Saturday, May 23, 2009

Green Day and Walmart

A lot of people, including the music blogger for Yahoo, seem very upset that Walmart is refusing to carry Green Day's new album in their stores. Walmart asked the band to offer them a cleaner version, bleep out some swear words, etc. and they refused.
Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong: "Wal-Mart's become the biggest retail outlet in the country, but they won't carry our record because they wanted us to censor it. They want artists to censor their records in order to be carried in there. We just said no. We've never done it before. You feel like you're in 1953 or something."

Bassist Mike Dirnt: "As the biggest record store in the America, [Wal-Mart] should probably have an obligation to sell people the correct art."

Censorship! Waaaaa! Where oh where will people buy the Green Day album now? A private organization decided that selling a certain cd was not in their best interest. How do they have an obligation to sell someone's album? I realize this country is becoming less free by the day, but I think private businesses have more than enough obligations placed on them without having to be told what the "correct art" is that they must stock on their shelves.


Rudi said...

Just as Walmart has the right to not sell Green Day's unsensored album, doesn't Green Day (and yahoo bloggers and fans of the band) have the right to complain about this?

Jon Vander Plas said...

Of course, I'm criticizing the band's claim that Walmart has an "obligation" to sell their music. Walmart has no more obligation to sell the Green Day album than Green Day has the obligation to offer them a censored version.

Rudi said...

Right... but here's my take: Green Day is having their cake and eating it too.

By "rebelling" against Wal-Mart, then publicly complaining about "the world's biggest record store" (in 2009 when there are a million ways to access and purchase music) they get all of the additional press beyond their normal album release press... now they're more "punk" and "rebellious" and therefore cool, and more appealing... and they sell more records.