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Ok, I know the music business is changing by the millisecond these days and artists have to be increasingly creative to make sure their talent and hard graft actually generates some proper wonga for them rather than their tracks being illegally downloaded by some pimply pre-pubescent in Manchester.  And don’t accuse me of being anti-Manc, I’m just showing an interest in current affairs.  There’s no chance of landing a six-figure advance these days to invest in the Colombian economy before getting your mate to record your magnum opus over a slow weekend in his lock-up.  So everyone’s desperately looking for new ways to actually make a living from music.

There’s a whole new industry which has appeared from nowhere while our backs were turned.  It’s so new that it can’t even spell its own name yet, so I don’t know if it’s syncing or synching but I’m sure it’ll soon sort out that little identity crisis.  When I was a lad (before digital and mobile phones and that worldwide net thing), it was the ultimate sellout to allow your creative masterworks to be used in an advert.  Neil Young got so upset about an approach from Pepsi that he wrote “This Note’s For You” about it.  So who made it ok to sell your soul to Bartle Bogle Hegarty (come on, it’s so much funnier than BBH, isn’t it)?

It was Apple and the Archangel Bono, that’s who.  When “Vertigo” was used on the iPod ad, the trickle of high-profile bands chasing the advertising money turned into a deluge.  Everyone’s at it now.  I mean, did the Stones really need the extra dosh from “Start Me Up” on the Omega ad this summer?  I don’t mind anyone trying to get their music out there and get the rewards they deserve; far from it.  The sync(h)ing industry helps get good new music into films, TV series and ads that generate a buzz (and a fee) for the artists and you would have to have a hard heart to complain about that.

I really have a problem with musicians who should know better endorsing totally inappropriate products.  Where do I start? Is that too many rhetorical questions?  Ok, Iggy Pop selling insurance, then.  Iggy (or Jimmy to his friends) has to be the risk-taker supreme of the 70s; drugs, physical self-harm and more drugs followed by even more drugs and then he appears on TV advertising insurance.  No insurance is as good as being the luckiest man alive, and you can’t buy or sell that commodity.  Chumbawamba, 80s anarcho-punks and agit-proppers (they were so anti-establishment they threw a jug of water over John Prescott) could surely be relied on to resist the temptation of selling out to the establishment.  No chance; “Tubthumping” is featured on an ad for that great anarchist enterprise of ambulance-chasing.

But the best one of the lot has to be John Lydon/Rotten for his splendid work endorsing dairy products.  From the most hated man in Britain to selling butter on TV; it’s a bit of a comedown from the brilliant “World Destruction” with Afrika Bambaataa.  A feature in one of the inkies a few weeks ago described our Johnny as a pantomime villain, but he’s such a caricature now that pantomime dame’s probably closer to the mark.