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Ryan Adams' Advice To Sell-Outs: Prepare to Be Nagged

August 2, 2007 1:42 PM ET

Rock Daily has spent a fair amount of time parsing the good kind of selling out (excellent TV spots like Cat Power's DeBeers ad) from the bad kind of selling out (embarrassments like Led Zeppelin's Cadillac commercials). Ryan Adams, who made a pretty cool Gap commercial with Willie Nelson in 2002, says taking the plunge made for years of nagging from irked fans:
"I don't know when you quit paying dues, but a guy like me does a Gap ad, and I spend six years trying to explain myself. Did anybody give Willie Nelson any shit for that? Or LL Cool J or Kim Gordon? Fuck, why am I being soloed out? I didn't even look up in the fucking thing. I didn't even know I was doing one, to be honest. They just said, 'Come down and jam with Willie.' I wasn't that present then, anyway. It wasn't like I bought a yacht, it pays the same shit for everybody that does it."

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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