Monday, August 16, 2004

MILLER LITE: American brewery giant Miller has got itself into a bit of a mess with its special cans, issued to mark the "50th Anniversary of Rock & Roll." Six cans have been released, each featuring a classic cover from Rolling Stone with a rock great on. Unfortunately, Miller have managed to select an all-white line-up. Not, stresses Wener Publishing's chief marketing officer Gary Armstrong (Rolling Stone are joint promoter of the special cans), that they've done it deliberately:

"We didn't even consciously think pro or con, the same way that the only woman on there is Blondie. We just went with the people that we thought were appropriate," he said. "We went through (the covers) and said these people we don't think are appropriate, or wouldn't appeal to Miller drinkers."Armstrong noted Rolling Stone wasn't around for the birth of rock 'n' roll - it was first published in 1967 - when many formative black artists of the genre emerged.

Yes, yes, I know Mr. Armstrong seems to think that Blondie is a woman rather than a band (hey, but I bet he knows she's really called Debbie Blondie, he's no klutz) but you have to admire his Olympian feat there: managing to try and calm down a touchy situation by implying that there haven't been noteworthy black artists since 1967, or at least noteworthy enough to appear on the front of Rolling Stone, or at least, if they did, they were "inappropriate." To adapt Artie off the Larry Sanders Show, they could have at least used Lenny Kravitz - he's only half "inappropriate."

Armstrong then suggested that black artists might choose not to be associated with beer:

Jimi Hendrix's estate, for instance, is protective of his image, Armstrong said. "Again I think it might have had something to do with the beer."

Yes, god forbid that Jimi Hendrix name becomes associated with drugs in the public mind. We're a little puzzled at the news that the Hendrix estate has suddenyl become so protective of Jimi's legacy: presumably flogging his work for any car commercial that comes up is the best way of making Jimi seem like a money-grubbing hack.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't hear the name Lenny Kravitz without hearing Rip Torn's sonorous tones. In fact, I'm going to go and remember TV for ten minutes now. Was TLSS the best music show of the '90s? Beck's crappy song; Larry trying to enjoy Smash Mouth; Elvis Costello saying "Never buy anything from Sting"... mmmmm, TV.

It's so good that comments are open. I've only just seen the Wendy James debate (which seems to be continuing here); let's hope this thread becomes as fiery!

Anonymous said...

I can't hear the name Lenny Kravitz without hearing Rip Torn's sonorous tones. In fact, I'm going to go and remember TV for ten minutes now. Was TLSS the best music show of the '90s? Beck's crappy song; Larry trying to enjoy Smash Mouth; Elvis Costello saying "Never buy anything from Sting"... mmmmm, TV.

It's so good that comments are open. I've only just seen the Wendy James debate (which seems to be continuing here); let's hope this thread becomes as fiery!

-- Alan Connor

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