As cringe-inducing dubstep remixes of The Beatles abound, John Lennon & George Harrison writhe in their graves, while deceased Beastie Boy MCA shouts out a haunting “told you so” from his. Late Beastie Boy member, MCA (real name: Adam Yauch) created an integrity clause in his will which prevents his music from ever being co-opted for corporate/advertising purposes.
In 1997, Apple used the images of John Lennon, Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi in an ironic, if not sacrilegious, commercial to launch its “Think Different” campaign. It is precisely these adaptations of genuine revolutionary material for corporate benefit that MCA knew he should protect himself against. If only more cultural icons past had thought to do this—it would save our ears from offensive remixes, as well as safeguard the integrity of art and thought.
Image by bMethe on Flickr, courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing Tweet