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A few years ago Aerosmith performed with, I forget, N*Sync or the Backstreet Boys during the Super Bowl. Now they're opening with Britney Spears on the first NFL game of the season or something like that? I just saw the commercial a few days ago.

Hrmph. I didn't know you spelled Aerosmith S-E-L-L-O-U-T-S. Lame. The day R.E.M. or Toad the Wet Sprocket or Live play with a Britney Spears type is the day I stop being a big fan of their work.

Update: Changed "at a football game" to "with a Britney Spears type." I'd originally said football game because every time Aerosmith plays a game, they play it with crappy boy bands and pop princesses.

30 Responses to "Aerosmug"

  1. But if you like R.E.M.'s music so much, don't you wish more people liked it too? I could understand if a band all of a sudden changed their style so they could get a wider audience. But if a band is continuing in the same direction they have always been going and suddenly more peple catch on, what's so bad about that?

    I don't listen to any of those bands, but it seems a little strange to put down a band because other people like them too.

  2. Uh, you seem to have completely missed the point there, Phil. Good job.

  3. I personally think Phil makes a good point. Just because a band sells out means that you no longer like their music? I see no reason for that to be true.

    You can stop liking them as a band, but it doesn't change their music.

  4. All bands are sellouts. Did you ever see commercials for Aerosmith before? You are naive to imagine they have some sort of free will - they can only get distributed because their record company thinks they will make enough money.

    The bands that aren't sell-outs are bands you never heard of, like some of the artists on who don't have their potential song releases vetted by their record company to make sure they're going to make some money before they're invested in.

    What it comes down to is - do you still like Aerosmith's music? Because even REM will have had their output in some way tainted by the commerce of making money from punters to eat, feed their families, drive cars, own houses, and to line the pockets of their record company executives.

  5. Pardon me - I meant to say in the first sentence that all "big name" bands are sellouts. Beyond the point at which they're supporting (financially) themselves - where they can ultimately release any old weird shit, then they will be tainted by someone else's demands in return for investment. That's capitalism, it happens in all walks of life, and it's just the way it is.

  6. Yes, Erik, as some other people have said, you can be a fan of a band's 'work' without being a fan of the band. Just as you can like some of the music at, but absolutely despise the site...

  7. R.E.M. hasn't "sold out" and in fact maintains a very good reputation for not having done so.

    I've never liked Aerosmith's music.

    And no, I don't wish more people liked the music I like. In fact, I tend to be unhappy when the things I like become popular. I hated people saying "Dude, R.E.M. is awesome, I have all four of their CDs man!" when Monster came out.

    You guys aren't making a very good showing for yourselves if "assuming" does what everyone says it does.

  8. Just to play devil's advocate, hasn't R.E.M. also sold out? They did sign a $90 million contract with Warner's a few years ago. I don't think Aerosmith is selling out by playing with Britney Spears--it is, however, just plain wrong for a great rock band to be playing with a hottie who's music is bubble-gum poppy crap-o-la.

    Unless they're trying to bang her, in which case I can respect that. 😛

  9. Gabe Gabe Gabe. You of all people should know that "being rewarded for years of hard work" is not the same as selling out. Has Steven Soderbergh sold out because he commands a high salary (maybe he has, I don't know)? Being paid a lot is not the same as selling out. Duh.

  10. Actually, Britney was there last time, too.

  11. Toad the Wet Sprocket and REM will never play during a football game because they do not have the staying power and fanbase of the likes of Aerosmith. They no longer have the mass appeal that Aerosmith has enjoyed for the last 25+ years.

    Your whole argument about them being sellouts because they are playing the NFL Kickoff Show with another mainstream band makes you come off as an elitist snob.

  12. Well, if you mean selling out is going against your artistic integrity by stooping low enough to perform with Britney Spears, then yes, that would be the definition. However, many people have a very different definition of what a 'sell-out' is. Some people think Soderbergh is a sell out because he's been making movies that cost a lot and make a lot more, which really doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever...

