"Speakeasy / at the link it's easy" is probably the benchmark of favourite records becoming the property of the snarling, soul less, gack hoofing ad execs. One day Joe intern comes in to work whistling a tune and Farquad McSuityprick goes, "You know what the tune really summarises for me? That's right... the sweet sensation of chemically induced alpine freshness" and bam, The White Stripes are advertising toilet bleach.
The White Stripes were lucky though. They got away with an imitation, royalties avoiding, tribute to 'Hotel Yorba'. Shed Seven on the other hand were gripped by the afformentioned ad exec douchebag, and whilst noshing on his coke shrivelled dick Rick Witter uttered the immortal words at the head of this post. That has to be the tipping point for selling out. Shed Seven re-recording one of their few really good songs for a mobile phone shop staffed by a tricked out Nova's worth of garage and RnB loving wankers hopefully pursuaded any bands who could smell the greenbacks that you could go too far. It hasn't stopped it happening though, and it's understood. For every Shed Seven there might be a Jose Gonzalez forging success from oblique and inventive commercials.
The only execptions to the rule - doing an advert = loss of all credibility, respect and rock n roll heritage - were Levi's and maybe now Sony. Do a Levi's / Sony ad and not only were you garunteed a number 1 single (when that counted for something) but also a place in rock n roll legend. Give me a man on the street who doesn't know the wolf whistle on the Steve Miller Band's 'Joker' or knows Handel’s ‘Sarabande’ without actually knowing that's what it's called.
Recently Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers ended up advertising Weetabix with 'Egyptian Reggae', The Sonics started hocking something along the lines of sanitary towels with 'Have Love Will Travel' and now just to really fuck the world inside-out Langhorne Slim is selling Pedigree Chum. Pedigree 'Dog Feeding' Chum? It's no Levi's Launderette that's for sure. So Langhorne may not have actually said 'Woof' himself but someone's made that call and he's pocketed the fee. Does it air in the USA, or is it specifically for the UK so he'll never have to face it? I'm sure it's not going to stop his following turning out but they'll remember it, some will definitely lose sleep over it and others will be set off on an unsatiable dialogue that followed a sleepless night wrought with emotion and a loss of faith in things they held dear.
When will Levi's start doing TV ad campaigns again?