7/17/09

you can't judge a fan base by the size of its bladder

if i was cool, i'd be at pitchfork this weekend. since i'm not, i spent last night at the billy joel/elton john concert. i think i'm just hanging with the wrong friends. nevertheless, two observations:

first, billy joel and elton john's collective fan base must have the smallest bladders of any musicians, save for barbra streisand's. there were rows and rows of port-a-johns on every side of wrigley, easily doubling capacity.

second, musicians sure have enduring brands. neither performer has done anything noteable for decades or, on billy joel's case, ever. ah, but their product is songs, and songs - unlike so many other products - rarely go bad. (an exception being sting - just to stick with cheesy musicians - whose song "russians," with lyrics about kruschev and reagan, surprisingly hasn't aged very well.)

considering the lasting impact of music, maybe it's time to bring back "my balogna has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R" type thinking.

3 comments:

jim schmidt said...

people aren't brands. to try and make them brands takes away their humanity. if elton john were truly a brand he wouldn't have come out of the closet, admitted he snorted mountains of coke or worn a donald duck suit at dodger stadium. the reason he's so popular is that he's the opposite of a brand image concocted and managed by a so-called team of experts: he's simply himself.

15 ideas said...

looking at a brand as a collection of perceptions in the minds of an audience, i believe everything's a brand - people included. some brands are just less manipulated/more authentic than others.

and damn that duck suit was funny, wasn't it?

jim schmidt said...

if you follow your logic down the rabbit hole (literally) than animals are brands? and insects? and flowers? all the marketingspeak/bullshit gets silly after a while. people simply have personalities--they're not brands like Ford or Sony. i could go on, but i've got to go now and help my seven-year-old Jack with his new brand strategy.