The Oil Slick: Rock Greats Who Briefly Sold Out
Musicians and capitalism have a very unique relationship. Obviously, everybody needs money to live, but when an artist does anything besides play music for money, they're seen as "selling out" or suddenly losing all built-up credibility.
As odd as it seems, most artists are willing to give up a few minutes of their time to shell a product for literally bags of money, much to their fans' chagrin.
Here are three respected musicians who briefly went to the dark side:
01. Iggy Pop Will Sell You Car Insurance
A few years ago, Iggy lent his considerable fame to insurance company Swiftcover, much to die-hard fans' anguish. Iggy appeared in several commercials for the company, including one in which he's bothered by "mini Iggy," a creepy puppet-fied version of the Stooges frontman. You can watch it here:
02. Jack White Wants to Buy You a Coke
In 2006, Jack took a break from touring with his critically adored duo to do this little jingle for Coca Cola. Needless to say, hardcore fans instantly took umbrage with the fact that their idol was giving a big thumbs up to Coke, a decidedly un-cool corporation that uses polar bears as mascots. Seriously not rock and roll. Granted, the ad was only shown once in Great Britain and a couple times in Australia, but it didn't stop the outraged howls from coming anyways.
03. The Black Keys Are in Every Commercial
Sometimes, writing catchy accessible songs can be seen as a bad thing when giant corporations want them as their product soundtracks. The Black Keys know this all too well, as their songs have been in everything from Zales commercials to Victoria Secret ads. They even had a sell-out-off with Vampire Weekend on The Colbert Report.
Saying an artist has sold out just because they are able to make more money off their music is kind of silly. But that doesn't stop fans from shouting that every band who has a commercial is now "the man." No matter how many commercials it's in, "Lonely Boy" will still be damn catchy.
John Grimley writes The Oil Slick blog for GuitarWorld.com.