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Selling out...boy how things change.


Gruupi

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When I was growing up, most of the popular bands were anti-establishmant and would not let thier music be used in commercials. Maybe my memory isn't as good but in the 70's, I don't remember the bands being so overexposed. I never saw Led Zeppelin on TV at all and could not afford to go to the concerts. I would feel lucky if I found a magazine article on the band. Part of the appeal then was the mystery about the whole thing. Maybe thats why they were popular for 10 years (and beyond).

Now it seems that any band with a major record release is on one of the late night talk shows even before you hear the song on the radio. The established bands play at super bowls and other big events. The new bands get so much exposure that none of them have that mystery anymore. Maybe thats why most bands dont have ten album runs.

Now days, I'll hear a song from a new band and withing a month it is being used in a commercial or a promo for a movie or TV show. Then I never hear form that band again. I am sure the managers and record companoes love this quick cash but it is so over done. Of course now even Zep sold out with Cadillac.

I used to respect the bands, even idolize them, as being artists. Now they are just celebrities like any other. I know that image was important in the 70's also but it was more behind the scenes. Now it is blatanty the main focus of any new artists.

It's not just the musicians and artists. I think are whole culture has changed. Maybe thats why around the world, people are starting to see through this American marketng mentality and are reacting to our culture negativly. Its easy to just blame the politicians but I think our whole culture is different than it was.

What can we as artists and consumers do to restore some credibility and depth to our culture?

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Seriously,I don't believe the world hates us for being overly commercialized. The world may chuckle at the commercialization of all things at all times, but I don't think it triggers total hate.

 

What can we do? Don't participate in the overcooked, overhyped marketplace. Participate in the smaller marketplace not dominated by mega-corps.

 

  • Buy music direct from the artists or through local stores, not (NEVER, NEVER, NEVER) at Wal-mart
  • Listen to college radio
  • Buy food from local producers, not boxes of processed crap at Wal-mart.

and so forth.

Does it take more time and effort to find those alternative, smaller outlets? Yes. Is it worth it? Yes.

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Gruupi,

 

I think you are correct on several points. In the 60's/70's artists would never consider allowing their music to be used in commercials and there were no "corporate sponserships, etc.

 

Artists were artists, not media celebrities and accordingly, the music was the focus. As music fans we were able to create our own interpretation of the music and indeed there was some mystic to the people behind the music.

 

I have always felt that the 80's and in particular, MTV was the beginning of the end. Suddenly, videos gave us a directors interpretation of the music. Soon the image of the artists (big hair bands, etc) became as important - if not more so - than the music.

 

More importantly, the record companies committed huge sums of money to a few artists (big budget videos, etc) and force fed those artiss on the buying public. For every artist that got a $1 million video, that meant another 10 or 15 artists would no longer get tour support, etc.

 

Once the Stones, Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles and other "super groups" started pursuing corporate sponsership, it was all over.

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One could also place some responsibility at the consumer's feet. People haven't always put a real high priority on music with depth and musicians/artists with integrity. Let's be honest: with a lot of the commercial pap that's been out there, it was only a matter of time before the whores and the pimps put it all together. If the opportunities and the framework that are here today where there yesterday you can bet your last schekel many of the oh-so-holy icons of the past would have jumped on the bandwagon. After all, if they didn't their competition would have been...

 

Big business megaglomerates know most people including a lot of so-called musicians are more interested in music-as-lifestyle wallpaper than art or vehicle for positive change, and they've taken advantage of the tendency to pursue that which appears to be most famous as opposed to that which is most worthy.

 

I guess I could say think globally and act locally but it means less since the internet became just another media franchise : \

.
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You're probably right about MTV and the shift to conformity among bands. Big hair? All had big hair. Shaved heads for lead singers? Everyone followed that. Clark Kent glasses for guitarists? Jumping jacks for bassists and guitarists? Soft verses, angry loud choruses with detuned chording? Got ya covered on all of these. One name singers? :freak: I feel sick..................
...touched down in the land of the Delta Blues.....in the middle of the pouring rain....
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I think it all boils down to speed and flash these days. No one has the patience to read about anything, learn anything, etc. For example, political ads. You must have TV to get noticed. No one reads or goes to stump speeches for their info. I work with =alot= of 20-something kids in my office here and they make light of the fact that they don't pay attention to the candidates or the issues until the week of the election, when they start paying attention to the TV ads. They joke about it.

