Father John Misty Offered $250,000 for a Chipotle Ad, TURNS IT DOWN

How much do you value your credibility?

We’ve written a lot about ‘selling out,’ and how the lines have completely changed since the 60s.  But there’s definitely still a line, especially for artists on the indie side.

“I don’t want your fucking burrito money.”

Enter Father John Misty, who was recently offered $250,000 to do a Chipotle ad (yes, one ad).  Easy money, right?  Except this wasn’t just any ad: the burrito giant wanted Misty to cover a Backstreet Boys song for the ad, according to the singer.

Specifically, “I Want It That Way,” done mellower indie style.  “Yep, that’s my life,” Misty (real name J. Tillman)  told the crowd while performing recently at the Newport Folk Festival. “I was like, ‘cool, so then I can just buy like two Cadillacs and just crash them together.  I don’t want your fucking burrito money.”

Major credibility points, but it’s actually unclear if fans would have accused Misty of selling out.  For starters, Backstreet Boys is now nostalgia pop, with all the tongue-in-cheek retro and sentimentality that comes with that.  And indie artists are constantly featured in commercials these days, including everything from Jeep ads to insurance commercials.  Indeed, fans don’t really care that much, and on the rap and hip-hop side, they applaud their favorite artists for getting paid.

Which is probably by Alabama Shakes frontwoman Brittany Howard and My Morning Jacket singer Jim James teamed up and actually took the Chipotle offer — covering the exact same Backstreet Boys song.  All of which raises the question of whether Tillman just lost an easy quarter million, though he doesn’t sound like he regrets the move.  “Point of the Chipotle story was a discussion on whether folk music is good for anything anymore other than just the selling of things,” Misty tweeted soon thereafter.

But wait: the spot itself is actually pretty damn cool!  Take a look.

9 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    People loved the Fiona Apple one. Not to mention, despite making everyone sick, Chipotle is one of the ‘greener’ companies. So yea, he totally just blew an easy $250k.

    • Rick Shaw

      What the article didn’t say is that the payout would be $250K…worth of burritos.

  2. Mysteries

    This guy is so dramatic. Being a successful artist who can get a lot of money for a cover is the opposite of a horrible life.

  3. Anonymous

    He will regret not taking the money.

    People steal your music, dude. You don’t owe anyone anything.

  4. Universal Indie

    Stupid. You don’t get points for being stupid.

  5. Clowns

    You are supposing, through the actions of Tillman, and through his own justifications, that you know how he will feel about it? He has made it clear, in both word and action that selling his music, to Chipotle for advertising is contrary to his interests as an artist. [Expletive] ya’ll if you think you know better than the artist himself.

    • Hoodgrown

      Someone is a little sensitive, huh? Is it that time of the month?

    • Anonymous

      Unless he’s independently wealthy, he’ll also need food and shelter in his later years.

      It’s got nothing to do with art but everything to do with surviving.