I am guilty of two crimes.
My first is smugness - misplaced as it turns out. My second is hypocrisy - albeit inadvertent. This blog is my confession.
Watching Morgan Spurlock's documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold recently I was amused and enlightened by his clever send-up of product placement in the film industry.
It got me thinking. Perhaps the music industry, in a desperate attempt to replace plummeting sales revenue, will increasingly go the way of Back to the Future and pretty much every James Bond movie ever made.
A trusty Google search revealed many an egregious example in no time at all.
One, in particular, caught my attention. Busta Rhymes' not-so-subtle endorsement of a certain well known brand of french liquor, ‘Pass the Courvoisier’ brought forth an extra-large snort from my already up-turned nose. Particularly at his claim that any reference to the pricey plonk was an ‘artistic choice’ and nothing more.
I can just about accept that well-known products or brands might make their way into popular lyrics, if they support the narrative. Surely though, there is a line which, once crossed, inevitably turns a single into a jingle.
I did not think much more on the subject until my wife fired up my album, Lost & Found in the car recently. There it was... Track 9: Line 9 of Bluesville-By-The-Sea “...maybe we should share a J&B or three”. The horror! My duplicity exposed in a moment of cold-sweat realisation.
Not only am I endorsing a famous brand of blended whisky - I am also encouraging irresponsible drinking. In my defence, I will say this - it supports the narrative.
So, my bad. I should have given Busta the benefit of the doubt when he made his defence of his artistic integrity.
Now excuse me, but I have to make a call to a certain whisky manufacturer about a potential sponsorship deal...
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I write songs - then I write about writing songs.