose of narcotics, most likely cocaine or a derivative of such, which led to a hemorrhaging of the brain and a fatal heart-attack. He died at approximately 9.14 PM, in the kitchen of his house, and fell to the floor, his head pointing north-easterly.” What we can tell, however, is that all signs point to illegal file-sharing.
Holmes had been a vocal opponent of file-sharing since the notorious incident in 1999 when a recording studio, in which Raging Beats 69 were working on their fourth record, was uploaded to an IRC newsgroup and emailed to over 3 million individuals. Shortly afterwards, original front-man Terry Taylor was uploaded to the infamous Napster server and eventually sold on the Russian black-market.
Holmes’ calls for the reform of Internet Regulation were met with giggling mockery. Prime Minister Tony Blair famously stated that “I’d sooner soak my balls in tar than listen to a fucking word you say.” Others, however, were more sympathetic. “I was more sympathetic”, recalls Anonymous, Sussex, “Particularly with regards the points I agreed with. The points I didn’t agree with, however, I was perhaps less sympathetic towards.”
Michael Gfthy, of People Against The Mistreatment Of Celebrities Via File-Sharing, or PAMCFS, hopes that some positive may come from the shocking, depressing scenario. “It’s obvious from the police report”, says Gfthy, “That Holmes was killed by a file-sharing service. Possibly Overnet, although just as easily Kazaa or some other one. He’s only the first fatality, there have been millions of serious injuries. Britney Spears was killed just last month, although thankfully it wasn’t fatal. Perhaps the death of someone as high-profile as Holmes may alert the general public to the issue.”
By way of horrific coincidence, R.E.M just last night issued a statement announcing that frontman Michael Stipe had broken his shin on account of a teenager attempting to illegally download the group’s latest album.
Whatever becomes of the affair, at least one thing is certain. Holmes is dead. That he was killed by internet piracy only makes his death all that more interesting.
The Duke resides at Mondo Irlando