War is a rock song

Posted By on June 25, 2008

So I’m about to see “Don’t Mess With the Zohan” in Stone Harbor, New Jersey and the previews aren’t coming attractions—they come later—but commercials: for Verizon, for Samsung (know what a “BlackBerry prayer” is?) and for the National Guard. The last one’s the keeper: It’s a video of Three Doors Down singing “Citizen Soldier,” and you can download it, free, on the National Guard website (you look).

Rock ‘n’ roll used to be about peace and love and good vibes. When did it become an ad for war? Katy, my older kid, tells me she’s heard the song before and doesn’t know if any other rock group does that kind of thing. (Be right back; I’ll check out the National Guard website). Yep, Google National Guard and Three Doors Down and “Citizen Soldier” come up. You also learn that Kid Rock, that scruffy subversive who married Pamela Anderson, has just cut a commercial for the Guard.

I’m not against readiness but I am against war. Any musician who sides with the latter is lame in my book. Going to the movies used to be about entering a world of pure entertainment, a world you could get away to. No more. When did marketing become so mercenary, political and malevolent?

“Zohan” was fun, by the way. Getting there wasn’t half of it.



2 Responses to “War is a rock song”

  1. michael gill says:

    Music and movies have always served whatever emotion or political goal their makers have wanted.

    What about all those drums and bugles marching into battle? What about all those wwII films, infused with propaganda?

    I agree with you about war, but using music and film to support that cause is nothing new. Even in Rock and Roll, even in the late sixties, it’s always been more about which side you’re on than whether you’re going to fight. Even the Jefferson Airplane in Volunteers:

    Hey now it’s time for you and me
    Got a revolution Got to revolution
    Come on now we’re marching to the sea
    Got a revolution Got to revolution
    Who will take it from you
    We will and who are we
    We are volunteers of America

  2. Too bad i didnt come across this blog before. Great stuff you got here. Thanks.

Leave a Reply

About the author

I'm a veteran critic and business writer who reads and listens and writes about music, books, hotels and travel. I've been in the business for many years and still enjoy it. My pride and joy is my book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/CarloWolff