Calvin knows a thing or two about the booze business. Not to mention all manner of other intoxicants. (I need to warm up to calling him by his assumed name.) Sixteen years ago Cordazar Calvin Broadus (aka Snoop Dogg) released a little song called “Gin & Juice.” It set off a big chain of events. It helped to launch his career, garnering a 1995 Grammy nomination. It also unleashed a slew of covers, such as this country version by The Gourds (it is slightly less obscene than the original, if only because it’s a little harder to make out the words). And most to the point, it also apparently unleashed the Gin & Juice product line as above. It’s possible that Seagram got there first, but I would tend to doubt it, based on not much more than the age of the song. The song specifically refers to the Seagram and Tanqueray brands of gin. There is a whole lot in the song to horrify right-thinking persons, such as flagrant disregard for women, drug laws, mom’s wishes. But even more pernicious is the nonchalance about drinking and driving. In the original video, Snoop doesn’t quite cruise down the boulevard while sipping his gin and juice, but he might as well, as he sits behind the wheel...Continue Reading Leave a Comment
The Seagram name still carries a lot of weight, even though the company got obliterated about ten years ago. Wiki says The Seagram Company Ltd. (headquartered in Montreal, Canada) became “defunct” in 2000. Until then it was “the world’s largest producer and distributor of spirits and wines.” The brands live on. TTB’s database shows more than 500 approvals, with the brand name “Seagram,” within the past three years. This excludes famous brands formerly owned by Seagram, such as Chivas, Crown Royal, Martell, Captain Morgan, etc. The City of Waterloo’s history makes the point that “like so many success stories,” Joseph E. Seagram’s early success was “almost accidental.” Joseph was asked to look after an Ontario grain mill, back in 1864, while the owner traveled to Europe. The main business was grinding flour. Distilling was a side issue, to use up excess grain, but Seagram began buying out his colleagues and shifting production from flour to spirits. The Bronfman family acquired Joseph E. Seagram & Sons in 1928. In another “almost accidental” quirk of history, “Bronfman” means “liquor man” in Yiddish. Here is a great song that happens to feature Seagram (in a not entirely flattering light). It is Uncle Lloyd by Darrell Scott. The pertinent lyrics explain:
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He and Dad...
What do these three things have in common? All three are featured in Brad Paisley’s song, “Alcohol.” Of all the songs about alcohol beverages, this one is worth covering, because it mentions specific brands and deals directly with the interplay of alcohol and society. It also has witty lyrics. It would be even better for this blog if it dealt specifically with a legal topic, but perhaps that’s asking too much of Mr. Paisley. Here are the most pertinent lyrics:
Well I’ve been know to cause a few breakups And I’ve been known to cause a few births I can make you new friends Or get you fired from work
I got blamed at your wedding reception For your best man’s embarrassing speech And also for those naked pictures of you at the beach I’ve influenced kings and world leaders
I am medicine and I am poison I can help you up or make you fall
The song does a good job of putting the good and bad in perspective.Continue Reading Leave a Comment
The last post covered some of the most famous singers ever to appear on alcohol beverage labels. Today, we go off in search of the most famous songs to appear on such labels. Not the most famous songs about booze; that’s a big topic for another day. There are so many labels paying tribute to so many songs. I am sure the astute reader can find examples more famous than those above, but these three are mighty famous, and appear on this list of the greatest rock songs. Rosalita is red wine produced and bottled by Aspect Wines of San Francisco, California. It pays tribute to the Bruce Springsteen song. Hotel California is Tequila imported by Sipping Spirits of Glastonbury, Connecticut. It pays tribute to the Eagles song. It has no overt reference to Tequila but Henley, Frey and Felder apparently did not read CFR Title 27 carefully; they wantonly mingle wine and spirits, singing:
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So I called up the captain, “Please bring me my wine” He said, “We haven’t had that spirit here since 1969”
Over the years we’ve seen a lot of extremely famous names on wine labels. Madonna and Justin Timberlake come to mind. Who is most famous of all? More famous than Ernest Gallo or August Busch or Jack Daniel? Elvis Presley has got to be one of the most famous people ever to adorn a wine label. There is no word on whether he liked wine, cared about wine, knew anything about wine — but the press release for these wines says: “according to a recent Harris Interactive poll, over 71 million Americans consider themselves Elvis fans.” Most of the Elvis-branded wines seem to be bottled by Adler Fels Winery of Santa Rosa, California, under an agreement with Signature Wines and Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE). Signature “signed an exclusive licensing agreement with EPE several years ago.” EPE is “aggressively involved in a worldwide licensing program, merchandising, music publishing, and television, film, video and Internet projects.” TTB approved Blue Suede Chardonnay and The King Cabernet Sauvignon in January of 2009.Continue Reading Leave a Comment
She goes running for the shelter of a mother’s little helper And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day “Things are different today” I hear every mother say.
The song tells the tale of a “little yellow pill” that helps mom through her busy day. Along comes Oskar Blues Brewery with Mama’s Little Yella Pils beer. It’s not exactly what Keith Richards and Mick Jagger had in mind (Valium or Quaaludes, according to this). Even Santa needs some help from time to time.Continue Reading Leave a Comment