Whole Lotta Sammy
These days I often have to stop myself and remember again that I need to write about music and not just the incredibly weird situation in which today's music business is both dying and rising from the ashes simultaneously.
This one though that I cannot resist, even if it's a sign that Armageddon is now surely approaching.
For their new Brendan O’Brien–produced record that's expected to come out this fall, AC/DC has signed an exclusive agreement with Wal–Mart `a la the recent Eagles deal. The reason for this is monumentally simple: MUN–NAY. In their deal with the retail Anti–Christ, the Eagles reportedly got to keep three quarters of each CD sale. And so far they've sold over three million at $11.98. Needless to say, the resulting figure is another world from the pittances that artists used to get from labels. Major record labels (AC/DC was last on Atlantic) were (notice the past tense) one mean business; adept at making money for themselves and sticking it to everyone else: the consumer, the artists, etc. All this calamity they're now mired in: they did it to themselves. As big businesses go, it's amazing that there's so little good will out there for the record industry. Other than their dwindling stock of employees, no one feels their pain. The problem is that some of the torched survivors of the business now seem to be more focused and willing to cheese out and get their last bite of the CD pie.
The best part about this deal, is that AC/DC isn't some namby pamby act like Garth Brooks, Journey or even the Eagles. Wal-Mart, that Arkansan bastion of fine, upstandin' morality and supposed red state values—even as they wreck Small Town America by driving out Mom and Pops—will now be selling the new record, the first in eight years, of an act that routinely espouses death and destruction. And sex. How wonderful that Wal–Mart will be behind Angus Young and Co., a bunch of howling Aussie hellions whose most famous song shrieks this naughty cry of the overamped male libido:
"She was a fast machine
She kept her motor clean
She was the best damn woman I had ever seen
She had the sightless eyes
Telling me no lies
Knockin' me out with those American thighs
Taking more than her share
Had me fighting for air
She told me to COME but I was already there."
And there's my personal favorite:
"She wanted it hard
And wanted it fast
She liked it done medium rare." (from "Touch Too Much")
But hey, progress is progress folks. The company that refused to carry Nirvana's In Utero back in 1993 because of its cover shot of an anatomically correct see thru woman, is now on board with cock rock. They've finally given in to the notion that Americans, particularly teenage boys (a demographic all retail needs), do occasionally have sex. And also that acquiring masses of money is worth compromising everything. Oh wait, we already knew that about Sam and his minions.
As far as the Young clan goes, it clearly comes down to selling to the lowest common denominator and Wal–Mart may well be where their buyers shop these days. I might have given them more credit. To oldsters who can remember the heady, testosterone–washed days of their wasted youth, Let There Be Rock,Highway To Hell, and