Asked above: "How much money do these rebels turned whores need anyway?"
As always, the answer is, "MORE".
As always, the answer is, "MORE".
Alas such is life.
As the pension plan era comes up for a lot of artists and the fire in their bellies has quelled they take the extra buck-pure and simple.
My own take has always been that the music buisness is just that... a buisness.
It's nothing new, the most recent of anti-corporate heroes Kurt Cobain renegotiated his recording contract so they he got all the royalties and his previous split with the band three ways was terminated.
The history of rock is littered with such stories.
Of course you really do wonder why the Stones need more cash and why their ticket prices are a joke or indeed a lesson in greed.
I believe in the spirit of music much more than I do human nature and that's what I like to focus on.
If it still moves you or indeed encourages a 12 year old to pick up the guitar and learn it then it's still a magical thing.
Oh and Bono just paid $15 million for an apartment in NY......................
I felt the way you do until I believe it was the Gap or Old Navy can't
remember which used a Donovan song Mellow Yellow in an ad. I work
around 900 or more kids and they really picked up on the song and
wanted to hear more by him. I saw the otherwise "sellout" bring this
great music to more ears that otherwise would have never heard it. I
look at it a little different now.
I also heard Graham Nash comment on selling a song right to either
Teach Your Children or Our House - (it's been awhile) for an underwear
ad. He said hey I wrote this 30 years ago and not many people have
heard it lately. They offered me 1.25 million - what would you do. Now
people are buying our stuff and I can use some of this money to help
with charitable situations.
I am not sure members on this site would turn down these offers.
Also if the music isn't being heard is it really making a sound. We need
to get this music heard in any way we can or we will forever be stuck
with the noise that is now on the radio.
ljgj has a point--i do enjoy when ads turn people on to music that otherwise they wouldn't know about (donovan is a great example). but when demi-gods like the who, the beatles, etc sell out, i'm puking away too.
i have a love/hate relationship w/ pete townsend. i think he's the greatest rock guitarist who ever lived, and understood rock & roll (musically & attitude) better than anyone, but then he goes selling his songs to big business & surfing the web for naked kids...
You know I wish they would put a bit of fun into this stuff. Like the Kiss tune "I Want To Rock And Roll All Night" behind a Viagra ad and Ozzy's tune "Crazy Train" behind an Amtrak commercial. There are alot of fun tunes to be used behind ads to give them a bit of a twist, but of course this will NEVER happen. Cheers, Lee
Just because you viewed them as rebels doesn't give you the right to condemm them for making money from their artistic endeavors. The fact that they are artists (for the most part) doesn't mean they should have to pass up an opportunity to make some money. If people are willing to pay $400 for a front row seat to see the Stones why should we condemm the Stones? If someone offered you 10 times what your house is worth and you took it would that make you a whore?
How much money "these rebels turned whores need anyway" is really totally their business and none of ours. I wish I had a song catalog I could sell to advertisers.
"Oh and Bono just paid $15 million for an apartment in NY". Ben_campbell you really can't get much in Manhattan these days for less. I bet the air still smells bad when he opens the window.
"We need to get this music heard in any way we can or we will forever be stuck with the noise that is now on the radio". Ljgj I never saw it your way but I must say you're right. Let them be whores just as long as we gain some better listeners. I, for one, have actually "found" a few tunes through commercials. (I even think there's a web site that lists them). My favourite, so far, is Tony Bennett's "The Best Is Yet To Come" from Chevy. I had never heard that song before. What a great arrangement! And I don't go for "that" sound. (Was listening to old Uriah Heep box set all weekend).
Rock and Roll is now, and always has been, a thoroughgoing whorehouse. Rock and Roll is incorruptible, simply because any outside contamination, from any vile or cynical source, will only serve to temporarily ennoble it. Is there anyone who is willing to argue that The Beatles were not, first and foremost, a commercial enterprise, a calculated hit machine? As John Lennon sayeth to Sir Paul McCartney, "Let's write a new swimming pool." Seeing as how we've already mentioned Donovan, I hope that I am not the only one who remembers Jennifer Juniper Shampoo. So, we have The Buzzcocks selling SUVs, and Iggy Pop selling cruises. So what!
Anyone who has had the pleasure of owning or driving a Cadillac from the 1930's or 1940's can testify to its grandeur and exquisite craftsmanship. I would argue that it is Led Zeppelin's "Rock n' Roll" that has sullied and defiled Cadillac, not the other way around. This ad campaign was a rare brilliant move on the part of GM. Among all luxury car brands, Cadillac had the highest average customer age (62!), BMW, on the other hand, had the youngest. To counteract this, Cadillac needed to find buyers among a demographic where they had none (i.e., those born between 1955 and 1965).
