Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Adolescence Is For Sale, Chapter 666

This commercial is getting heavy airplay during my Tuesday late night cable Outlaw Biker soap.  The first time I saw it, I was quite astonished that a band so far outside the mainstream and as controversial as Slayer would be chosen as brand ambassador for a major liquor entity.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a HUGE Slayer fan.   Back in the day, Reign In Blood was the soundtrack for an awful lot of teenage hijinks, none of which can be documented or in any way legally connected to Your Humble Narrator.   Reign In Blood, as far as I'm concerned, was the band's creative apex, and one of the greatest Metal records ever recorded.  EVER.  I saw them play live in 2000. When they came to The House Of Blues and played a gig in New Orleans for the first time since 1984, it was a cause of great celebration.  It was like a class reunion for the NOLA hardcore scene.  I was running into people I hadn't seen at a show since the late 80's, a bunch of now responsible adults acting like intoxicated teenagers, going nuts in the pit. 

Yes, I'm a metal fan.  Got a problem with that?   Dude, WTF?  I was a teenager in the 80's, what can I say?

So I tripped out a little when I saw the abovementioned commercial.  Even though there are only a few seconds of Mr. King onstage in the commercial, I knew immediately who it was.  A little Google-fu later and I found that there is a more extensive ad campaign online, and found this little gem of an interview.

I've discussed this topic before, in regards to a Misfits song being used in an ad campaign for Sailor Jerry Rum.  I won't go into the whole hand-wringing of that post here, because I find this ad campaign to be a little more subtle, and in some weird way, more honest.  The circular table reminds me a lot of the way we used to consume the product in question.  One of the youthfully inappropriate things we used to do was to take a bottle of Jaeger and pass it around a circle of gathered friends, everybody taking the heartiest slug from the bottle they could, until the bottle was empty. There was often Slayer's Reign In Blood (or Agnostic Front, or DRI, or maybe Bad Brains) blasting from somebody's car stereo in close proximity.  (Not that I would condone or promote underage drinking in any way, but I am allowed to reminisce about it, aren't I?)  I'm confident in my belief that concert parking lot culture and behavior  is pretty much standard across the time-space continuum, and that such things still happen today.  Thus, I'm sure the circular table in the Jaegermiester commercial strikes a chord with a lot more people than just aging rocknrollers from New Orleans East. 

 I guess I figure that Metal bands have already been unpaid brand ambassadors for Jaegermeister for near three decades now.  I also reckon that Metallica probably would have wanted some insane amount of money to do the spot.  (I'll spare you my tirade about their music after 1993, but suffice it to say I've got an axe to grind ever since I sat through their painful mockumentary "Some Kind of Navel Gazing Laughable Train Wreck Piece of Shit Monster.") 

But seeing Slayer get this kind of nod from major corporate money still amazes me.  I guess it is another indicator of how far the scales have tipped regarding the "Culture Wars" in America.  This is EXACTLY the type of band that Tipper Gore and the PMRC (anybody remember that?)  freaked out on.  The forces of Heavy Metal AND Big Booze in a Satanic advertising alliance?  Oh, lawdy Ms. Clawdy. 

I guess it just goes to show that the icons of one's rebellious youth are the fodder of advertisers one generation later.  And with that thought, I leave you with this, your LOL moment of the day:

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