I've Got A Rock 'n' Roll Heart - If You're Paying For ItFor the record, I am not a fan of artists licensing their music to sell things, no matter how unique or prestigious said things may be. There are memories associated with particular songs and I would, for example, just as soon that memory not involve David Caruso.
Which brings up the new T-Mobile ad starring Eric Clapton. Clapton, of course, is no stranger to whoring out his product: Back in the 80s, Anheuser-Busch used “After Midnight” to sell Michelob beer. I guess the admen didn’t consider the irony there.
I can understand artists seeking sponsorships – I know it costs zillions of dollars to tour and having a large corporation underwrite it can help out. And I suppose if it’s a product the artist truly believes in, why not put your name on it. Or, you can just take Pete Townshend’s attitude and say, “This is my music, not yours. I sell it wherever I like.”
But I don’t get the phone thing. This has gone beyond using a great Clapton song in the advertisement to designing a special Eric Clapton model telephone. According to the T-Mobile Website, it comes “with a classic Fender sunburst-inspired design” and “preloaded with music from Eric Clapton.” I just don’t get it, but then again, I’m not a Techno-Beaver kinda guy. The company I work for has thoughtfully provided me with a pretty lo-tech cell phone and I seem to make do with that. As much as I admire Eric Clapton, and as beautiful as I think the Fender Stratocaster is, I just don’t see the need for a $450 telephone with faux sunburst colors. I can buy a lot of Clapton records with that $450. Hell, I could just about buy a real Strat for that kind of money. And without the monthly bills from a pain-in-the-ass phone company.
I can see from different things I’ve read that feelings vary widely on the idea of commercial use of classic rock music. Some people think it’s the reality of the times and that it actually helps introduce a new audience to the songs. Others feel the music is sacrosanct and shouldn’t be whored out to the highest bidder. If you care to, drop me a comment and let me know what you think. In the meantime, here’s the song Clapton and T-Mobile are using to hawk this latest gadget.
I’ve Got a Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart.mp3