Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Challenge to W. Axl Rose

If the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing aren't enough inspiration, maybe this will help:

PLANO, Texas (March 26, 2008) – Tired of a world in which Americans idolize wannabe singers and musicals about high schoolers pass as rock ‘n roll music, Dr Pepper is encouraging (ok, begging) Axl Rose to finally release his 17-year-in-the-making belabored masterpiece, Chinese Democracy, in 2008. In an unprecedented show of solidarity with Axl, everyone in America, except estranged GNR guitarists Slash and Buckethead, will receive a free can of Dr Pepper if the album ships some time -- anytime! -- in 2008. Dr Pepper supports Axl, and fully understands that sometimes you have to make it through the jungle before you get it right.
This marketing campaign is brilliant. No unreleased album has suffered such a long and twisted history as Chinese Democracy. Axl has hired and fired countless sidemen, thrown several tantrums, and remixed the whole mess a dozen times. I remember following this saga online ten years ago when the disc was already "long awaited." Since then, Guns N' Roses has done multiple tours supporting this legendary non-release. I'm surely not the first writer to quip that Axl is waiting until there actually is democracy in China.

Would I buy Chinese Democracy? My interest in GnR has been waning for so long that I probably wouldn't bother anymore. Besides, disappointment is almost guaranteed after 17 years of hype and anticipation. Even Appetite for Destruction, a genuine classic, may have collapsed under the weight of so many mixing sessions and band roster changes.

If I had a can of Dr Pepper for every supposed Chinese Democracy release date I've heard, I'd... well, I guess I'd really have to pee. Will Dr Pepper's challenge finally get Axl to stop remixing and start pressing CDs? You can follow all the exciting inaction on the Chinese Democracy When? blog.


Jennifer said...

Pressing CDs? That's so 90s.

Seriously, what's in it for Dr. Pepper? Just marketing for the brand?

David Johnsen said...

CDs are appropriate since Chinese Democracy should have been released in the 90s!

For Dr Pepper (no period after "Dr"), it's almost like getting a free celebrity spokesman. Now that they've attached themselves to Axl and Chinese Democracy, they may get mentioned whenever he or the album is discussed (this very blog entry is free marketing for Dr P, and I don't even drink the stuff).

If the album finally comes out, the publicity will be worth even more than the cost of giving away all that pop/cola/soda (they've done that before). If it doesn't come out, Dr P loses nothing. So far, they have reaped all this publicity for the cost of a press release and a handful of blog entries.