In a rarity for the Beastie Boys, the band licenses a track for an advert in assist of Joe Biden
Most people are prepared not to pay much attention to ads. But every now and then an element or two catches the eye or the ear on a new ad for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. About 40 seconds after a 60-second commercial that ran during the Browns / Steelers game, music fans (especially those of a certain Gen X age) noticed the classic Beastie Boys Sabotage in the background.
What makes this remarkable is that this is an extremely rare occurrence for the band, which is very anti-advertising. This is the third time the band gave their blessing after Adam "MCA" Yauch passed away in 2012. Yau's will prohibits the use of Beastie Boys music for advertising, but surviving members kicked off some projects. The first was for the Star Trek Beyond trailer in 2015, the second for Activision's game Destiny 2 in 2017, and now a first for the band for the Democratic presidential candidate.
In 2014, the band was embroiled in a lawsuit with the toy company GoldieBlox because their song Girls was used in an unauthorized commercial.
The ad that ran during the NFL game today features Joe Malcoun, the co-owner of Ann Arbor, Mich. Bar blind pig. The venue has been around for 50 years and is home to some of the biggest music acts including Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam.
Malcoun lays the feeble fate of live music venues – especially his, which he says was "open and crowded, but right now it's an empty space" – right at the feet of Donald Trump.
"This is the reality of Trump's (Covid-19) response," he says. "My only hope for my family, this company and my community is that Joe Biden will win this election."
The Biden campaign said the band approved the use of the iconic song from the 1994 album Ill Communication "because of the importance of the choice." The ad is one of three ads for NFL fans when the campaigns hit the final stretch. Pixie's song Where Is My Mind is also in the ad.
Meanwhile, last week, John Fogerty sent Trump's campaign an injunction demanding that Fortunate Son's use of rallies be stopped. Fogerty joins an ever-growing list of musicians and bands who are calling for the president and his campaign not to use music, including the bequests of George Harrison, Tom Petty and Prince and, perhaps best known, Neil Young.