Selling out revisited

I received a press release today that contained this as its lede:

“Legendary BRONX ART FUNK group ESG (who will have the new feature song on Mini Cooper commercials nationally) will perform their LAST EVER SHOW in Chicago at the Estrojam Festival Friday, Sept 21st.”

Now, initially I felt this was the perfect indictment of the theory I’d previously railed against in a blog post not too long ago: that selling out is actually a good thing. But it turns out it’s not that simple. From Wikipedia:

“On May 9, 2007, ESG drummer Valerie Scroggins was indicted by a Brooklyn grand jury on charges of taking more than $13,000 in workers’ compensation payments. Scroggins, a bus driver for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (New York), told them that she suffered a shoulder injury last September. In November, Scroggins went on tour with ESG, where an MTA investigator filmed her playing “drums for an hour or more and on every song the band played, doing things very similar to actions she told her employers she could not perform,” according to the Brooklyn DA’s press release. Scroggins asserts that her injury is legitimate and that she could not safely drive a bus.”

So not only does the inclusion of your song in a commercial not lead to financial solvency, it doesn’t even mean that a member of a band with both longevity and respect – and ESG do have both – won’t consider committing (alleged) fraud in order to make ends meet.

I don’t mean to suggest there’s a cause and effect relationship here, but it’s far from a panacea either.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *