Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Urf! Blog
Brought To You By Lucky Strike.
It's Toasted!

"I wanna bite the hand that feeds me
I wanna bite that hand so badly.
I wanna make them wish they’d never seen me."

Elvis Costello wrote “Radio, Radio” in 1978 at the tender age of 24. It’s a song in which he laments the control over him and his fellow musicians by the all-powerful Record Making Machine. The Suits, if you will. It’s a song that supposedly got him banned from Saturday Night Live. It’s a song that spoke to the hearts of many, many young people who didn’t want to be told what to do and when to do it. It’s a song that made us want to bite that hand that feeds us. So, imagine my surprise when I opened up the latest New Yorker magazine the other day and, just inside the front cover, I find a large, double-truck ad of Mr. Costello shilling for Visa. And then, to add to my surprise, I see a Lexus commercial on the TV starring the singer-songwriter himself. What’s going on? Are times that tight everywhere or does he just really believe in these products? Well, what I think is going on is that he's now 54-years-old, married to chanteuse Diana Krall, and they've only recently had twin boys. And that runs into money. So I’ve decided, if it’s good enough for Elvis Costello and his two (only two?) babies, then it’s good enough for The Quartet.

What I’m offering to the corporate world is exposure, much in the vein of a Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan or Costello himself. But my kids will be out in the real world, they’ll be interacting with, and sneered at in public by, your consumers, people who actually buy the things you’re selling. Provide me with shirts, pants, shoes, caps, (and a check, let's not forget that check) whatever you can put your logo on and I’ll dress them up like NASCAR. The Quartet will trumpet your name and product from the highest of the monkey bars, even if S is still a little skittish about the heights, if the money is right, I’ll see to it that she gets to the top. We’re not like the NBA, the NFL or Major League Baseball, all of whom have looked down their noses at full-body advertising on their uniforms. Those sports, after all, aren’t about money, they’re about little kids with dreams and the purity of sport and teamwork, not money. Money is filthy. Give me your filthy money and I’ll plaster you on a kid or four. Tattoos, you ask? We can talk about that. Not here, mind you, but later, in a quiet and secluded boardroom.

The hand that feeds me seems to be shrinking these days, and with all these mouths, there don’t seem to be enough hands to go around. So I’m taking a page out of Elvis Costello’s book, his bank book. I want a hand like his, the one he used to want to bite. The hand that now, I believe, is not only feeding him, but doing unspeakable things to him on the fine Corinthian leather in the back of a Lexus LS.