Friday, March 28, 2014

Branded Metal

I took the above photo a couple of weeks ago while out shopping. I wasn't aware that Converse had released a set of Black Sabbath trainers. The ones featuring the artwork of the first album are tempting in a garish way; I like the fact that they subtly declare your allegiance. You can imagine yourself seeing someone the bus wearing these and nodding knowingly. "Can you help me?", you would ask, "Are you for my brain?" they would reply. Except of course there's the likelihood that the person wearing them wouldn't recognise the secret language, or indeed any Sabbath song.

The evidence is accumulating that Heavy Metal band names, logos and artwork may live on longer than their music. Bands such as AC/DC, Motorhead, Kiss and Black Sabbath seem to being used more and more frequently to project some kind of image, real of otherwise; imagine Che Guevara but with a Jack Daniels T Shirt.

I've nothing against bands "maximising their revenue streams" via Motorheadphones or Kiss Koffins, but I can't help thinking that ultimately they'll overdo it and become shorthand for a lifestyle choice, like what has happened with Bob Marley and happening with the Ramones.

Of course, the irony is that 40 years ago the idea that Sabbath and fashion would in any way intersect would have seemed as likely as Ozzy singing in front of the Queen at Buckingham Palace. But then what do I know? Perhaps the officially-licensed Sabotage Chequered Underwear and Red Tights Combo is already in development.