Stop and Smell the Marketing

Modern marketing at a party for the Wallflowers, where Jakob Dylan proves he's a nice guy

Ah, the third floor. We headed there for the VIP afterparty. Milling about, snacking on cheese and wine (honest to God), were all these "Important People." Jakob Dylan was among them. That's when I called you on the phone and put you on hold, then marched up to Dylan, interrupted some girl who claimed to own the local magazine 7x7 and who proudly admitted to both Dylan and me that she was "very drunk" (indeed, only a very drunk person would claim to own 7x7), and asked the rock star if he wouldn't mind speaking to my little sister. As you recounted to me, your conversation went something like this:

Dylan:Hey there, is this Kierston?

You: Yeah, hi.

Dylan: So I hear it's your birthday, are you turning 15 or 16? [This was a little white lie; Kierston turns 16 on July 25.]

You: Sixteen.

Dylan: Wow, 16 is a great year, lots of things kind of begin at 16.

You: Yeah, it's pretty exciting!

Dylan: So why aren't you up at the show with your brother?

You: Well, I have two days of school to finish up, but I would be up there if I could!

Dylan: Oh, well, we will be in L.A. soon; I can't tell you exactly when, but keep an eye out for us.

You: Oh, cool.

Dylan:Will you come to our show?

You: Of course, if I can come, I will be gone most of the summer in Europe.

Dylan: Oh, well, you go to Europe. The Wallflowers will be here when you get back.

You: All right.

Dylan: Well have a happy birthday, have fun in Europe.

You: Thank you, nice to talk to you!

Dylan: Yes, bye.

You: Bye.

OK, props to Dylan. He's a pretty cool guy.

The moral of this story, Sis, is that when a record label or whiskey company or whatever offers to give you something for free, there's usually a catch -- they want you to run out and buy it or tell your friends about it (or write a column about it ... d'oh!) You have no obligation to do this -- do not fill out their survey, do not give them your address, do not wear their T-shirt. Just take the free stuff -- take lots of it, stuff your bags and pockets full of it -- and exit stage left. In this way you can feel like you're getting just a little bit back in exchange for the never-ending stampede of venal sounds and images relentlessly trampling your cortex for the rest of our modern days.



P.S. Have fun in Europe!

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