“The North wind blows so cold,
Chilling the warmth of my desire”

Hey unbelievers,

Pull down another page from the calendar, another week goes by.

I witnessed two some-what odd events this week: one involving yours truly and the other not. Shall we start with the not-me?

I can’t believe it’s not punk

Put your mind back to the 70s (or any music countdown programme in the last 10 years) with a snarling, sneering young gent paying homage (!) to the Queen. The group that did and didn’t make it to number one. Umpteen years later, Mr Rotten Esq is now advertising butter.

Eh? Come again?

I’m not sure I can make the connection. A bastion of yoof culture and DIY music, now flogging solid cow juice? What next? Henry Rollins and Andrex? Jello Biafra + Mr Kipling? Marilyn Manson* and Boots No. 7? (Ed: actually, that could work…).

(* yeah, not, punk. So sue me. :-p )

Music and advertising seem – at least to me – a somewhat uneasy alliance. “It’s selling out” I hear from many people. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. Some manage to hang on to their street cred while others plummet. Does it work if it’s a comedy turn: as with Lemmy and Kit Kat? Or Motorhead and Clarks kid shoes. Actually, that *really* worked. 🙂

Occasionally the artist gets more from the ad than the product shown. Babylon Zoo, Stiltskin, etc. But then I have to ask. Why shouldn’t an artist do it? Who is using who?

Am I now more likely to go and buy that brand of butter / marg? Actually, truth be told, I can’t remember the brand. An array of suspects for you judgement await here.

Funny old world.

(Not) In the mood…

Earlier this week I was wondering where I could get my hands on a pair of skinnys (not two Hollow-wood, sorry, Hollywood lollipops) and if the new evening dresses had hit the high street yet. Nothing was doing and when Thursday rolled around… I was just not in the mood for dressing up. Hell, I’d planned my outfit last week (boots are back on the cards) but when push came to shove, my heart just wasn’t in it. Odd considering it should be – or maybe even is – Dressing Season.

Still, I did have a very pleasant evening talking with the good people at Nuthall and if I’m honest, it was a rather refreshing change from the rush to get changed and cleaned up. I also bumped into a lady I met at Leicester Chameleons: Amy. It was nice to catch up, although I don’t think she recognised me in Bob mode. 🙂

Tea and a chat eh? Where did I put my slippers? 🙂

(ps: It’s Harmony soon-ish. I’m just going along for the dinner + disco. I hope it’s not going to be Mary McScary. Is anyone going along?)

Take care,

[ Today’s lyric: Four Winds by The Levellers. ]


  1. I presume Mr Lydon got well paid, hopefully enough to stop another reunion tour, which arguably does more to damage their reputation then any advert. The time to call sell out is when Morrissey becomes the new face of Bernard Matthews.
    A few years ago an ad agency tried to set up a girl group, to sell to clients campaigns but why bother when most acts will shill for a few shillings anyway.

    I hope those slippers are fluffy and pink 🙂 but it shouldnt matter probably comes and goes and sounds like you had a good night anyway.

  2. I have a Korean friend who keeps a whiteboard in her kitchen on which the family notes inspirational/motivational sayings. The most prominant being "Success equals survival". I found it very confrontational to read, especially without any qualifers attached.

    Knowing my friend I think the lack of specific emphasis was deliberate. She encourages her children to think for themselves and make their own decisions whenever feasible. The statement had to wander round my head for quite a while however to dispell my initial assumption that it was simply materialistic in nature. I had to recognized< I hold alot of preconceptions about not only what constitutes success, but what constitutes the things like integretity, honesty etc, that the path to success travels upon. I didn't come up with very many pristine conclusions for myself. Seems to leave me quite incompetently qualified to draw those conclusions fo another.

  3. I haven't actually seen a TV advert for something like a year. There seems to be something wrong with the TV reception where I live, and we can only get the BBC channels fuzz-free. So no adverts, and I don't miss 'em.

    I think the Socks Pastels were (almost) always very commercial in nature. Exceptions being their quite astounding lack of professionalism in their early stages (getting sacked by A&M Records after just ten days?)

    I thought that Babylon Zoo didn't record for the Levi Jeans advert… that theirs was a cover version? Just something I was told at the time. *shrug* Wikipedia is unusually vague on this topic.

