A funny thing happens when a brand becomes associated with a rock star in the public imagination. The rock star is gradually subsumed into the permeable and capacious brand like a vanishing twin. And the spirit of rock music is devoured too. The brand itself becomes the star. Which is where we find ourselves now, in the post-rock-star era, reading books like ‘‘The New Rockstar Philosophy’’ that are aimed at helping artists think, and possibly talk, like businesses. (One blurb praises its ‘‘actionable insights.’’) Musicians today know that you have to be a pro to succeed: compliant, controlled, image-focused and customer-service-oriented. Tossing vending machines off balconies is not cost-effective and just sends the wrong message.
Carina Chocano, “Revolution Blues”, The New York Times Magazine (16 August 2015), 14.