What is it with gambling emporiums and their penchant for ruining rock songs? Last year Rhode Island’s Twin River casino used “Take Me To The River” to promote their “entertainment” complex. The singer in the ad has the nads to rip off the vocal inflections used by David Byrne in the classic Talking Heads recording. Now Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun has grabbed hold of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” for their latest ad campaign.
Â Now I know that bad taste and casinos go hand in hand, but the hatchet job done on “Sweet Home Alabama” is a true disgrace. That song has a legendary place in rock history. It was Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zant’s “answer” song to Neil Young’s “Southern Man.” It was about racism and civil rights — Old South and New South — regional pride and regional bias. Important stuff. Heck the Drive-By Truckers devoted a whole double CD to the issues in their epic “Southern Rock Opera.” This is not stuff to be trifled with, and that’s exactly what Mohegan Sun has done.
At least Twin River chose not to mess with the lyrics of their rip off (just the hack vocalist singing take me to the river in clipped bursts). Mohegan gives “Alabama” a complete cheesy re-write — Please come to Mo-he-gan (at least they’re polite) and everybody needs a little sun (or something like that). It’s the guitar riff that hurts the most though. The defiant notes that set up the song, now just a prequel to a sucker’s come on. Unforgiveable.
So, in an effort to point the casino industry in a more appropriate, and accurate, direction when picking songs I submit the following list.
“Loser” by Beck
“Too Bad You’re Such A Loser” by Jennifer Trynin
“Beautiful Loser” by Bob Seeger
Just trying to help.
When not soap boxing on just about anything pop culture, Mike Cole is a news producer at WCVB TV in Boston.Â You can check out more of my stuff on my blog “The Mike Stand” on the entertainment page of theBostonChannel.com