Via the Wash Times, the AP notes that the outfit called Authentic Hendrix, which controls the corpse (er, estate) of Jimi Hendrix has licensed a new, non-alcoholic beverage called "Liquid Experience" (now with no choke-inducing vomit!), a nod to the watershed album Are You Experienced?
Doesn't Liquid Experience sure sound tasty? I bet it will go just great with the doubtlessly forthcoming "Voodo Chili." This isn't the first time that the Hendrix persona has been used to pitch product. Reports the AP:
The image of Mr. Hendrix, who died in 1970 from a drug overdose in London, has been licensed for products including baby clothing, an air freshener, a lava lamp and a Christmas ornament. Portions of royalties have gone to several educational causes, including the United Negro College Fund.
And this time around, Authentic Hendrix–not to be confused with Ersatz Noel Redding–will "honor Mr. Hendrix's memory by donating some of the profit from the Liquid Experience to an unidentified music-education foundation."
Yet some rockers are acting pissy, and not just because they've guzzled too much Liquid Experience. Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers channels Doors drummer John Densmore and moans:
"To see his image and the beautiful feelings it has created during my lifetime cheapened by base advertising … is very disappointing to me."
Because, you know, it's totally different, man, when you're merely exhorting kids to play "rock 'n' roll tennis" to an unidentified riff, as Flea and Anthony Kiedis did back when Andre Agassi had enough hair (and mousse) to sport a mullet. To wit:
Whole account here. True, true, there's nothing worse than commercialism creeping into an art form that is so pure and clean and decommodified that the music is always given away as free as the clap at a backstage party. Pace Flea (who I interviewed way back when The Uplift Mofo Party Plan lp was released, whose persona I like, and whose band I like too) and Walter Benjamin, one of the truly great things about rock and commercial culture in general is the endless appropriation, reappropriation, and misappropriation it allows and even encourages. Read about that here.
A while back, Brian Doherty took a long and winding look at the "Strange Politics of Millionaire Rock Stars" and realized that the rich–at least the rich in rock 'n' roll–are very different from you and me; they're even dumber.