Monday, July 23, 2007


I came across an article about Beatles fans protesting the use of their songs in commercials.

One can be a purist and be offended. It’s as if someone is using the talent and genius of John and Paul as a coaster for a Starbucks mocha toffee latte. There’s also the personal connection people have to the Beatles. The song that meant so much to you during a heartbreak is now trivialized to sell diapers. It becomes a personal affront.

Mixing art and money is disturbing to some people, but I think that's been the history of art anyway. You think Michelangelo created work for free? Wasn't a lot of the art done at the request of the religious fractions done to promote religion or morals of the time?

On the other hand, one can just enjoy the metamorphosis of art and ride the wave. The other day, I saw an interviewer ask director John Waters what he thought of the new movie version of “Hairspray.” He cheered for it and said this was how art changes and grows. It’s gone from his cult movie to a Broadway show to Hollywood.

So, how is it different for "Hello Goodbye" becoming "Hello Goodbuy" for Target?

I agree with that since an artist creates the art and offers it to the world. Then, someone else is inspired by it and creates another piece of art. This is what I call “Art begets art” in another post, where my poetry was inspired by others' paintings.

I guess in order to appreciate the new versions, you have to let go of the older or else let them both enjoy the space. For example, you have Gwen Stefani’s version of Talk Talk’s “It’s My Life.” Then there are songs like Juice Newton’s woeful ballad “Angel of the Morning,” which was trampled upon by Shaggy. However, that's my preference, but it was how Shaggy was inspired to transform it.

It’s not limited to western music and art. Bollywood is on a mission to remake classic movies from the 70’s and DJ’s are constantly remixing songs from the 60’s with modern beats. Again, the purists flock forward and say, “How can you remake “Don” without Amitabh? Shahrukh Khan? Give me a break!” Then, you watch it and see the spirit of the original is there, but contemporary.

The other benefit of these remakes is the rebirth. It lives on in a different capacity. If it weren't for 2001 Space Odyssey, would today's generation recognize Beethoven's 9th Symphony?

True art evolves, doesn’t it?

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