 

With music it seems like there is =so much= product that any/every way to expose the band must be taken advantage of . Can't be left behind, must get noticed, bad sales figures can't be tolerated. Must leave no stone unturned as far as marketing goes.

Rivera + Fender Strat
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Musicians have to sell out because drugs aren't cheap!

 

Ok I'm just kidding... I'd love to rant on and on about this one because it is something that I have thought a lot about, fortunately for you guys, I'm actually working today and don't have time. I would like to take a moment to thank the record companies, the children, and Rolling Stone magazine among many others for the downfall of the supposed integrity of our artistic culture. I too have often felt that the 80's were the beginning of the end. That MTV is an evil being that forced me to watch "ice ice baby" every single day when I was little kid and the dumbass teenybopper down the street babysat me... even as a 7 year old I thought man this is crap can we listen to Fleetwood Mac? I think way too much emphases is put on style and image.... rather than hearing the music....buying the album...learning the band members names...becoming a huge fan...and eventually digging to learn about their personality and life... now its the exact opposite order... when you're a huge fan of the music first you can shrug your shoulders and go eh so he bit the head off a bird... iron man rocks! Now that its vice versa its gee hes so cute Im going to listen to his music just to hear his voice. The companies are marketing to children because they are in puberty and very easy to convince... and they in turn have parents (most of em the yuppies from the 80's)who are very easy to convince to hand them wads of cash for cds, videos, tickets, merchandise whatever.

 

I don't like singles either. Some songs on the album should be left alone so that there's a reason to buy it, to hear those songs, but now if you want to make a record you can't just tell the story of the groups recent life and feelings through each consecutive song... oh no you have to construct a hit single... and the rest of us poor defenseless bastards will be drilled with it everywhere we go. I heard some old rockabilly and some popular music from the 50s last night and I started thinking about the differences in the music itself of course the sound and subject are going to change as the times change but there also seems to be something totally different regarding the composition and maybe even the effort. But I also thought about the fact that although a lot of the music was an honest artistic statement, those guys were doing anything they could to make it most of them too, would do whatever the record companies, PR people, managers, whoever told them to if it was the only way to get to point B. I talk a lot of crap about the music and the players today, but they really are just playing out the game. If you are a decent band with integrity you wont ever leave the bars. Which is where Ill probably be but I guess it just depends on where your priorities are and how hungry you are. No matter how good I get at this guitar thing Ill never be glittery and glossy to look moist, and airbrushed and hairsprayed with my tits ducktaped to push them up to my forehead on the cover of an album if I cant sell it on the content Ill stick to the bars thanks.

 

Wow that was a bit of a rant... sorry about that. I think some steam has been blown off, I feel good now. :cool:

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yes indeed Shannon I agree on this- that going for multiplatinum & worldwide domination seems to put the band on such a powerless sort of trip..

seems like playing for fun and having control of your own destiny keeps it =fun=. Thats easy for me to say because I'm an old 9-5 guy in a weekend gigging band. 20 years ago my thinking was quite different.

Rivera + Fender Strat
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Originally posted by Shannon:

Thats how I know I'll never be famous, because I'm only 20 years old and although I have an assload of ambition... aparently I have ideals too. :freak:

somebody must have taught you good ! I'm always reminding my daughter about slowing down and being happy in the moment-

Maybe if you make it big somehow you can put a rational new twist on things and stay true to your ideals ;)

Rivera + Fender Strat
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You know I've wondered before if enough of us got together and put our feet down to make a statement could we slam the brakes on the whole thing? But alas I don't think there are enough of us... maybe we should run an advertisement to get people to help stop the marketing????? :D:freak:
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Originally posted by EmptinessOFYouth:

shannon i think your gettin somewhere with that....we should do somethng to stop all of this nonsense...seriously....just gotta think of how

I doubt that will ever happen! Look, I am a 70s kind of guy and love the music they made. But times change....now that the genies out of the bottle, I doubt very seriously if it can ever be put back in. Furthermore, I don't think that just stopping all the ways of advertising and marketing that musicians have today is gonna bring back the old ways of making music. Yes, I believe too that somthing "magical" was lost when the 80s and videos and internet came in, but that's life! A rapper with his hat on sideways.....is still a rapper with his hat on sideways...weather he has marketing or not.

