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Re: Led Zeppelin Enters TV Commercial Game




Hi Badgies,
The song used as the basis for the jingle in the recent automobile sale
campaign is
"The Wanton Song" from Physical Graffiti.
It's on Disc Two Song 6.
For those of us who live in a capitalist society, and have worried all
these years that somehow pure art and art for commercial purposes aren't
the same twain, wake up.
I grew up with that idea as an artist and it's a good way to live in
financial ruin. No wonder Jimmy ran away from being a stained glass artist
and decided it was easier to be a musician. In my opinion, artists,
musicians or otherwise ought to be entitled to make whatever reasonable use
they want to of their intellectual property.
Let's face it.
Derivative works happen all the time running the gamut from coincidental
points of inspiration to complete plagarism to tribute art that honors a
predecessor with a new twist.
That's life!
Enjoying high art or low art is purely a matter of individual taste,
nothing more. That issue can go out the window when an artist is faced with
the issue of survival. And there are artists who've managed to successfully
combine creating great works for clients. Bach and Warhol for example.
Who's Led Zep's clients:
anybody who'll listen and wants to buy their recorded works or attend live
performances of the remaining members.
So if a main riff from Wanton Song sneaks into a car commercial, actually
that made me rush into the living room the first time I heard it. And
truthfully I focused on the images and sound as a movie short instead of
the car brand id in a commercial.
Does it cheapen an artist's work when it goes from being counter-culture
banner music to being commercialized mainstream jingle?
It depends on the individual tune or piece of art involved.
I don't think so anymore.
Great art can exist inside the confines of a commercial.
I didn't say "high art" and I'd draw a distinction.
I love all kinds of art including the music and album covers of Led Zeppelin,
to outstanding commericals that have won Cleo awards to Corregio, DaVinci,
Shang dynasty tangs, Bosch's triptychs, French cathedrals, AmerIndian
earthworks, Turner's landscapes, Bach's fugues, Richard Linder's pop females,
the plaint of a bagpipe. Add the roar of a synthesizer, the delicate sound
of Galway's flute, Walt Disney's "Fantasia" Frederick Goudy's typeface
"Goudy Oldstyle" black and white ads for Coco Chanel in Vogue and Armani etc.
Eugene Smiths photos and graffiti on the NYS in the Big Apple.
Oh yeah and Escher, Cassat...
Maybe it just means the ad agency that produced this 60 second spot liked
Led Zeppelin and thought there might be a few Zep listeners old and rich
enough to buy their client's very expensive product.
As far as Robert selling out for Coca-Cola in the late 80's, I understood
he undertook that contract to recoup financially. There was an admission in
published interviews on his part that he'd been talked into poor
investments. The Coke endorsement helped him get back on his feet.
For those of you who make your money doing things besides music, or visual
arts, I seriously doubt if you think you're "selling out." What if the rest
of you who don't create art for a living
"lighten up."
I was taken aback initially but now I think
"Naw, leave it..."
as someone else once said.
Shar