July 27, 2005
Something You Can Have
This morning I decided to visit "THE NIN HOT LINE" on a whim, I guess just because I was curious to see what Richard Patrick's old band was up to these days. Wouldn't you know, it seems they're still touring and making albums. Of course, NIN without Patrick is like Floyd without Waters, but bless them for trying.
Anyway, while I was reading up on Trent Razor's latest doings, I noticed something very interesting. According to MTV.com, and they're never wrong, the rights to NIN's debut album Pretty Hate Machine (a.k.a. "the NIN album that sucks the least") are soon going to be auctioned off by TVT to support Steve Gottlieb's meth habit. This means that you, yes you, no, not you, I'm talking to that guy behind you, yeah, no, damn it, the guy in the gray shirt, yes, YOU, have the opportunity to be the official owner of Richard Patrick's drone guitar sound at the end of "Sanctified"! Well, you'd own the rest of the album too, but whatever. A bunch of whiny songs about Trent's ex-girlfriend who may or may not have been inflatable. Fantastic. But that drone guitar totally makes it all worthwhile.
I don't know how much the ownership rights are going to sell for, as I couldn't be bothered to read past the first sentence of the paragraph in the news article, but I'd say it couldn't possibly be any more than a hundred bucks or so. I thought about bidding on it myself, but I decided to just go buy a hundred bucks worth of Slim Jims instead. But some lucky person will probably win this auction, and when they do, they'll probably be thinking something along the lines of "What in the motherfuck am I going to do with the rights to Pretty Hate Machine?" (Unless Michael Jackson ends up buying them, in which case he'll probably be thinking "WOWEE! Aaron North mentioned me the NIN website!") Thankfully, the Meathead Perspective is here to help in your time of need.
So you've just scored the rights to Pretty Hate Machine, and are now the proud owner of the lines "kinda like a cloud", "kinda I want to", and "now I'm kinda slipping on the tears you kinda made me cry". Kinda awesome! But now what are you going to do? What's the point of owning this thing if you're not going to have fun with it?
First of all, if you win this auction, Trent will probably hate you. He might even whisper something about you in an Adam Ant cover on his next album, thereby proving once and for all that your parents were wrong when they said you'd never amount to anything. Just imagine, being personally hated by Trent Reznor! Let's just say you won't be having any trouble with the ladies from here on out. I mean, why do you think women let Marilyn Manson put his penis in them? Because of his looks? Yeah. Okay.
If you happen to be a movie director, you can use any Pretty Hate Machine songs you please in your films without worrying about securing permission first! Unless you want to ask yourself for permission, but only a crazy person would do something as silly as that. Think about it. Just imagine "Something I Can Never Have" playing in the background during Deuce Bigalow 6: Underwater Gigolo, as Rob Schneider gets it on with a two-headed sea turtle that turns out to be a dude. And why stop at movies? How about using "The Only Time" as the official theme song for Microsoft's upcoming Windows Vista ad campaign? The possibilities for pissing Trent off are endless.
One of the most obvious benefits of owning Pretty Hate Machine is the royalties you'll be collecting, which is why you should be glad it's not The Fragile that's being auctioned. Now that you own the hit song "Head Like a Hole", that means that every time it gets played on the radio
As you probably know by now, NIN has decided to get off their collective fat ass and tour this year, which means that they'll be out there playing your songs. You're not going to stand for that shit, are you? Now, I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that if you own the songs, you're legally entitled to tell the band how to play them. For example, if they want to perform "Sin", they have to do so while wearing pink tutus and doing little pirouettes the whole time. And I can count on one hand the number of NIN shows that haven't included "Head Like a Hole" in the setlist, so why not require Trent to fart into the microphone after each line? Who would want to waste that opportunity? Not me, that's for sure! And with all the mad bank you'll be making in royalties, you'll have plenty of money to follow the band around and make sure your rules are followed at each concert.
Then again, if it's your band playing the songs, you can do whatever the fuck you want. Hell, just perform the whole album and tell everyone you wrote it (except for "That's What I Get", I wouldn't admit to writing that). I mean, you own the songs, for Christ's sake. Whether or not you're actually the one who first wrote them down on paper is just a minor technicality. While you're at it, just re-release Pretty Hate Machine under your band's name and say it's yours. You'll finally be putting out a half-decent album for the first time in your career (assuming your band is Oasis). And if you really feel like splurging, go all out and use some cover art that isn't vomit-inducing. I mean, not that there's anything wrong with hot pink.
Of course, this is all assuming you actually win the auction. I'm still somewhat considering bidding on it, since I probably have about a thousand bucks worth of change under the seats of my car. After all, it would be a shame to waste this "I AM THE OWNER OF THE COPYRIGHT TO TRENT REZNOR'S DEBUT ALBUM PRETTY HATE MACHINE SO HAVE SEX WITH ME" t-shirt that I found at a flea market a while back. So you might be getting some competition from the ol' Meatster.
Oh, wait a minute... millions?! Okay, nevermind, fuck that. You can have it.