 

Even the kinds of music have changed! Look at the rock of today and it is not what it was in the 60s and 70s. Now, you have people wanting to conmbine rap and rock together, that is just the way things are, like it or not.

 

The whole point I am making, is that things change and once they do, they are NEVER the same again. No matter HOW bad you may want them to go back to the way they were.

 

Personally, I don't have anything against anybody. I don't think Rap music is bad, but I just choose not to listen to it....just not my thing. I also like the oldies, but again, that is my personal preferance. But at the same time, I realize that it will never be like it was when I was growing up in the 70s....that is just the way it is and I have come to accept that. I have also tried even in this day and age, to find the "good" bands out of all the crap that comes on MTV or the radio or even the net.

 

There are some awesome ones out there, but they are covered up by the bands that the music industry is trying to push down the publics throat. Hey....mabye there is still a little "mystery" to finding a good band today. They are out there you just have to look. except the difference is in the 70s, bands were underadvertised and it took hunting to find them. Today, a lot of bands are overadvertised, but you still gotta hunt to find the good ones. Gee.....seems that old saying is true...."the more things change, the more they remain the same."

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In principle, I've always thought if the song makes a person happy then fine I'm happy for them. Regardless of the genre or virtuosity on any given instrument. That sounds too simple, but you should see some of the threads on some other forums/sites I go to. Pages and pages of "this sucks"/"no it doesn't".... then it gets into name calling and absurdity. People are =passionate= about what they like ! As I've aged I become less irritated with stuff I used to consider weak or substandard. If its mass-market but my daughter loves it I'm happy for her. I'm not going to tell her to drop what she's doing and put in a Robben Ford CD or something....
Rivera + Fender Strat
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Originally posted by webe123:

 

The whole point I am making, is that things change and once they do, they are NEVER the same again. No matter HOW bad you may want them to go back to the way they were.

 

:eek: Say it ain't so... Say it ain't so! :cry:

 

Actually i realize this I guess I really just want to change the way things are period. I thought about running for president but I now know Rock Star is the way to go. Who the hell listens to the president anyway???? Yes I will start with your local bars, clubs, and pubs... then eventually I will be at every arena in the WORLD! MUAH HA HA HAAAAA

 

eh... maybe I'll just piss and moan about it on a guitar forum... I'm kinda lazy really. :cool:

 

For the record I listen to EVERY genre of music from bluegrass to rap and everything in between... you should see my launch cast station it looks like it belongs to a schitzophrenic. I especially get into folk music from all over the world. However my true love does lie somewhere in the rock category.

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There is a difference between art and commerce. Don't ever make the mistake of thinking that those 70s bands didn't do it for the money. They absolutely did. Any distinctyion is just a matter of degree. But ALL of them did it for the money and the lifestyle. And that is the truth.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Originally posted by bpark@prorec.com:

There is a difference between art and commerce. Don't ever make the mistake of thinking that those 70s bands didn't do it for the money. They absolutely did. Any distinctyion is just a matter of degree. But ALL of them did it for the money and the lifestyle. And that is the truth.

 

Bill

True, yet music is more "commercialized" today with videos and the net more than it ever has been in the past. But mabye that is only because the 70s bands did not have the net to advertise on, or a video to make! Who's to say that if they too, had all of that stuff to advertise themselves with, they would not take advantage of it too? Then we'd be talking about THEM.
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It is that concept of 'selling out' that just cracks me up. What in the world does anyone think that anyone in the entertainment INDUSTRY is doing?

