Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life: <i>I know it's only rock 'n roll (but I like it)</i> .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sharpening our wits on the grindstone of Life

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

I know it's only rock 'n roll (but I like it)

Destiny's Child tour to be sponsored by McDonald's

We expect Nascar to be sponsored by beer, cigarettes and automotive batteries. But we like to think of our music as pure, and not sullied by corporate sponsorship. Is that a realistic expectation?

Destiny's Child announced its concert tour today, which is sponsored by McDonald's.

The R&B trio will kick off a 16-country, 72-city tour April 9 in Hiroshima, Japan, the group announced. The tour, "Destiny Fulfilled ... and lovin' it," is sponsored by McDonald's.

I'm all down with Beyonce' and crew. And sure, it's not like they're being sponsored by Jack Daniels, but McDonald's isn't exactly known for promoting a healthy lifestyle, much as they'd like you to believe otherwise. So when a singing group that wants you to believe that they're simple folk who'd never promote anything other than sweetness and rainbows (and of course sex) teams up with a heart attack causing, money hungry corporate conglomerate, you have to wonder at their motivation.

Now, I'm N'Cynic incarnate, but I don't believe it's all about the ch-ching. I think it's about wanting to make music no matter what it takes. If a sponsor is necessary to cover the cost of putting on a show, and you really want to put on a show, then you'll go for it. And whether that's good or bad is not for me to decide. It's for the people who buy the tickets and the records (oops, I mean CDs. My age is showing).

Lets face it, y'all. These guys aren't doing it for you, even though some of them say they are. They're rockin' their hearts out because they love it. They love the rush of the lights, the band being tight, and puttin' it all together to create a sound that stirs emotion in the crowd and in themselves. It doesn't matter if it's rock and roll, R&B, country, polka, rap, disco, big band or reggae. When a bunch of musicians gets in a groove, it's all about personal gratification, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying to you or to themselves.

I remember when Jimmy Buffet concerts broke the $25 admission barrier. I felt betrayed. I mean, here's a guy who claimed he was just doing it for the party, and now he wants to soak me for more than a hundred bucks (counting tickets, concert T's and margaritas). He's buying boats, planes and real estate in St. Barts, and I'm contributing a good chunk of my hard earned paycheck to support his lifestyle. But I did it and enjoyed the hell out of myself. I haven't done it often since, but a Buffett concert is still an event that tempts me, especially compared to McCartney, Elton John, Billy Joel, the Eagles, and others that cost hundreds just to get in the gate.

A few years ago, Jimmy Buffett changed his sponsorship from Miller to Corona. Was it a change in attitude, or a change in lattitude? Did he change his beer preference? I doubt it. He just saw an opportunity to make his show bigger, which again was a choice by him to finance his personal jones at the expense of corporate America.

I think Jimmy expressed it best in one of his early tunes, before he became a big, crowd-drawing star:

I know that it may sound funny
But money don't mean nothin' to me
I won't make my music for money
No, I'm gonna make my music for me

Of course, that's my opinion, and I may be wrong. Maybe they are all money hungry, panderering to the public's weaknesses. Regardless, I will still listen to both Jimmy's and Beyonce's music. And neither one will likely entice me to eat more cheeseburgers.

Aterword: Saw The New Outlaws concert on CMT tonight. It was a kickass concert, but can someone please explain to me exactly how Big & Rich (Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy) and Gretchen Wilson (I'm Here for the Party) fit in to the "moral values" that decided the presidential election a few months ago?


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