Tag Archives: Volkswagen

Bonamassa Raising Money for COVID-19-Affected Musicians

Joe Bonamassa, at age 12, in 1989, opened for B.B. King. Imagine: not only was he 12 but there he was, playing guitar ahead of one of the guitar-playing greats.

That worked out well. Bonamassa has become something of an axe-wielding phenomenon in the 30 years since.

Speaking of the situation that COVID-19 has brought on, Bonamassa said: “Musicians have a tough road ahead and this will help them regroup until they can head out on the road again when everyone gets a green light.”

He is talking about a live-stream fundraising event that he is holding tomorrow night (May 14, 8 pm EST).

Bonamassa is going to perform and talk about his vintage Fender guitars.

The proceeds will go to his Fueling Musicians Program, which is an emergency relief plan that was created by his 501(c) (3) non-profit organization, Keeping the Blues Alive (KTBA).

The program will provide musicians with financial assistance for living expenses as well as pre-paid fuel cards so they’ll be able to literally get on the road.

The Fueling Musicians Program is being supported by Fender Premium Audio and Volkswagen. (VW offers Fender audio systems in many of its vehicles.)

The event will be on the VW Facebook page.

Over the years I’ve cracked car companies on their sometimes-craven use of music.

Not this time.

Musicians need all the help they can get, and credit to VW for its support of Bonamassa’s efforts.

Incidentally, if you’re interested in contributing to the Fueling Musicians Program or if you’re a musician who needs help and would like to fill out an application form for assistance, go here.

(Photo: Christie Goodwin)

New Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Super Bowl Ad: Black Betty

Video: Jon Spencer Blues Explosion – “Black Betty” (VW ad)

Volkswagen Beetle 2011 Super Bowl XLV television commercial

It all comes back to the intersection of art and commerce… Or rather: cars and rock and roll. Over the past ten years we’ve spent a lot of time discussing what it means when a band puts its music in a commercial. From the Clash to Sting, Nick Drake to the Mooney Suzuki, Iggy Pop to Of Montreal, Led Zeppelin to Wilco. As Mac said so eloquently in 2005, we’re all Sometimes Reluctant Hookers.

Ten years on, the concept of “selling out” doesn’t even exist anymore. Which is probably fine, since neither does the concept of “buying music.”

So congratulations to Jon Spencer for getting his band on a Volkswagen ad. A Super Bowl ad, no less! Soon to be iconic, I’m sure.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion: iTunes, Amazon, Insound, eMusic, MOG, wiki

Continue reading New Jon Spencer Blues Explosion Super Bowl Ad: Black Betty

The Kids Aren’t Alright: A Public Service Announcement

Be safe.Depending on your point of view, Volkswagen should be lauded or eviscerated for the music that it has been using in its television spots (including Son Volt, Lemon Jelly, John Dragonetti, and other tunes). It is quite evident that the German automaker (which, by the way, produces those Beetles in Mexico, not the Black Forrest, so don’t imagine that there are clever overall-wearing technicians or even elves building the bugs) is looking to score with a younger automotive customer, perhaps hoping against hope that someday the kids will grow into financially sound adults who will be able to spend on the order of $85,000 to $100,000 (in today’s dollars) to buy a VW Phaeton—that’s right: A Volkswagen that’s going for a tenth of a million dollars. You can buy a lot of discs, components, concert tickets, liquor, and pharmaceuticals for that kind of scratch—and still have cash left over to buy a set of wheels.

Continue reading The Kids Aren’t Alright: A Public Service Announcement