Somebody call me when a tune from The Mentors or G.G. Allin is used to sell Pop-Tarts.
Another thing to consider is that the original artists often have no say as to whether there work is used for commercials. It depends on who owns the rights at this point. Remember when the formerly black singer Michael Jackson bought the Beatles catalog ? That's when songs like Revolution and Get Back started to be used in commercials.
And he got them even though Paul McCarney (not exactly a poor kid anymore) owns the rights to a huge number of songs.
The artists hopefully get a piece of the profit for doing the performance, but they don't neccesarily have a say on where and when it is played.
Is this the difference between art and amusement? Art is it's own reward even if it is not recognized as art by others. People who make real art don't do it for the money.
Amusement would be music made by people just for the sake of making music. Not that there's anything wrong with that. People should have the right to do whatever they want with their own music.
People who record for the sake of creating art would be less inclined to whore it out while people who are only in it for the money would sell anything they can.
Is music an exchange value or a use value? And to boot are you forgetting what is the subject and what is the object here. To some of you, the music is the subject and thus has
a use value, to the artist who created the music it has an exchange value which makes it much more an objective concern. If you are interested in this, please read the social philosopher, T. Adorno, and his edited book of articles called "the Culture Industry". This very perceptive member of the Frankfurt School of Social Research ( and a music student of Alban Berg) reasons why monopoly capitalism has turned the artistry of music (and its murky past: how can an artist create music without using the created artistic results as a basis of exchange??), into the culure industry it is. How the culture "business" influences what you hear and even how you hear it. Even your beloved underground rock is grounded in the culture industry, from the very beginning. You think this is a fable of the future? It is here now my friends. Everything you hear and see artistic is already prepackaged and sold. The culture industry is the very fabric of society you live in: from tract housing to TV( T. Adorno has a great article in the book called "how to watch TV", even better is "what is 'free time'"). The book is fairly straight forward to read, however be forwarned, he sometimes uses the theoretical jargon of his "School". For the extremely adventureous, his book "Aesthetic Theory" is for those who want to venture into the realm of late 20th century social philosophy and find out using critical reasoning what art is and is not.
This is another good thread. The gross commercial use of this familar music is done of course to target our age group. Some of you, at this point, are in control of a large portion of the consumer dollars.The artists, as mentioned earlier, are not always in control of the rights to their own work and have lost the say in what is done with it. Who knows if Nick Drake's estate has control of his songs or even if Chris Isaak has control over "Wicked Game".It is too bad to hear some of the tunes used in such a way but american business will find a means to help market product in any viable way possible.This has been going on for many years and will continue to do so.I remember reading a few years ago that Micro Soft paid Mick and Kieth an obscene amount for the right to use "Start Me Up' for one of the incarnations of Windows.Cadillac paid Led Zep some fantastic amount or "Rock N' Roll" which has had by far the longest and most constant run of any song used in an ad I know. It was first used during the super bowl a couple of years ago and has been used constantly right up to the present. You know as bad as it is it always makes me smile the first time I hear an old nugget on a commercial. Like last night when I heard "Happy Jack". I used to play that tune over and over again way back then. The surest cure for all this is just to shut the TV off and donate it to your favorite charity. ;^)
Nrchy: That is the murky question can art have an exchange value and an use value? Adorno, stated that it was the middle class that created musical art not the upper class (remember it was the nobles and clergy that used the middle class artists like Mozart and Haydn); the lower class had their own artists and art (singspiels, folk songs); there was always an intermix between low art and high art. Music publishers could make money off both. Art according to the greatest artist of the middle class, Beethoven, effected all social classes. The monopoly capitalists changed all that, since high art after 1920 became autonomous art rather than art within an integral social context, ie modern music of Schoenberg and beyond. It was no longer viable, to too many people. The middle class, could no longer understand the "music" that was fast becoming an autonomous art without any social or cultural function. Classical music became from the 20s onward, with that insult to music Toscanini, a fossilized, historical travesty. He and the New York Philharmonic and later the NBC Symphony, played the warhorses over and over, the list of accepted pieces becoming shorter and shorter. The advertisements(the right hand of the culure industry), proclaiming: hear the greatest conductor, playing the greatest music, with the greatest orchestra, it will be the greatest event of all time. Even today, the same warhorses are played over and over, you wonder why classical music is such a mess! A Pavarotti concert is promoted as a rock concert. Hear the greatest singer sing the greatest songs ever! What about pop or rock music? Is it not the same: the playlists of the radio stations are tightly reigned in. Classic Rock, Oldies, Contemporary rock, Country, it is all part of the culture industry. Isn't it to hear a song over and over the same as liking a song? How do you think you get to hear anything if not from the culture industry? You think you get to hear a song because it is artistically satisfying? No because the culture industry tells you to like it so you will buy it. Why do you think the culture industry is so nasty to the internet interlopers? They are disrupting the exchange value of their culture products!!!
