The Go Team doesn’t have TV-commercial aspirations.

No Sale 

The Go Team doesn’t have TV-commercial aspirations.

As World Cup fever reached a boil, Ian Parton, the musical player-coach of Brighton, England’s the Go Team, was contacted by Nike about using one of his group’s songs in a soccer-themed television spot. Parton admits that the concept was pretty benign — just a montage of clips showing famous footballers such as Manchester United forward Wayne Rooney and Brazilian sensation Ronaldinho getting their kicks — and the money being offered was generous. But he turned the company down, just as he’d previously rejected the likes of McDonald’s, for what he sees as the simplest and most obvious of reasons.

“If there was a band I liked and I saw them advertising something, I’d probably be disappointed, and I’d look at that song a bit differently,” he says.

A couple of decades ago, this opinion was widely held. But in the years since Neil Young ironically declared, “This note’s for you,” artists have discovered that licensing tunes for use in major tube campaigns is the surest way short of payola to guarantee that a single becomes a smash. Ask Nelly Furtado, whose “Promiscuous” vaulted to the top slot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart thanks largely to exposure it received in ubiquitous ads for Verizon Wireless.

As a result, Parton’s views make him seem hopelessly out-of-date in today’s marketplace, something he understands well. “I kind of assume that everyone sees it the same way I do, but most people probably don’t,” he says. “Anyone new, that’s not how they’d go about it.” Still, he isn’t about to alter his position, however anachronistic. “If you’re making music, then to patch that music through whatever it is — petrol or beer or something — changes it in a way. And I want to keep it kind of pure.”

Purity isn’t the first characteristic that comes to mind when the Go Team is mentioned. After all, the combo’s most recent album, last year’s Thunder, Lightning, Strike, is an exuberantly bastardized amalgam of rock, rap, soul and soundtrack music that hardly serves as a monument to homogeneity. But deep down, the Go Team’s offerings are an undiluted reflection of Parton’s main ambition: to create a sound in which low art and high art can peacefully coexist and maybe even party together.

And if the folks from Nike phone again? Parton will politely decline the offer. “I’m probably seeing it a bit too seriously,” he acknowledges, chuckling. “In the grand scheme of things, it’s not a massive deal, and if anybody heard I’d turned them down, they’d be like, ‘What the fuck?’ They’d think I was a proper idiot. But, you know, I think music should be kept special, and I don’t think selling it for a commercial is a good way to do that.”

Nelly Furtado couldn’t agree less — but Neil Young would be proud.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Bonus Tracks

Facebook Activity

All contents ©2014 Kansas City Pitch LLC
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Kansas City Pitch LLC,
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.

All contents © 2012 SouthComm, Inc. 210 12th Ave S. Ste. 100, Nashville, TN 37203. (615) 244-7989.
All rights reserved. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of SouthComm, Inc.
except that an individual may download and/or forward articles via email to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
Website powered by Foundation