  4. To expand on your first point a little, I always find it more than a little off-putting to see famous entertainers (not just musicians) advertising stuff – just the realization that, rather than trying to amuse you, they’re attempting to get you to buy something instead. Blech. Unfortunately, there seems to be no shortage of celebrities selling out like this, and I always find that my opinion of anyone who does is invariably lowered. Perhaps the worst instance I saw of this occurred on a panel show that used to screen down here many years ago. Called “Live and Sweaty”, it revolved around sport for the most part (hence the name), although each episode would also feature interviews with well-known, non-sporting identities. One time, they did a satellite link interview with Rowan Atkinson, which ended up lasting all of about five minutes or so, and involved the above actor doing nothing more than plugging Mr Bean videos. I never had much time for him after that…

  5. I think Suomy has nailed it. The Pistols never sold out because they never had any integrity/principles to begin with. 🙂

    They still made some amusing records, and were hilarious on the infamous Bill Grundy interview though.

    As for corporate shills: “Do a commercial, there’s a price on your head, everything you say is suspect…” – Bill Hicks

  6. Lucy: LOL.

    “I was looking for a pie and then I found a pie,
    And heaven knows, I’m not miserable now!!”

    Some things – like certain songs – should never feely the insidious embrace of the marketing department.

    I’m afraid the slippers aren’t fluffy or pink. I think they would have clashed with my jeans 🙂

    Emma: An interesting slogan for the front of the fridge. I suppose in someways it does. I guess you also have to ask: “success, at what cost?”

    For the title of the post, I also posted: “The problem with success, is you become what you detest.” When I hear that it reminds me of who I was and what I once belived in. Sometimes certain beliefs or opinions are best left behind.

    Suomy: You’re really not missing out on the lack of certain stations.

    Some bands are out their for their art, but I think most realise they have to make a buck to keep going. I was never a big fan – even with the teenage punk thing that most kids go through here – due to what you pointed out. I don’t mind raw, but there’s a limit. 🙂

    Was it a cover? I don’t remember. The record was certainly very different to the jingle 🙂

    Zosimus: I’m not keen on shameless self promotion either…. the chat show circuit seems to run on this. It can get very tedious.

    Carolyn: Perhaps but what would be sadder, a guy in his 50s flogging the hardman image or a guy moving on and changing?

    I saw Ice Cube in family film the other day and I smiled. Quite a shift from NWA but then why shouldn’t he change? Can you be a gangsta when you’re minted and now middle class? 🙂

    Pandora: LOL. So who’s using who? 🙂 The interview is still funny and it’s sampled in a Sex Pistols mash-up, that still makes me grin.

    Ahh, Mr Hicks. Much missed and both very right and very funny. If there was ever an age that needed his verbal mauling and detox, it’s now.

    On a side note, if we see a slightly odd ad in our house, Mrs Jones or I will often say: “***k. What’s this guy selling?” 🙂

    I had the good fortune to see him perform twice and each time he was great. Not afraid to send himself up either.

  7. They probably never made it over there, but for a while here they were cutting up old movies and had Humphrey Bogart in character from a movie hawking something (before his family sued and stopped it) and Fred Astaire dancing on the ceiling with a vacuum cleaner…those were the ones that truly irked me. “Led Zeppelin” selling Cadillacs is jarring, but their fans are the age group that can afford them now if anyone can, so I guess I have to accept that.

    Speaking of them…a “Whole Lotta Love” to you and may the week be kind!


  8. Do voiceovers count? Time was Richard Briars seemed to be the voice of adverts. And of course it begs the question, “Don’t they have enough proper acting work to do, has the work dried up for them?” Must be hard for them when acting work disappears.

    In the same situation, what would we do?

  9. Alan: Yes. It does seem as if nothing is sacred… I hope you have a good week too.

    Rachel: Voiceover work seems easy money if you can get it. I could be wrong – I’m not a thesp. 🙂

    If I can say this, I find voices / accents particularly fascinating and voice-overs are a bit of a ‘spot the ball’. There does seem to be a fine line between endorsement and providing the words to an ad.

    As to your final question; I just don’t know. I suppose it’s all well and good thinking ‘high horse’ but there are bills to be paid and fame is a fickle beast.

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