    Besides, Aerosmith isn't selling out now by playing with Britney. They sold out a loooooong time ago.

  13. If someone asked me to play with Britney Spears, I would do it...

    I don't see why Aerosmith is a sellout though. Just because they are hugely famous does not have anything to with their music.

    I liked Limp Bizkit before they were ever on MTV, but I didn't call them sellouts just because they were now on the top of TRL every week. I didn't like the new music, but that's because I didn't like the music, not because they were suddenly commercially successful.

    I know a lot of people that find some little indie band somewhere and think they are the greatest thing in the world, until they get signed and put on MTV. Then they are immediately sellouts, and that person doesn't like them anymore. So they go on to find some other indie band they can latch onto until they break up or get signed. I guess it makes some people feel special to like a band that no one else likes or has ever heard of.

    But anyway, what do you expect Aerosmith to do? They have millions and millions of fans. It's not like they can go down and play a show at the local bar just to make sure no one thinks they are selling out. They have to play at huge arenas just to make room for all the people that want to see their show.

  14. Is the issue playing at a football game or playing with Britney Spears?

    I don't see a problem with a band playing at a football game.

    Justin Timberlake "played" at the big SARS concert in Toronto (I was there). Does that make all the other bands who played there (The Rolling Stones, AC/DC, The Guess Who, Rush and many others) sellouts?

  15. Justin, R.E.M. has proven they have the staying power over 20-25+ years. Duh. Your comment makes you come off as stupid, and I'll take "elitist snob" over "stupid" any day of the week that ends in "y."

    Aerosmith isn't a band of artists. It's a band of sell-outs. They're rock's version of Britney Spears, yes, so it's appropriate that they play together. Justin Timberlake!? C'mon people, he was never not a sell-out!

    The issue is not playing at a football game. Some actual artists have sung national anthems or done halftime shows. I believe I can safely say that - except for some benefit concert or something - R.E.M. will never play with Britney Spears, Justin Timerlake, or Aeroshit.

    I'm happy when R.E.M. produces a song that people enjoy and listen to (on MTV or elsewhere). It happens more often that they produce music that isn't "pop crap" and so their fans tend to like it, not "the gullible masses," but "selling out" is not the same as becoming popular. There's a big difference, and to me, it's pretty damn obvious. Just as R.E.M. will never play with Britney Spears, they'll never endorse a pair of sunglasses or a brand of clothing. Political views? They've endorsed plenty. Pop culture? No.

    And Derek, it's off-topic, but lots of big bands with "millions of fans" play little clubs because they enjoy the music. They're not just in it for the money. R.E.M. and Toad, fwiw, make regular stops at bars and small clubs.

  16. Somehow, I doubt that Aerosmith had a whole lot of say about who they were going to be performing with. It was probably just a bunch of marketing drones looking to appeal to the widest audience as possible. So they contracted Aerosmith, old-school rockers that attract primarily 20-somethings and up, and they contract Britney, who (whether or not you, I, or anyone else here likes her) commands a large low-20's to early teen market. Bingo, a halftime show virtually gauranteed to capture millions of viewers.

    Sounds like good business to me.

    Aerosmith and Britney probably weren't consulted at all as to whether or not they "approve" of their co-performers. Even if they were, would it really matter? I mean, come on. First off, I'm sure that they're getting paid handsomely for their performance (as well they should — while I've never seen Aerosmith, I've been told that they can still put on one hell of a good show, and frankly, I'd be extremely surprised if Britney had poor stage presence or a boring show). Secondly, they're getting to perform for a huge audience, and isn't that also a large part of what any performer wants to be able to do? And lastly, if they did feel so strongly about the other performer on the bill to refuse, I'm sure that it'd be incredibly easy for the Powers That Be to find someone else to fill the spot, and whoever refused the spot would lose out on the viewers and income.

