I'm sure you have had the experience of watching television and snapping to attention when you hear a familiar song by one of your favorite small of fame bands as the backdrop for an automobile commercial. Perhaps you have thought to yourself, "That is so fucking weak, what a bunch of sellouts. I hate their guts!" I get letters from people expressing their outrage that they heard the music of The Stooges, The Ramones, The Buzzcocks, or The Fall in an ad and I understand their anger and sense of loss as they figure yet another one of their well-kept secrets has just become part of the corporate structure and the band is nothing more than the lap dogs of the man, the very man they were supposed to be sticking it to in every waking moment. These bands are not being co-opted or selling out at all. Selling out is when you make the record you are told to make instead of the one you want to make. I wonder if it ever occurred to these people that the reason the music of these interesting and alternative bands is being recruited is because their fans are now the ones calling the shots. In other words, we have arrived! Of course the ad is trying to sell you something and by using a band you like, attempting to gain your confidence by exploiting the band's integrity for a commercial end. So what? You're not a fuckin' moron are ya? You see through that, don't ya? What would you rather hear, Iggy and The Teddybears doing "I'm A Punk Rocker" in a car ad or enduring some generic background music? I thought so. Do you have any idea what some of these bands went through to make that music? The fact that there might be some money for them all these years later is great. You think that paycheck is in any way a slight to their integrity? Are you fucking kidding me? Pay them. Pay them double. Pay them now. It's about fuckin' time.
"I get it all the time,
and they offer people a whole lot of money. Unfortunately I don't want to get on the bandwagon. You know, when a guy is singing to me about toilet paper - you may need the money but, I mean, rob a 7-11! Do something with dignity and save us all the trouble of peeing on your grave. I don't want to rail at length here, but it's like a fistula for me. If you subscribe to your personal mythology, to the point where you do your own work, and then somebody puts decals over it, it no longer carries the same weight. I have been offered money and all that, and then there's the people that imitate me too. I really am against people who allow their music to be nothing more than a jingle for jeans or Bud. But I say, "Good, okay, now I know who you are." 'Cause it's always money. There have been tours endorsed, encouraged and financed by Miller, and I say, "Why don't you just get an office at Miller? Start really workin' for the guy." I just hate it... The advertisers are banking on your credibility, but the problem is it's no longer yours. Videos did a lot of that because they created pictures and that style was immediately adopted, or aborted, by advertising. They didn't even wait for it to grow up. And it's funny, but they're banking on the fact that people won't really notice. So they should be exposed. They should be fined! [bangs his fist on the table] I hate all of the people that do it! All of you guys! You're sissies!"
I like both of the above people very very much but I always find myself swinging more towards Tom Waits's POV on this one.