Rock and Roll is supposedly about rebellion, craziness and, if most rock stars are to be believed, a little sex and drugs too. In other words, pick up a guitar and watch the transformation take place.

Enter the all new Volkswagen commercial on TV. A stark white background featuring Slash, formerly of Guns N’ Roses and recently of….whatever, rocking out while plugged into a brand new Volkswagen. It’s not a gimmick. The new promotion really provides a customized-to-your car, First Act GarageMaster guitar to anyone that buys a new VW.

I can just imagine the pitch session at the ad agency.

“VW wants to be cool and hip. They want to resonate with the young kids.”

“Don’t forget the older ones Josh, they buy cars too.”

“Oh yeah, for sure, but they still want to be cool too. How do we reach ‘em?”

“Rock and roll buddy, nothing cooler than rock and roll.”

“Or Slash man, remember Slash? He was wicked. That “Paradise City” video was my favorite.”

“Cool, so let’s get Slash for a commercial.”

“Think he’s available?”

“Dude, I’m not even sure he’s alive.”

“So how do we make the promotion relevant to Slash?”

“We could give away top hats.”

“Maybe a guitar would be better.”

“Rock on Todd, that’s brilliant, let’s split a Red Bull and write it up.”

“I’m so there.”

And from that tiny germ of an idea we get Saul Hudson, aka Slash rocking out on a custom guitar plugged into two sets of 3-car high stacked speakers. The commercial looks great, and they plan even more rockers for future versions. One has to admit the idea of getting a free guitar does sound pretty neat. The only problem is the second thoughts that begin to creep in, because when that happens, you know you’re in trouble.

Picture if you will, dropping the kids off at school. As they walk across the playground you strap on your axe, plug in and while trying very hard not to dent the hood of your new car, crawl onboard and begin to play “Magic Carpet Ride” for the assembled parents. Assuming you are able to avoid splitting the leather pants you squeezed your post-marriage butt into, I think the sheer terror visible in your children’s faces would bring the impromptu jam session to a halt.

Maybe you could try the family reunion. Imagine your spouse’s family at the park enjoying a nice evening. You suggest a little entertainment and whip out your guitar and wow the group with your rendition of Poison’s “Talk Dirty To Me.” As your wife tries desperately to explain how hard you’ve been working lately and that your falling off the roof may have been a little more serious than she had originally thought., you are busy realizing that you may have practiced a bit too long as you now have to call the auto club because the car battery is as dead as the self-respect you once had.

Truthfully though, as frightening as those two visions might be, I tend to think it will go a little more like this:

Come home with car. Quickly open case and look lovingly at guitar. Pull car in garage and close door tight. Spend 45 minutes minimum figuring out how to hook the darn thing up and then strum “Stairway To Heaven” until yelled at to shut up by someone in house. You will then box up the guitar and put it under the stairs beside the Bowflex you couldn’t sell for $25 at the last yard sale.

I would really like to believe my life could still include an electric guitar but I’m afraid it just doesn’t. Band class was a long time ago and any chance I might have had to play the main stage is pretty distant in the rearview mirror by now. The rock and roll lifestyle has passed me by.

It sure does look like a heck of a lot of fun though.

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