Some die-hard fans were not pleased when the Rolling Stones sold the tune “Start Me Up” for about $4 million to Microsoft that wanted the classic song to promote its Windows 95 launch. The Beach Boys sold “Good Vibrations” to Cadbury Schweppes for its Sunkist soft drink, Steppenwolf offered its “Born to be Wild” to plug the Mercury Cougar, and even Bob Dylan sold “The Times They Are A-Chang in’” to Coopers & Lybrand (now called Price Water house Coopers). Other rock legends have refused to play the commercial game, including Bruce Springsteen, the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, R.E.M., and U2. According to U2’s manager, “Rock ‘n’ roll is the last vestige of independence. It is undignified to put that creative effort and hard work to the disposal of a soft drink or beer or car.” Singer Neil Young is especially adamant about not selling out; in his song “This Note’s For You,” he croons, “Ain’t singing for Pepsi, ain’t singing for Coke, I don’t sing for nobody, makes me look like a joke.” What is your take on this issue? How do you react when one of your favorite songs turns up in a commercial? Is this use of nostalgia an effective way to market a product? Why or why not?
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