Commerce has entered all walks of life; Pelé was once the pinnacle of professional sport, then the next minute he was the face of erectile dysfunction, such is life. Likewise, where there is money to be made, there is music. As such, a plethora of punks have forgone their tenets for a few quick quid, lowly folk stars have tried to scrap some loose change in dodgy dealings, and occasionally a star will flog something so inexplicable the only answer is some unknown conspiracy.
As the artist Keith Haring once said: “If commercialisation is putting my art on a shirt so that a kid who can’t afford a $30,000 painting can buy one, then I’m all for it.” Some of the selections below adhere to that liberal view, others almost seem like its antithesis, but I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Below, we’ve collated the finest collection of music endorsed oddities that the world has ever seen. From Nick Cave’s laughable doggy version of his iconic blue T-shirt (in both senses) to weird intercontinental link-ups that stars prayed had been forgotten.
Enjoy the whimsical ride of capitalist ventures.
The strangest products sold and endorsed by musicians:
Ozzy Osbourne and John Lydon – Butter
The prince of darkness and the high priest of punk were wild forces to contend with back in their unruly heyday, but clearly, neither of them were bonkers enough to forgo a bit of essential spread on their sandwich.
Perhaps it is not so bemusing that both of the ageing rockers said yes to the endorsements below, after all, who doesn’t like butter/butter-adjacent products? The bigger oddity comes when you ponder which wildcat within the spreadable marketing board thought they were the ideal vehicles to flog units of fat?
Bob Dylan – Victoria’s Secret
During Bob Dylan’s iconic 1965 press conference he was asked if he had to sell one product what would it be, he replied ‘Ladies garments’. In actual fact, he meant undergarments and eventually, he got his wish with the biggest knicker brand of them all: Victoria’s Secret.
Dylan’s voice of sand and glue is a great vehicle for many things, but it’s not something that you’d be enamoured about dancing to if you were a hired winged angel tasked with being sultry afore the ageing croaky voice of a generation. In fairness, the commercial plays out pretty well, even though a big brass bed proves to be a glaring omission.
Alice Cooper – Golf equipment
A lot of people take up golf when they retire, not quite as many transition from a period holed-up in a New York sanitorium straight to the course. Alice Cooper’s love for the most benign sport in existence has led him to star in commercials for the golf brand Callaway, and he even wrote a book on the subject, Golf Monster: My 12 Steps to Becoming a Gold Addict.
Not only has the star remained sober enough not to crash a Rolls Royce into a bunker, but he has also attained an eminently respectable handicap of seven. He still loves rock ‘n’ roll, but he has found a less straining substitute on the fairway to heaven.
Neil Young – Model trains
In January of this year, Neil Young sold 50% of the rights of his back catalogue for around $150million. It is hard to reconcile that sort of money with the humble lifestyle that he leads. He likes his ranch, he likes music, and he likes his model trains. Seemingly he also likes modifying model trains.
In the past Young teamed up with Richard Kughn, the owner of the model trains company Lionel Trains, the develop a remote control that made it easier for disabled people to operate model trains. What’s more, he also developed an audio device that replicated authentic train sounds, and when Lionel Trains fell on hard times he bailed out the firm.
Roger Daltrey – Trout farming
It’s every young boy’s dream: headline a major music festival and have your bespoke-built facility lauded as “beautiful” by Trout Fisherman Magazine. Some people are lucky enough to achieve one of these feats, but few others, if any for that matter, have managed to pull off the coveted double-whammy.
Roger Daltrey is the proud owner of Lakedown Trout Fishery in Heathfield, East Sussex. The star even designed the four spring-fed lakes that cover the 26-acre facility himself. Rumour has it there is even a cheeky poster of him selling bait in the lobby, complete with the tagline: Codrophenia.
Bill Wyman – Metal detectors
From being in The Rolling Stones to sifting through them, Billy Wyman made the odd switch from basslines to Bill Wyman Metal Detectors. Amazingly, there are rumours that the reason he became so enamoured with the bleeping sticks in the first place was that his debut usage involved actually digging up an ancient discarded metal detector!
No wonder his time in one of the most raucous bands in history was short-lived given that his favourite hobby happens to be one of the most banal in the book, no offence to any coin finders out there, but it’s hardly blistering.
KISS – Cologne
In my imagination KISS smell a bit like fumigated cat urine, so how lucky did I feel when I found out that they have bottled up my dream scent! Back in 2006, the face-painted rock ‘n’ roll band launched a range of his and her’s cologne so that you can smell just like Gene Simmons and Co. whatever that may be.
The band concocted the scent from a potent mix of bergamot fir, balsam, black cumin, white pepper, moss, sandalwood, and anise, creating something that has been reviewed as ‘the best I’ve ever smelt’ and ‘like splashing yourself with liquified virginity’ respectively (probably). You can check out the official products for yourself by clicking here.
The Flaming Lips – Gummy Fetus
With no product description and no reviews, it is not easy to fully understand exactly what Flaming Lips’ Gummy Fetus entails. It seems to be an edible embryo, but for some reason, it also comes with a tracklisting?
However, with Christmas approaching fast let us all hope it is back in stock soon for that sweet-toothed utter maniac in your life! You can check out the official product for yourself by clicking here.
Ozzy Osbourne – Head-less bat toy
Why not get your child a lovely headless bat? Perhaps they could even call the sweet thing Decapi-David or some other charming name? More so than a plaything, however, the true beauty of Osbourne’s product is the simple reminder of his live mammalian beheading past, a feat that I only know Salvador Dalí shares in. Osbourne also poetically described the chomp that got the Prince of Darkness barred from the gates of hell as “like eating a crunchy wrapped in a shammy leather.”
It is no surprise to see Ozzy crop up on this list twice, after all, he was one of the first people to get behind the wheel of the commercial MTV vehicle and owing to his sincere hilarity, we can all be thankful for that. Check out the cuddly headless bat by clicking here.
Nick Cave – Dog jacket
A “Suck My Dick Small Dog Puffer Jacket made of Merino Wool in Presidential Blue” may well be my all-time favourite product listing. In fact, I’ve even signed up to a mailing list that lets me know when they are back in stock. I don’t even have a dog is the alarming thing.
Nick Cave’s iconic t-shirt is a bold one to sport when you’re out on the tiles even when you’re simian. Sure, there are a few fellow Cave-fanatics out there who might give you the thumbs up, but they represent less of the proletariat of any given town than you might think, thus, the rest of the time some unwanted attention may well come your way. If this is true of humans, then imagine your poor Schnauzer being eyed by the creepiest Great Dane in the park. But with plenty of laughs and the finest wool that man can buy, perhaps comfort, comedy and Cave fascination wins out?
Find more of Cave’s fantastic products by clicking here.