Who f’in cares what an artist does with their property?
he or she certainly doesn't lose sleep over what i think.
this is the united states, right?
and what if the artist doesn't even own the rights to his or her songs? remember how happy paul was when michael launched a footwear revolution.
we could debate ad nauseum who owns what but again why should we care if someone chooses to sell the rights to their song to a company selling something we stand a high probability of purchasing anyway (a car, jeans,beer etc)? i feel like i'm at a dead show surrounded by kids priveleged enough to indulge philosophical and artistic idealisms.
hey, if it were me and i wanted to make a few million off of a song i wrote, i’d tell the lot of you to f#%k off and let me be. On the other hand, if i’m a consumer and i disagree with an artists choice of “whoring’ themselves then i should have the fortitude to abandon fandom and accept the disappointment. Artists are people too, subject to all of our mortal flaws and failings. they should simultaneously have the right to make sound business decisions
personally, 'revolution' still kicks my ass everytime i hear it and i'm more inclined to buy pumas.
as audiophiles and stereophiles, maybe we should be ranting about our favorite artists, groups and orchestras that have been the unwitting pawns and marketing media for the high-end audio industry. haven't you had that dream where the veil has been lifted and you realize you have been coerced into buying hi-fi systems (or cabling, pick your poison) worth more than most luxury sedans. or maybe not...
some people make me feel that recording artists are children who haven't quite lived up to their parent's expectations sans the personal relationship a parent (typically0 share with a parent or parents. maybe we should stop and ask ourselves if we ever really knew the artist on a personal level. maybe they were willing to prostitute themselves from day one for XXX million dollars, but never revealed this because that kind of marketing $$$ was previously unrealistic. or better yet, maybe they aren't as fabulously rich as we might think. maybe they were screwed out of every nickel and dime the record companies could get. or maybe not. again, who f'in cares???
this is the united states, land of trial lawyers, err, i mean opportunity, right?
anyway, at the end of the day, if it is or was a good tune, then it will remain something i want to listen to (i.e. zep's rock and roll)
now if you'll excuse me, i have to go finalize the paperwork at my local cadillac dealer...
I just saw that Journey-Ford commercial and it was bad - of course I never liked the song or Fords anyway. A friend and I were talking about this very thread subject after and he said well it depends on the song and presentation blah blah blah and then said what is the difference between these guys whoring themselves out for these products versus the same music selling high end overpriced equipment to listen to them on. The stuff you guys buy never comes ready you have to upgrade the cord, wiring, caps blah blah blah. These companies are also the whores here and they tempt you every chance they can. I told him I would pass it along. I thought is was funny coming from a non-audiophile who drives a Cadillac.
What's the difference between, 1) a middle-aged ex-rocker swinging a deal so that his grand kids never have to worry about money and 2) an equally middle-aged someone with substantially less talent and accomplishments in their lives complaining about what the ex-rocker just did?
The answer: at the end of the day the ex-rocker has a seven figure check in their hands and the complainer still has no talent and still hasn't written a memorable tune. What's the problem Fatparrot? Couldn't juggle three chords and a catchy lyric like "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah" at the same time? Where I come from the talented are supposed to get rewarded for the fruits of their labor.
shubertmaniac, interesting summary of the last few hundred years. I would be hard pressed to argue any of the points you made. I would only say that artists don't create for the money. Money is a byproduct of their occasional success. We could all name hundreds of 'artists' who were unsuccessful during their lifetime, only to be lauded for having the foresight to die.
Art isn't defined by who recognizes it, but there remains the idea that if it has to be explained to a person of above average intelligence, is it really art or self promoting fluff?
Some people create what is in the depths of their being while other produce what will turn a fast and profitable buck.
I don't begrudge the creative whore their dollar, but I won't call it art either.
I don't know how much of the music created and then heard in the last six thousand years was art though. Most of it is self promotion. The radio has been and still is full of this promotion. Most art probably goes unheard.
I think art is more motivation than execution. And a lot of the musicians around now should be executed!
The rewards (monetary and otherwise) for success can be enormous in American culture. To say it's disproportionate can start that slide down the proverbial slippery slope. 99.99% of the world's population would argue that the audio systems of Audiogon members are "disproportionate" and reflect the excesses of people with way too much money for their own good. Imagine if the majority of people in the world restricted us few audiophiles to Bose Waves and made us donate our disproportionate excess to some worthwhile charity like clean drinking water in the sub-Saharan or eliminating AIDs in southeast Asia? The world would be more proportionate (and healthier), but would it really be more fair. Free choice can be a double sided sword, but it's alternatives are far worst.
Onhwy61: I disagree concerning that A'goners spend to much money or a disproportionate amount on audio equipment. In fact we spend too little. A'goners are the last remnants of the cultural elite. We need to hone our skills as the last outpost in this fast becoming vast wasteland of culture. Hegel once pondered whether high art was historically conditioned. That is in only in a particular time in a particular place, and perhaps for only a short time frame, high art would be nurtured and flower only to fade away like all ideas and civilizations. High Art at one time had something to say about the condition of man or mankind. Beethoven's 9th Symphony, definitively and decisively made a statement about the then curent condition that man/mankind was in. The music communicated. After Mahler's titanic symphonies
and Wagner's music dramas, music was frustrating to everyone, composers, audiences, critics. In a way Beethoven legacy haunted all composers: Schubert envied him so much that he was buried nesxt to him. Wagner could not write a symphony because the 9th said it all. The symphonic form was used up, Mahler just made it more titanic and personal at the same time. Schoenberg came along saw the mess that music was in. The diatonic scales had been corrupted, everthing was chromatically disfunctional. He set it straight by going to absolute atonality ( Schoenberg prefered pantonal, then he developed the 12 tone system, almost perfected by Webern). Of course, some of the astute composers loved it, but it surely lost its audience. The music no longer communicated to the masses, or to society. So in some ways, this situation, created "new music". The composer was no longer constrained, to concern itself with the masses, the high art of music could become autonomous, truly absolute music. It no longer became consumable art, it no longer had to have one eye on the consumption by the masses. It freed it self. But the cost was high, mass culture assumed the mantle of all culture not because high culture had anything to say, but said it in a very negative way, it was longer a utopian future, like Beethoven's 9th, but a more profund inward, almost psychologically focused aesthetic. ( it is interesting that in Vienna in the 1920s you had both Schoenberg and Freud, meeting in coffeehouses, you wonder what they talked about!) Is there high art now? YES! It is there if you want it, it is not hard to find. It is not on the Billboard's TOP 200 of clssical music, but it is there. So is it selfish to want to have the "best" audio equipment? The real question for you, is high culture to be stamped out, and trampled upon by the culture industry. Is it not worth saving too. If there is no higher ground to take, or a higher cultured life to save or be a part of then what is the worth of that charity if the very civilization
and culture you cherish is polluted, diluted and destroyed?
Shubertmaniac, there is another dynamic at work here which you're not giving credit to. In the 20th century, for the first time ever, music become recordable. This probably CREATED 'classical music'. That is, in previous times, people concerned themselves almost entirely with the music of their own day, and there was a demand for new composition. Remember that Bach was already considered archaic by the time his sons were writing, and although later composers acknowledged the intellectual contributions of their forebears, the music actually heard was mainly that of the present, not the past.
Since recording began, we have certainly been more backwards-looking than forwards-looking. One reason, for the slowdown of interest in classical music is that it has, I think, (gulp) become a little boring. How many times can you worry about rerecording and reinterpreting the same work instead of getting on with something new.
To an extent, this is the collective fault of recordability, which inhibits new artists and new music from exposure, which as you say, has a money-basis. Look at the RIAA, which is backed into a corner at present trying to uphold what has developed for the past 60 years.
What is now going on is a backlash against the bind we've been in, and music seems about to break out again in different forms. The internet, downloadability of the works of small groups without recording contracts, the reemergence of live performance over recording - these may all change the nature of music again, and with it, allow a new cycle of high art music.
Music is never stagnant and high culture doesn't disappear - it just keeps changing forms.
Flex: Beethoven was one of the first to look back on the past. He read the scores of JS Bach. I will accord you the fact that the phonograph is one of the compelling reasons for the downfall of classical music. However,the mass media led it down the golden path of monopoly capitalism. It turned the high art of music from a user value into a consumptive exhange value. Only modern classical art music is the only viable alternative to the stagnant repetitive classical music environment which pervades now. How many
Mahler cycles do we need? How many Beethoven cycles can you endure? The culture industry, and its sidekicks, mass media and advertising make sure there are enough. However I must admit, classical music sales are < 3% of music sales. And even of that 3%, 97% retreaded warhorses. But as Isaid above there is an alternative to the tired warhorses, there is modern music. I am talking about Schnittke, Ligeti, Berio, Penderecki,Rihm, Xenakis. Their music is not boring, it is extremely engaging, it is freely atonal, though as Schnittke once said about one of his works which did have a tonal center: I guess I can write in "the old style" if it suits my purpose.
Perhaps the internet will emerge as the forum and stage for new forms of music, however monopoly capitalism may have the last word. Any way capitalism can make a buck it will do it, culture or no culture, its the nature of the beast, like a weed it grows wherever it can.