You’re probably tired of hearing about Rock ‘n Roll bands that put their names, faces, and logos on endless tie-in products. This term is often called: ‘Selling-Out’, and can tarnish the image of that artist faster than their career will last. It used to be that musicians could sell everything from t-shirts to limited edition demos of their music, but it doesn’t stop there. Could you imagine Rock and Roll Hall of Fame guitarists Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck (from the band: The Yardbirds) singing a jingle for instant milkshake powder? How about David Bowie selling ice cream dream bars in a commercial from the late 60’s by legendary director Ridley Scott! So before you get the idea there’s an endless list of singers pushing perfume, signature clothing, and coffee machines, take a look at some of the rockers who are really selling a slice of the real rockin’ life.
Live fast- Die hard!
In the last decade we’ve seen prominent Rock ‘n Rollers like Marilyn Manson selling his own line of Absinthe. Not only does he sell it under his own label entitled “Mansinthe”, it’s the only version of the original recipe Absinthe that hits the 66.6% by volume (that’s 133.2 proof in the USA), and Manson ‘himself’ oversaw the creation of this often poisonous drink to his morbid specifications. There are other bands who’ve lent their names to alcohol including KISS, Motorhead, AC/DC, and Iron Maiden. When you put fans together with rockin’ metal musicians, there’s bound to be serious drinking attached. Just as you might have guessed- it’s all about Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll!
Even if those Rock ‘n Roll folks are so wild, they still have time to promote some interesting side products aside from their music too. The late Lemmy Kilmister (frontman of Motorhead), who you would never imagine would ever promote milk, actually appeared in a commercial funded by the Dairy Council of Finland. Not only that, he was into collecting a lot of war relics and tons of other stuff, but those who knew him best- recall his love for playing slot machines throughout his entire life, including a certain pub slot machine from the ‘Rainbow Bar’ in L.A. It’s not 100% confirmed, but many reports that his favorite slot machine was actually moved into his apartment located a couple blocks away (prior to his passing) are confirmed by many close friends. He jokingly often mentioned that he got the name “Lemmy” by buddies who he pestered to lend him money (hence ‘Lemmy’ was coined) as he continued playing these slot machines. You can now play an awesome tribute slot machine to Lemmy and Motorhead which have been unveiled in his honor also, and it features great hit songs that define his Rock ‘n Roll lifestyle perfectly.
Lick It Up-literally…
The undisputed leaders of merchandising are no doubt the band KISS, who have franchised their band logo, characters, and souls into nearly every product imagined, yep- even condoms! Among the list of the usual comic books, trading cards, and action figures are some items you might think are totally unnecessary altogether! They also sell, KISS coffee, KISS credit cards, KISS beauty products, and most unlikely item you even need to think about- the KISS casket! They didn’t stop just there (aside from ‘Dimebag’ Darrrell being buried in one), since they also offer video games, and three new Bally pinball machines, and no more than 3000 other product tie-ins. KISS is among the few who have dominated the merchandise arena with no shortage of faithful fans welcoming the influx of products. They can be considered sell-outs but with that much control on product- but at this point, do they care what other people think is called selling-out?