    In the end, people who like Aerosmith get a good show. People who like Britney get a good show. People who like both (and I'm sure there must be some) get two good shows. Aerosmith and Britney get to perform at the Superbowl, for gauranteed huge audiences. And the marketing people get to sell ads to companies for insane amounts of money. Sounds like an all-around win, to me.

  17. You might also find this article worth checking out. Mid-90's one hit wonder (popularly, at least, I've got all of their first four albums and think that they're all really good) Jesus Jones is currently playing the corporate gig circuit, and frontman Mike Edwards gives his take, to quote the article, on "why cashing in isn't selling out."

  18. To quote Toool "I sold my soul to make a record."

    A "sell-out," if it truly exists, is an artist or band who has stopped loving music and only does it for the money.

    *shrugs* I guess my favorite artist is a sell-out since he produced an NSync track and has JC Chasez provide lyrics on his new CD.

    Instead I look at it like creation. He forms new styles of music and brings his style of music to genres where it's not known.

  19. Michael, thanks for your comments, but you too have missed the point. And no, I don't think you're right: Aerosmith and Britney and N*Sync knew with whom they would be performing. At the Super Bowl, they performed some songs together. So… what have we determined? That Aerosmith is indeed a sellout, cashing in with no shred of artistic integrity remaining in their "yeah, we used to at least release new music now and then" age-riddled bodies.

    The Rolling Stones are sellouts too. And Aerosmith just wants to be The Rolling Stones.

  20. But you're changing the issue, here. Your original post said, "The day R.E.M. or Toad the Wet Sprocket or Live play during a football game is the day I stop being a big fan of their work." You didn't say, "The day REM plays with Britney is the day..." Your objection, as presented, is with the venue and not the supporting (or collaborating) acts.

    Leaving aside the artistic integrity of these middlebrow paragons, stipulating that Aerosmith are sellouts and creatively bankrupt, what's wrong, per se, with playing a football game?

    And are other sports verboten too? I suspect you'll have to seriously prune your CD collection if you reject artists who've played baseball games, or British acts who've done the odd football match.

  21. Fine. I've since clarified.

  22. I still see fault in your logic. Just because Aerosmith plays with Britney Spears and "sold out" doesn't mean you have to dislike their music.

    You can dislike a band but like their music, which is what I am assuming you meant by "their work." In fact, I dislike Britney Spears, N*Sync, Backstreet Boys, etc, but I still think they have talent and their music isn't the worst thing in the world.

    I understand disliking a band for "selling out," but I find fault in retroactively disliking their music for becoming a sell out.

  23. Etan, there's no fault in my logic. I don't like Aerosmith's music, never really have, and I've never really liked the band either. Part of the reason I don't like the band? They're sell-outs.

    So who cares about their music. This has never been about their music. It's been about them being sell-outs. That's it.

  24. Aerosmith has always been sell outs? Back when they were slumming it in Boston and selling LPs at clubs?

    Your "sell-out" requirement seems to be "performs with pop artists" or perhaps "does movie scores" or maybe "has a daughter who became an actress."

    When exactly did Aerosmith "sell out," I honestly am curious.

  25. I don't care enough about Aerosmith to know their full history. They're sell-outs now, and they have been for at least five years, probably a decade or so.

  26. When did you decide this? What was their exact action that pushed them into being "sell-outs"?

    Are bands allowed to go from "laboring for the music" to "having a good time with the music" without being branded a sell-out?

  27. Live has played huge sorproate sponsored festivals that have featured Eminem on the same billing. Doesn't that border on selling out?

  28. Live won't play with Britney Spears. Eminem, yeah, he's borderline. And when did I decide it? Who cares? And there's a big big difference between "having fun with music" to "playing with N*Sync". Duh. 😛

  29. Just to add a comment. Yes, Aerosmith are sellouts and they suck as well. I really liked 'Don't wanna miss a thing' and the movie. But good lord, after watching their 'behind the music' special they are definitely sellouts. Throughout the first part of their career all they cared about is drugs, screw the fans. Now all they care about is money, screw the fans unless your britney fans.