Laura Levine
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Violent Femmes
posted: March 2, 2007
Last night I was watching TV and a Wendy's commercial came on. The music for the ad was the Violent Femmes' BLISTER IN THE SUN. Now years ago, in my idealistic twenties, I probably would have thought it a corporate sell-out, but my feeling now, 20 years later is, what the heck! Better the Femmes and Iggy than Kiss and Boston. Hopefully it'll make them some dough and even better, whole bunch of new fans.

So I thought it fitting to post this photo I took of them back in 1983 on the corner outside my apartment. That little girl really dug their music. They were loads of fun, and they even recorded a message for my answering machine. I returned the favor later when they asked me to sing backup on their song "It's Gonna Rain."

(Addendum. Drama. Controversy. I did some googling and found a blog post that seems to be from Brian Ritchie, their bass player:

For the fans who rightfully are complaining about the Wendy's burger advertisement featuring Blister in the Sun. Gordon Gano is the publisher of the song and Warners is the record company. When they agree to use it there's nothing the rest of the band can do about it, because we don't own the song or the recording. That's showbiz. Therefore when you see dubious or in this case disgusting uses of our music you can thank the greed, insensitivity and poor taste of Gordon Gano. It is his karma that he lost his songwriting ability many years ago, probably due to his own lack of self-respect as his willingness to prostitute our songs demonstrates. Neither Gordon (vegetarian) nor me (gourmet) eat garbage like Wendy's burgers. I can't endorse them because I disagree with corporate food on culinary, political, health, economic and environmental grounds. However I see my life's work trivialized at the hands of my business partner over and over again, although I have raised my objections numerous times. As disgusted as you are I am moreso.

Sincerely,

Brian Ritchie
4 comments
laura l. March 2, 2007
By the way, I think that Gano has every right to decide how and where to license his music and Brian has every right to clarify that he had no part in this decision and does not endorse the product.
David Goldin March 2, 2007
I was wondering about that the other day. So in twenty years we might hear Rage Against the Machine songs on fast food ads... Great photo!
Robert Hunt March 2, 2007
I saw Rage against the machine videos playing on closed circuit in Target. Ironic... Speaking of Target, they have current TV ads using the beatle's "hello good-by" but the words on the screen say "hello...good buy" . Why, Yoko, why?
Larry Ross March 2, 2007
Does Yoko have the rights to those songs? I thought Michael Jackson bought the rights to all the Beatles' songs. It's all very confusing. Why, Michael, why?
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