"The Big Kick-Out Lie" cheerfully told by Mark E. Smith
SCALLYWAG #46 (date??)
SCENE: It is November - Have just left my record label after four years. Am scrounging around for record deals in London. I go down to breakfast, an unusual occurrence, and find myself sat behind a hideous Surrey ex-Cockney type who is rattling on to two Yanks (who look like a cross between the FBI and REM), who I've seen scuttling and nipping in and out of offices from Mercury Records, New York, to Mushroom Retards, Sydney, to Hammersmith, London.
ENGLISH GUY: I bought that Thin Lizzy song 'The Boys Are Back In Town' for L1500 in 1978.' Boastfully he continues, 'Now I've just sold it for an advert for L75,000. You can say it's a bit of a sell-off, but what's the point, I mean, why give some new group L75,000 when all they do is sit around and that?'
AMERICAN GUY l: 'That's very interesting.'
AMERICAN GUY 2: 'Hmm'
Long hard pause,
AMERICAN GUY 1: Maybe we could look into that Bread/David Gates material we've been holding onto.'
I stand and realise they recognise me. I immediately light a cigarette because I know that these corporate types, being ex-dope smokers of the worst kind, hate all nicotine addicts. Shame I am in the No Smoking area.
As I walk out, I think to myself that Thin Lizzy were not that great but Phil Lynott was. He once asked me to hide him at a concert because he was a half-caste and some Mancunian blacks were out to get him. I ponder, after a decent drag on my tab, about soundtracks on commercials.
While appealing to the age and sentiments of the advertisers themselves, the commercials frequently feature songs by 70's and 80's artistes, who, just by chance happen to be dead, mad, or better still, out of copyright. This is heaven for the record companies and the pony-tailed swines at the agencies. I stub my cigarette out with as much decency as I can muster and nod thinking, there is nothing worse than a half-educated man.
Case in point is the Northern soul hero, singer Jackie Wilson. About five years ago or so he was in a Detroit hospital, plugged into a life support machine. His wife called up xxxx Records in LA and begged them for back royalties of about L2000, thus enabling him to pay off some debts and experience comfort in death. The record company refused.
Three months after his death, the company then released his classic 'Reet Petitte' and shoved out an obscene video of dancing plasticine men, meant to be, one supposes, Wilson himself. The record reached number one over Christmas, the season of goodwill unless of course you happen to be dead, dying or run a record label!