So the past few days I've been pondering the curious case of "selling out."
I've decided no one knows what the term means and therefore, the saying must be completely irrelevant.
When word broke that Slash was doing American Idol, everyone in Metal world shared a collective gasp and went into "sky is falling" mode. Oh my Glam! Could it be! An original Gunner doing a crap show like American Idol? Blasphemy.
The crap show, by the way, is about the highest rated program on television, so clearly Slash made a horrible decision. I mean, how dare he promote his new solo record on a platform that would reach 100 million people? What a moron.
Apparently it's worse if you actually watch Idol and are a music fan. I mean, clearly, if you do that = sell out. How dare Americans (and people all over the world for that matter) want some happy, music entertainment in the evening? How dare millions of people think (know) Adam Lambert can sing just as well as or better than Axl Rose? I mean, it would be far better for young Adam to toil in obscurity than be discovered on American Idol because that show is selling out.
Liking modern Metal is a sure sign of selling out - but only if those bands are on a major label and don't list Motley Crue as their first and main influence. It's ok to like Dirty Penny because they dream to be Motley but they are certainly not. It's ok to like Black Tide because Iron Maiden are their heroes. It's ok to like Freakshow because that band features members of classic Glam bands. Pay attention now: it is not ok to like Avenged Sevenfold or Slipknot because the lyrics are not 100% melodic. It is not ok to like bands that have beaten the digital age and sold enough units to go platinum. It is not ok to get in the pit and rock to one of these new bands because this support is somehow hurting Styx and Queensryche and therefore = sell out.
Let's see. I'm pretty sure if you shop at Hot Topic (or Torrid) you are a giant sell out because it's not ok to like band T-shirts that are not officially vintage. You also can't go to Hot Topic to buy Manic Panic for your hair, but it's ok if you find the dye at any other store. I cannot emphasize how much of a travesty it would be to support a chain that Fortune magazine called one of the best places in America to work. I mean, I know I would hate to have the title VP of Music for Hot Topic. Hell, if I ever landed that job I'd probably just slit my wrists. Talk about selling out.
See a theme here? I'm not sure selling out exists anymore. Does success = selling out? I don't think so. How can we begrudge anyone happiness or success? When I start writing for Rolling Stone, I hope I'm called a sell out. I'd wear that "insult" like a badge of honor.