I've Got A Rock 'n' Roll Heart - If You're Paying For It

For 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

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At 11:37 PM , Blogger Dylan said...

Honestly...at least it wasn't Layla. I've been impressed with Clapton's career resurgence (starting with Me and Mr. Johnson), particularly after he basically sold his soul to become a pop star (making such records as Reptile and whatever the hell he did in the 90's). That being said, he loses big points for this because I thought he finally turned the corner where $$ wasn't necessary anymore. Or maybe he needs to be more relevant?

Who knows. I just know that the Clapton I saw with Cream in 2005 is far different than this moron in the commercial.

Oh, and if you read his autobiography, it's basically written by a 6 year old.

At 5:44 AM , Blogger mmrules said...

Ask Yoko.. ;)

At 7:53 AM , Blogger Charlie said...

I don't see anything wrong with this commercial as long as his music isn't affected negatively it.

At 12:59 PM , Blogger MuddyDesert said...

Cream did a commercial for Falstaff beer back in about 1967, but they didn't use one of their previously released songs. They recorded a new track using lyrics from the Falstaff jingle.
Money! Get it while you can.

At 6:30 PM , Blogger Doug said...

I have to wonder who their target market is if they're using Clapton. And regardless of their target, why Clapton?

I have never been a Strat fan boy, though I know a lot of rock 'n' roll and blues history surrounds it.

At 8:17 PM , Blogger aikin said...

Dylan - Pretty much my thoughts. He's got to be past the point of doing things for money. It's poor people like me who should be in commercials! And thanks for the heads-up on his bio - I haven't read it yet and was still considering whether or not to check it out.

mmrules - She only cares about John's legacy. lol

Charlie - I don't think it's affecting the music other than some fans would prefer not to have it associated with a product. Again, though, you can always make the argument that this exposes Clapton's music to an audience who may not have heard it.

Muddy - I didn't know that. Thanks!

Doug - I don't know. Maybe Pete Townshend was busy that day? Without going back to look, I think I remember reading that the target audience is us aging baby boomers. I can't imagine a 15-year-old having much interest in an Eric Clapton edition telephone. Maybe he should have done Guitar Hero first. lol

At 3:19 AM , Blogger Dave C said...

I think cell phones are the most grossly overused piece of technology going. I see the importance of having a phone for an emergency situation, but when I see people out walking on the phone or driving in their cars or talking with others while they're out with their friends or teenagers constantly texting, etc., etc. I'm totally bewildered. Are people so insecure they can't be alone anymore? Is there that much crucial information to impart to others? I don't friggin' get it. I'd be more at peace if Clapton was shilling for beer, denim, tires, water filters, pet food, auto insurance, potato chips, anything, but friggin' cell phones.

At 3:49 PM , Blogger Andres said...

that topic its very interesting, thanks for shering the info. I think the rock and roll is the best. rock and roll yeahhhh!!


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