I don’t know what a good sponsorship would be for me or
for other artists I respect. People bring up sponsorships a
lot as a way for artists to get our music paid for upfront
and for us to earn a fee. I’ve dealt with large corporations
for long enough to know that any alliance where I’m an owned
service is going to be doomed.
When I agreed to allow a large cola company to promote a
live show, I couldn’t have been more miserable. They screwed
up every single thing imaginable. The venue was empty but
sold out. There were thousands of people outside who wanted
to be there, trying to get tickets. And there were the empty
seats the company had purchased for a lump sum and failed to
market because they were clueless about music.
It was really dumb. You had to buy the cola. You had to
dial a number. You had to press a bunch of buttons. You had
to do all this crap that nobody wanted to do. Why not just
bring a can to the door?
On top of all this, I felt embarrassed to be an
advertising agent for a product that I’d never let my
daughter use. Plus they were a condescending bunch of little
guys. They treated me like I was an ungrateful little bitch
who should be groveling for the experience to play for their
I ended up playing without my shirt on and ordering a
six-pack of the rival cola onstage. Also lots of unwholesome
cursing and nudity occurred. This way I knew that no matter
how tempting the cash was, they’d never do business with me
If you want some little obedient slave content provider,
then fine. But I think most musicians don’t want to be
responsible for your clean-cut, wholesome, all-American,
sugar corrosive cancer-causing, all white people, no women
allowed sodapop images.
Nor, on the converse, do we want to be responsible for
your vice-inducing, liver-rotting,
child-labor-law-violating, all white people,
no-women-allowed booze images.
So as a defiant moody artist worth my salt, I’ve got to
think of something else. Tampax, maybe.