 

As soon as you cross that threshold between playing for your friends for free to playing for cash, you've defacto 'sold out'.

 

Now, along the lines of working for a living... in oyur career, if you could work for $7 an hour, or $27 an hour, which would you pick? You've got to put in the same amount of time, 40 hours a week, for the rest of your life. So, which amount seems like the smarter choice to you? How can we rag on any performer for maximising his income?

 

Determining the artistic value of a commerical product becomes a matter of personal taste.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Well, the Doors licensed Ford to use "Light My Fire" for a car commerical before Morrison died, and they wer about as anti-establishement as anybody.

 

If you read about Zep, their manager, Peter Grant would have sold his own mother on the street if he could have gotten a good price. All those guys were all about making the money in their own way, or you never would have heard of them or their music in the first place.

 

Signing a record company contract turns a musician into a product to be sold for as much as the company can get. And a musician or artist that can't be sold is, in the view of the record company pimps, an incompetant whore.

 

The only way to be completely non-commercial and not sell out to any degree is to sit in your room and play for yourself. when you start taking money for it, you are commercial, end of story.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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The point I am trying to make isn't all just about selling out. What originally got me thinking about this was hearing songs that are only a month old on T.V. promo spots. A band is barely making a name for itself and their song is already being used to sell something. I think the fans sense a lack of integrity and that artist goes by the wayside. The record companies and managers get quick cash as well as the band but after that the band has lowered its image in my opinion.

The beatles were mass marketed but it seemed like the products were meant to enhance their image. Its debatable if a lunchbox or whatever enhances your image but thats another topic. But if they had let a car company use their songs in 1964, I doubt that they would have kept on growing. Obviously, the music business is about making money for everyone involved. But the bands are being shortsighted in my opinion and go for the quick buck without thinking about long term careers.

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But if they had let a car company use their songs in 1964, I doubt that they would have kept on growing.

 

I don't know, I remember a few songs that started out as commercial jingles and TV show themes that wound up being top 40 hits, among which was the Ventures "Hawaii 5-0", and they went on top have a long career afterwards.

Always remember that you�re unique. Just like everyone else.

 

 

 

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And pretty much what I said earlier was that the industry wasn't as hooked up and demographic'd to a gnat's azz. So the opportunies weren't as easily placed in front of rock/rap/etc entertainers - temptations are now dangled like keys to a Ferrari and it's pretty hard to refuse given what other career possibilities are all too likely.

 

You don't have to like it, but them's the cold hard.

 

PS - Study some careers of say black artists in the thirties. you can bet they'd hook up in some cheezy ass movies just to be in front of a larger audience.

.
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Yeah, Memphis Minnie too. Led Zep making out-of-court settlements if I recall rightly.

 

Another point here: Arguably some of these people might not have a huge amount of talent. They'd BETTER cash in while the public is willing to sucker for it. Not everybody has what it takes to hold the line and still be working twenty years later.

.
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I'm glad to see people taking a relaxed stance on music. I think some musicians have a tendency to get too caught up in what they think should be done. They think it's up to the government to say, "Stop making crappy music!" or "Walmart is evil! We're shutting it down!"

 

I hate Wal-Mart, and I hate corporate radio, but I'm not going to go picket on the White House lawn. I think it's great just to listen to more independent stuff, and this forum is a great start.

 

I agree music is overly commericialized though.

 

A great example are movies who's previews have a soundtrack, and then that song is nowhere on the movie or the soundtrack album. It makes no sense. For instance - Fast and Furious - Limp Bizkit "My Way," in the preview, not in the movie or the soundtrack. Another example: Papa Roach "Not Listening," it's in the Resident Evil: Apocalypse preview, but nowhere in the movie or on the soundtrack CD. Why? I have no idea.

Shut up and play.
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Originally posted by revolead:

...A great example are movies who's previews have a soundtrack, and then that song is nowhere on the movie or the soundtrack album. ..

That is an easy one... the previews are made usually before the movie is finished. When the director makes his final cut for release, he may have changed his mind about including a particular piece of music. Happens all of the time.

 

Bill

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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