she liked Imaginary Men best of all

U2 don’t break my heart!

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My mom and I saw this ad the other night and we’re still nursing our jaws from when they hit the floor:

In the past I’ve posted about music I loved being used in commercials, but in many cases – those bands may not own the rights to their own songs, therefore having no control over how they’re used. U2 however, is one of the few bands whose savvy manager Paul McGuinness got them the rights to their entire catalog from the start. That means that Pledge or Burger King or Ford can’t just use U2’s music to sell a product unless the band gives their permission.

(the Apple iPod is a whole other thing – they say they didn’t get paid for it but used it for promotion. I believe them because they don’t lie about stuff, and they don’t need the money.)

What grates me about this particular pairing of NASCAR and U2 is the song choice – Bad?! Are you kidding me? This song is epic and glorious and passionate. Their performance of it at Live Aid in 1985 elevated them from just “some band” to “The Band.” Personally it is an emotional and cathartic moment when they do it in concert. They had stopped the past few times we saw them, and every show there’s a moment my mom leans over and says this is a perfect moment to play Bad.

On 7.24.09 in Dublin when she said it – and then they started playing it – we both burst into tears. I don’t pray, but if I did that song would be the sound of my prayers.

I don’t like my prayers tarnished by NASCAR.

You can read more about the commercial here and this is a great bit explaining the impact of the Live Aid performance

Author: Amy H. Johnson

Amy H. Johnson is the author of The Fangirl Files a memoir about Boy Bands, TV Boyfriends and imaginary betrothals to 80s English pop stars. She prefers to be referred to as a "Cute Famous Boy Aficionado".

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