A couple of things happened over the past 48 hours that prompted this rant, so let me set the stage. I watched the YouTube replay of Lemmy Killmister’s memorial service. It was mostly a touching “tribute” to one of the most respected men in rock history. Why was he so respected? I feel it was the fact that Lemmy lived life on his own terms. He stood by his decisions, never compromised his beliefs, never followed trends, never accepted bullshit and never showed regret. Pretty much how most of us “wish” we could live. I watched as the speakers approached the podium and shared stories of Lemmy. Emotional stories, inspiring stories and funny stories, the impact of this man and his band is truly legendary. All of that said this is not an article about Lemmy or his memorial. Instead, I will pour myself a “Lemmy” and get to my point.
During the memorial, I listened as Mr. Lars Ulrich shared his personal and heartfelt memories of both Lemmy and Motorhead. I am not about to question his sincerity but I couldn’t help at almost laughing out loud at the irony of his words. The hypocrisy of what he supposedly respected in Lemmy vs. what Metallica and Lars have become is pretty hard to swallow. I loved how he said, “Thank you, Lemmy, for mastering the fine balancing act of being just enough of a rock star to be cool, but not too much of one to be uncool”. So Lars, what happened? How can the wonderful lesson that Lemmy taught you be completely ignored in relation to you, and your band?
To be fair, maybe I am wrong. I have never met you, nor any other member of Metallica but I have been a fan for many, many years and I have watched, supported, enjoyed and most importantly “purchased” your music for decades. I don’t even disagree with your Napster beef!So why am I writing this? Yesterday I learned that the mighty “METALLICA” machine has released the legal hounds on a local Canadian tribute band SANDMAN to “cease and desist” the use of their logo as it bears
So why am I writing this? Yesterday I learned that the mighty “METALLICA” machine has released the legal hounds on a local Canadian tribute band SANDMAN to “cease and desist” the use of their logo as it bears a resemblance to the mighty “METALLICA” trademarked font. I am not exactly surprised by this action but I should be disgusted and so should Metallica.
I will also go on record and state that it is quite possible that the members of Metallica know nothing of this, that possibly it is just the actions of the bloated business corporation that has become Metallica. That said, the four members that created this corporation SHOULD be aware of it, should be ashamed of it and should do something about it. In the words of Jason Newstead from Some Kind Of Monster, “this is weak!”
Tribute (trib–yoot) 1. an act, statement, or gift that is intended to show gratitude, respect, or admiration. The definition alone should tell you something. I will also state that I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on television but I fail to see how any tribute band poses any threat to the brand and/or income of the bands they are paying tribute to. Tribute bands celebrate the music, promote the music and are most often performed by passionate fans of bands they are paying tribute to. More often than not these bands take great pride in learning and performing every note and nuance of the music and perform it beyond the ability of the thousands of cover bands that perform “for pay” in every bar in every corner of the world. I can only see this as having a positive impact by potentially turning on new fans that might look into who wrote and recorded the music. Hell, they might even buy some music or attend an actual Metallica show and that could help pay for a new painting for Lars.
Creating a logo that identifies them as a Metallica tribute act is actually PART OF THE TRIBUTE! Yes, I also understand copyrights and Metallica’s right to protect it from harming the brand or theft of intellectual property but a tribute act does neither. It’s not about piracy, these musicians have day jobs and mortgages and families and oh yeah, they love Metallica enough to pay tribute to you!
So let’s take a moment and thank Lars and Metallica for ignoring that very fine balancing act and becoming too much of a “Rock Star” to be cool. Seriously, the time, effort and legal investment could have been much better spent going after the legitimate bootleggers (oxymoron or what?) that are hawking fake t-shirts outside every one of your shows instead of worrying about dedicated fans that promote, actually promote, your music and your brand.
End of rant, pour me a Lemmy!