Singer/producer Calvin Harris has confessed that his story in April of last year that he lost a laptop containing his entire second album on a British Airways flight from the U.S. to London was a big April Fool’s joke. “That was concocted between me and my sound engineer, Jimmy,” Harris said in an interview with Popjustice.
Harris felt that his debut, I Created Disco, was too rushed, so he started looking for ways to bide his time before handing in the follow-up. “Well the first tactic of delaying the album was pretending that I lost it at Heathrow,” he said. “That one worked pretty well… I should make it clear that they did in fact lose our bags – that is fact – but it was not true that the album was in them. I would never check a hard drive in luggage. So the thing about Heathrow wasn’t so much a lie, as… Well… An untruth.”
This story cracks me up because it’s another example of how musicians are using digital media to take artistic control back from the record company. I prefer analog tape, but with portable options like laptops, iPods or just plain ol’ Mediafire, labels can’t get their hands on the masters like they used to.
In the Tom Petty documentary Runnin’ Down a Dream, there’s a similar story about how the band hid reels of master tapes in 1978 because they were tied up in court and weren’t legally allowed to be recording. Ahead of his time, sure, but now there’s a lot less legwork.