Heavy Metal

Word on the street is that when Cadillac prepares to launch its SRX, which is a variant of a sport utility vehicle that’s somewhat smaller than an Escalade, it will be doing so with the background music of a rock dinosaur—I mean dynasty—of day’s past: Led Zeppelin. I suspect that the irony of the name of that band in the context of Cadillac is lost on the people who made the selection. Either that, or they are amusingly subversive. The tune that they’ve culled is Zep’s “Rock and Roll.” Which makes me wonder more about the potential subversion, given that the tune opens:

“It’s been a long time since I rock and rolled”

Which is certainly true of Cadillac, but would they admit it?

Of course, the folks at the automaker are feeling pretty good. After all, JLo has sung about the Escalade (her love may not cost a thing, but it will set you back in excess of $50K for those wheels), and as Mark LaNeve, Cadillac general manager recently stated, “When I first started at Cadillac 21 years ago, Guy Lombardo was about as ‘hip’ as we got. Now we’re getting ‘heavy unpaid rotation’ on MTV and the players’ parking lots of many NBA and NFL stadiums look like Escalade showrooms.”

Now for a historic footnote: Guy Lombardo was a big band leader who began his career in 1924. Guy Lombardo died in 1977. Which means, I suppose, that when LaNeve started at Cadillac in 1980 or ’81, there was a dead guy who was quintessentially Cadillac hip.

Of course, given that the first verse of “Rock and Roll” ends,

“Been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time”

maybe that’s right.

2 thoughts on “Heavy Metal”

  1. Oy. I take comfort in the fact that most of the music I really care about can’t be commercialized. For example, it’s unlikely they’ll ever be able to use The Replacement’s ‘Gary’s Got A Boner’ to sell Levis…

  2. I just heard a rehashed version of Jane’s Addiction’s “GO” on a car commercial. Of course, there’s the other car commercial sampling the Ramones…what the fuck???

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