Did Spinal Tap Sell Out?
I have had a rough go of it lately, watching everyone sell their shit for commercials. In the last year I have heard Led Zeppelin, the Who, the Band, Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, U2, and Aerosmith on product commercials. Sure, I expect people like Lenny Kravitz and the Black Eyed Peas on every commercial, as they are hacks. Now, however, Bob Dylan and Dennis Hopper are pimpin' for financial institutions. I mean, you know... whitey the man! This is heartbreaking. As Bill Hicks said, any artist who does a TV commercial will die in a fiery pit... except for Willie. Willie Nelson gets a pass.
I guess there were a few bands who stood the test of time without succumbing. Amongst them was 'the Tap'. I mean, sure, they did the Simpsons... but that isn't selling out. Doing the Simpsons is how you stay visible to people under 40 since Mtv and VH1 stopped showing videos. Imagine my heartbreak when I heard the Tap classic 'Gimme Some Money' on a Amex commercial. Before you call me crazy, here is the proof.
I have a lot of problems with this, and I want to share them with you. Firstly, that song is terrible. How 'GSM' (as it's known in Tap circles) even made it to the film is a mystery. It's said that even director Marti DiBergi edited out of the original, upon advice from DA Pennebaker. Secondly, did they have to sell it to a finance company? I mean, there are more discreet ways to sell out... like when Bob Dylan did a Victoria's Secret commercial. I mean, if one is to sell out... selling out to hot nekkid lady clothes isn't a bad idea.
Here is the most important part > Spinal Tap isn't really a band. Oh, and it isn't even Spinal Tap... it was them as their predecessors 'the Thamesmen'. You may remember this was just after the 'Originals' and the 'New Originals'. So how do you take a terrible terrible song from a group that doesn't exist and make it a commercial? I don't even know if the joke is on Amex, or me as a rock fan. I don't even know if this was supposed to be a joke. It is for a real product though, the American Express Small Business Card.
So, did Spinal Tap sell out? Yeah, except there is no such thing as Spinal Tab. Also, if you are gonna steal a Tap song... use 'Big Bottom'. That song is the shit! Watch the film, it is FOUR basses in action. St Hubbins is playing a bass, Nigel is playing lead bass, and Derek Smalls is kicking it down with a double bass. A double bass? WTF? That is the genius of Spinal Tap.