The Doors lose $20m as drummer refuses ad deals
LONDON - The three surviving members of The Doors have lost nearly $20m worth of deals to allow advertisers use their music, because drummer John Densmore refuses to sell out.
Recent offers to endorse the likes of Cadillac and Apple have been spurned by Densmore, because he wants to honour the memory of lead singer Jim Morrison, who died in 1971 in Paris of a heart attack.
Cadillac had wanted to use 'Break on Through' to sell their 4x4. In the end, it kept the tagline "Break through", but used Led Zeppelin's song 'Rock 'n' Roll'.
The other members of The Doors, keyboardist Ray Manzarek and guitarist Robby Krieger, are said to be furious over Densmore's refusal to allow their music to be used to sell cars and other products.
The refusal to agree to advertising deals will have exacerbated bad feeling between Densmore and his former bandmates. Last year, the trio ended up in court, when a judge ruled that Manzarek and Krieger could not use the name Doors of the 21st Century during a global tour.
It has not always been the case that Densmore has been against The Doors' music being used in ads. He sold the rights to one of the band's biggest hits, 'Riders on the Storm', to Pirelli for a tyre ad. However, he later vowed never to be tempted by brand advocacy ever again.
"I gave every cent to charity. Jim's ghost was in my ear and I felt terrible. If I needed proof that it was the wrong thing to do, I got it."
"I've had people say kids died in Vietnam listening to this music," he added. "On stage, when we played these songs, they felt mysterious and magic. That's not for rent."
This September, gravelly voiced singer Tom Waits issued legal proceedings against General Motors and its ad agency McCann Erickson over an ad he claimed imitated his voice. Waits is one of the music world's genuine anti-establishment icons. Where other music stars have "sold out", Waits has vehemently refused to.
In a statement announcing the lawsuit, he said: "Apparently, the highest compliment our culture grants artists nowadays is to be in an ad -- ideally naked and purring on the hood of a new car."
However, stars such as Sir Paul McCartney, who recently endorsed investment firm Fidelity, and Bob Dylan, who has appeared in a spot for Victoria's Secret and given permission for his music to be used in an ad for health firm Kaiser Permanente, are clearly not as principled.
Waits said: "[Corporations] suck the life and meaning from songs and impregnate them with promises of a better life with their product."
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