[UPDATE, May 14: Check out our latest overview of the “Roger Waters vs. Elliot Smith's Wall” affair on this column from our print version. This is how it really went down.]
[UPDATE, May 5: Waters himself apologized for this “accident” in an interview with the LA Times. More details here.]
This is major-label viral marketing gone wild.
Former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters has launched a “viral,” “street” campaign for his upcoming The Wall Live tour, which consists of hiring street artists in LA and NYC to strategically place a pacifist quote by Dwight “WTF” Eisenhower on several “hip” locations.
We wrote about this weird piece of “uptown (big ad agencies, megalomaniac superstars and big labels) meets downtown (street art)” marketing ploy last week, but now it seems the project has gone too far.
This is the revered, totally impromptu/grass roots “Elliott Smith Memorial Wall” on Sunset next to the Malo restaurant. The mural was Smith's background on a series of photos taken by Los Feliz/Silver Lake portraitist Autumn De Wilde, was immortalized on the cover of the Figure 8 album, and after the singer's tragic death it became a repository for his fans' messages and wishes. (It has also been tagged by street artists many times.).
Last night it looked like this:
Yup, Elliott Smith's moving memorial is now part of Waters' “guerrilla” marketing campaign for expensive tickets to a nostalgia gig aimed at wealthy Boomers.
Details of the well-funded vandalism: