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NashVegas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed May-12-04 08:04 PM
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20. Other
I mind it less when artists present *themselves,* or some aspect of their public persona to pitch, than when they allow their work to be used.

We don't mind Martin Sheen as spokesman for Toyota, but how would we feel if he did so by delivering an "Apocolypse Now"-type monologue, maybe about how he was traveling upriver looking for a dangerous car?

Sure, it would be highly effective, but ...

For this reason, I find it offensive when musicians allow their "touchstone" music (for lack of a better phrase) to be used in commercials. We don't "own" the celebrity, and we don't even "own" the work - to sell it is perfectly within their rights - but we do own our perception of their work and whatever personal meaning it may have attached itself to in our lobes. Our ability to form that attachment is what makes them successful as artists in the first place.

To see an artist allow their work to be yanked away from the receiving individual's imagination/personal interpretation and be reattached to the "buy" habit is tragic, IMO.

I once read an interview (in Musician Magazine, I think) where Pete Townshend castigated a journalist for complaining about the trend. In the discussion of the California Raisins using "I Heard it Through the Grapevine," Townshend said something along the lines of, "your memory of that song must be incredible fragile if it's so easily violated by a bunch of dancing raisons." At the time, I laughed and cheered him. That was long before we heard "Happy Jack" being used to sell fucking Hummers. At least raisins have health benefits.

For that reason, I pick Townshend.


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