Henry Rollins on selling out

“I’m sure you’ve 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 [above], 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’re 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.”

– Henry Rollins

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This blog is a shamelessly random collection of cool things, rants and nonsense. View all posts by the anti-laugh

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