I've been reading this Martin Amis book, The Information, and he deals a lot with celebrity and the trappings of it. It articulates a lot of things I see every day…I'm not going to name names, but you see certain people in Calvin Klein ads and you think, What the hell are you doing that for? They're all licensing their image to Levi's or getting sponsored by Tommy Hilfiger. There used to be a real sense of scruples in music. I remember in the early '90s that it was really important to have credibility, almost to the point where it was annoying.
You must have been offered the change to go the same way.
Oh yeah, every week. I've been offered more money than I'll ever make off my music. I could have retired with ungodly sums of money. But with some of these people it's like, Come on, you don't need that money. You've got a couple of million dollars. You don't need that extra ten million from Tommy Hilfiger. It's ridiculous.
Howe, Rupert, 'The Man Who Fell To Earth', Q magazine, April 2000
Budweiser said, "We'll give you a quarter of a million dollars for the rights to the song." I had a lot of opportunities to become a part of the whole business machine, or whatever you want to call it. I just stayed away and did everything I could to play that song down. Not that I'm ashamed of it or anything. I'm proud of the song, but I didn't want to let it be turned into what it wasn't meant to be. Basically, it was hijacked from its original place.
O'Neill, Sean, 'Q&A:
Beck', E! Online