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If It’s Retail, Is It Still Rock? 28 October 2007
Interesting NY Times article, also mentioning BJ

Source: New York Times

AS torrents of money streamed into his wallet from multiplatinum albums in the 1980s and 1990s, Duff McKagan, then the bass player for the hard rock band Guns N’ Roses, had little interest in tracking his cash. Instead, he relied on intimidation and his group’s reputation as the “most dangerous band in the world” to prevent managers from ripping him off.

“We knew nothing about money, and so we had this sort of gang mentality toward anybody who worked for us,” he recalls. “It sounds funny now, but that’s all we had to rely on.”

But he didn’t know the difference between a stock and a bond and lost money in real estate. So at the height of his career, he gave up partying and went back to school in 2000 to study business. Today, Mr. McKagan, 43, tightly monitors the finances of his current band, Velvet Revolver.

Like other rockers easing into middle age or seniorhood, Mr. McKagan is also experimenting with new partnerships in response to a music business in flux. Amid plunging record sales and Internet file sharing, rockers are eagerly plastering their names everywhere.

Their “brands” are now found in television commercials, tour sponsorships, and merchandise as diverse as cars, private-label wines and celebrity cruises. The rock band Kiss has been among the most prolific merchandisers, selling products ranging from condoms to the “Kiss Kasket,” a limited-edition coffin. The band’s latest offerings include musical toothbrushes, pool cues, window blinds and baby booties.

“It’s a different ballgame now,” compared with rock’s baby boomer heyday, says Joseph Bongiovi, who handles merchandise and partnerships for the rock group Bon Jovi.


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