Does integrity exist in rock’n’roll?

AC/DC and Walmart…. A match made in heaven? I think not.

AC/DC and wallets, backpacks, t-shirts, mugs, baseball-caps, stickers and so on – better? Maybe not, but somehow more accepted because it’s still kept “within the family” so to speak.
I guess in the word integrity in rock’n’roll means “staying away from whatever is mainstream”.

Fans upset signature song used in Walmart commercial

We all know how pissed off fans get whenever their favorite metal band decides to experiement with something new

Van Halen doing “Jump” in 1984 caused a MAJOR protests. Oh-my-god. Blasphemy! KEYBOARDS in metal? What the f***. People back then could maybe stretch their tolerance to hammond-organs but no way in hell synthesizers had any business in metal.

When Judas Priest attempted it two years later with Turbo, they got the same reception. To this day, people feel like their heroes let them down.

Both bands were accused of being sellouts – because they were trying to cater to a wider audience. So they were treated like traitors. Being a metalhead means “keeping it in the family”.

I guess that’s why “real” rockers generally don’t like anything that has to do with stepping outside that frame.

Ozzy doing a reality-show, Judas Priest performing with James Durbin on American Idol, AC/DC selling their music to WALMART?!?! Where does it end, how much can metalheads accept?

We all know that it’s tough to be a musician these days. Nobody buys records anymore. Oh come on – honestly. When was the last time YOU actually BOUGHT a record? Possibly a collector’s item, but mostly, we all download or send mp3’s back and forth via e-mails or chats…. Artists can’t live on pure love and air only. :-) They need to survive.

I guess that’s why we’re seeing more of this now. KISS has always been a money machine. Funny enough, most of us have been perfectly okay with assisting them with that, by buying all kinds of “fun stuff” with the KISS-logo on it. But we did NOT like it when they did “I Was Made For Loving You“, because THAT was a HIT that NON-METALHEADS bought and liked. God forbid! Sellouts!

I guess that’s also why “real” rockers dislike bands like Bon Jovi, Def Leppard or Europe – because those bands actually appealed to everything and anything from kids to teenage girlies to actual music lovers. The reason why people think that Motörhead is a REAL metal band, is because generally, non-metalheads don’t like them.

You won’t see Lemmy in a reality show, he wouldn’t be caught dead doing anything like that. I guess out of most musicians today, he would be the ONLY musician I would say has true integrity that is solid as a rock. He is cool that way, I admire his attitude. It’s brave. I mean, alright, he let “Ace Of Spades” be used for a beer commercial, but that is somehow still rock’n’roll and very Lemmy. Its not WalMart!

Most bands nowadays are acting like whores. They would do anything for money.

One of the worst ways of moneymaking, is the “VIP packages” that are so big in America. Where they CHARGE fans to meet their idols. That is one of those things that I just have a hard time accepting.

What the fuck – I bought the records and the merch, I “liked” them on Facebook and added them on MySpace and Twitter, I’m wearing their freaking t-shirts and I’ve been crushed in the front row at their shows. And they can’t meet their fans for FREE? What’s wrong with that picture?

I realize that you can’t meet everybody, but usually, there are only a few people hanging around before and after the shows. Would it hurt inviting them in to listen to the sound check or have a beer on the bus? Providing they seem fairly normal of course…. I would never, EVER degrade myself to the point where I had to PAY a band to say hello to me, like some beggar. Fuck that.

I remember a girl from New Zealand who was a HUGE Billy Idol-fan that we met in Copenhagen years ago. She was traveling all around the world to see him. God knows how much she spent on tickets, hotels and all that. I should know – I did the same this year going everywhere to see guitar-hero Gus G play with Ozzy and Firewind. It’s not exactly cheap. But you do it for the love of rock’n’roll.

She had bought the most expensive “VIP-package” in several cities, Copenhagen being one of those cities,

I couldn’t believe it when she said how much she had paid, but I forget now the exact amount… Well – they let her in – ten minutes later she was out in the cold again! They “let” her take a photo with Billy and she wasn’t even allowed to use her OWN camera, she got an autograph and a poster and some other junk and after ten minutes it was BYE BYE BABY BYE BYE………..

I’ll never forget that. A die-hard fan like that should be invited in for FREE, get the red carpet for supporting Billy in every possible way. Not be treated like crap – because that was really shitty. I don’t blame Billy for that, he was super cool after the show.

“His people” told fans that Billy would not sign anything because he would risk getting a cold if he stayed outdoors. Billy didn’t give a fuck, he talked to everybody and signed anything people put in front of him.
The VIP-shit is some management’s idea – I would assume….. 

But fans generally don’t complain about the “VIP”-bullshit. Cause it’s still “in the family”…

So I guess it’s cool to make money as long as you make sure it’s for the right people. Making money is okay when you’re a rocker, you just need to make sure you do it the right way. Cause integrity for metal-fans is about staying true to yourself, keeping it METAL.

Many people have taken on the heavy metal lifestyle because it’s always been an alternative to whatever is normal and mainstream. It’s a form of escapism, a full-time escapism where you just refuse to be a part of whatever society tries to sell as normal

So I guess AC/DC stepped WAY out of line in that respect. But as integrity isn’t a big deal in today’s world in general. I guess they are laughing all the way to the bank (and Walmart…)….

3 comments

  1. Ronnie Soo

    Lemmy would not thank you for describing him as ‘Metal’ (apparently he detests being thought of as a Metal musician) :)He did a couple of adverts in Britain, one was for KitKat where it features well-known figures going against type (he’s seen playing a violin) and another for crisps where he sends his own biker image up. He got away with them because he was laughing at himself, but the real controversy was with two punks: first John Lydon did a butter advert (he later said that put PiL back on the road) and worse, Iggy Pop did one for (wait for it) CAR insurance! They both took loads of stick for that!Loads of rock bands used synths in the 1980s, seems odd looking back now that VH took so much stick, I mean ZZ Top brought in synths with Eliminator a year before, Purple and offshoot bands always had them and Sabbath had synths on some songs back in the 1970s. You could argue that many of those are not really ‘metal’ but you could say the same about VH and that’s a whole ‘nother topic! And of course there was Queen, who may not be a metal band but nonetheless refused to use synths until eight albums in, once they did it caused similar ructions among their fanbase. I’m not even gonna get started on those VIP-packages…safe to say I like ’em about as much as you do…!

  2. Daniela

    I doubt that Lemmy gives a rats ass what some music blogger thinks, so I’ll leave the “metal” thing, lol. :) I think you’re right, he can get away with it because he does it “the right way”. Compared to WalMart even KitKat is rock’n’roll!As for the synths, there was never such a major discussion about the usage of those in hard rock and heavy metal, as when Van Halen used them in Jump. Maybe because it was the era where you were EITHER a Yazoo-fan OR an Iron Maiden-fan. So that sound didn’t belong on that side of the musical border so to speak. VIP packages…. Let me quote Manowar on that one: Kill with power, die, die! :)

  3. Ronnie Soo

    Good article off the BBC site about the whole ‘selling out’ thing which does a better job than I could of explaining why this kind of thing irritates, and one reader comment at the bottom mentions Lemmy. I forgot that Alice Cooper also did an advert with Ronnie Corbett a few years back! (for Sky television).http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/7901003.stm

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