Thursday, August 26, 2010


Last week I was complaining about Buddy Holly being used in TV commercials. I lifted this story from our pal Richard Metzger at Dangerous Minds to indicate how willingly some rockers will drag themselves into the corporate mindset.

“Tattoo You? More like “fuck you” if your names happen to be Ronnie, Charlie and Bill! Business Insider asked former Windows head, Brad Silverberg how he and his team got the Rolling Stones song “Start Me Up” for use in the company’s marketing campaign for Windows 95. What transpired makes for a rather amusing tale: “The Stones are a Corporation, with Mick as CEO, Keith as COO. Their business happens to be music. Those two make decisions. The other band members are essentially employees. The Stones had not licensed their music for TV commercials. Mick was reluctant to license the song to us because of “artistic purity.” But Keith apparently has a higher burn rate than Mick, or not as good as an investor. He told Mick he could use the money and ultimately convinced Mick to do the deal. At the same time, the Stones were at a low point in their career and looking to become relevant again, and Win 95 looked like it could be a big hit and give them a helpful association and visibility. The final version of the song was delivered for the commercial. We noticed though that it was not the studio version, but rather a more recently recorded live version. We pushed back and got the familiar studio version. The reason we got the other version was some of the band members in the newer version were more recent, and Mick/Keith got much higher royalties for themselves from that version than the studio one. Nice try. But it was tense till the very end.” (Click here for more)

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