Thursday, February 23, 2006

Lock The Doors

Wow, a musician not willing to sell out.

There's a reason you never hear music by the group The Doors used in TV ads. Much to the dismay of his former band mates, Doors drummer John Densmore hasn't allowed any of the band's music to be used in television commercials. Whether it's $15 million offered by Cadillac to use the song "Break On Through (to the Other Side)" in an SUV ad or the $4 million offer from Apple Computer, Densmore hasn't given in. The reason, in his own words:

"People lost their virginity to this music, got high for the first time to this music," Densmore said. "I've had people say kids died in Vietnam listening to this music, other people say they know someone who didn't commit suicide because of this music…. On stage, when we played these songs, they felt mysterious and magic. That's not for rent."
Musicians (or those who own their music) have every right to do whatever they want with their music. For many aging rockers, selling their work to the advertising industry is kind of a built-in retirement plan I suppose. Still, there is something in me that feels compromised whenever I do hear a tune that at some point in my life had some meaning being used to sell cars or financial services. So while it seems insane for Densmore to pass up millions, I have to really respect him and his reasons for doing so (even if Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek, the two other surviving members of The Doors, are less than thrilled).

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