Monday, July 4, 2011
If you ever run into one of the Del Fuegos or Long Ryders in a bar, don't even joke about offering to buy them a Miller Beer. These ads screamed "Sell Out!" back in the mid-80's and neither band survived the backlash.
The Ryders's Sid Griffin told journalist Diane Roka in her oral history of the L-A Paisley Underground scene "People felt, when all is said and done, that, how can this band, the Long Ryders, be these hip, cutting edge guys, rebellious, and have songs that are anti-war and questioning this and that and sign up to a big American corporation? And that's a really good question to ask. And the answer is: we needed the money."
The criticism is probably unfair when you consider the bands who sang about Coke in the 60's: The Who, The Moody Blues, The Box Tops and The Bee Gees ("Sittin in the Meadow/Frolic in the grass..) (mp3)
Even for the 80's--a decade not averse to the money grab by the way-- these ads could have been more subtle. Fewer Miller Beer images, maybe less ironic talk about "integrity" and , for God's sake, let the bands play one of their own tunes.
I'll give the last word on the subject to The Young Fresh Fellows.