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In honor of Henry Rollins’ Calvin Klein ad, a look back at punks in commercials

(Photo: Twitter/Calvin Klein)
(Photo: Twitter/Calvin Klein)

Henry Rollins was recently named one of the faces of Calvin Klein’s fall 2016 global ad campaign, alongside artists like Kate Moss (obviously), Colombian soccer star James Rodriguez, Margot Robbie, Frank Ocean, and Young Thug. Now, that Frank Ocean thing could potentially be seen as annoying, because come on, Frank, quit doing commercials and finish your album already. But appearing in a Calvin Klein ad isn’t in contradiction with most of the aforementioned artists’ public personas, past or present. This, on the other hand:

So, those infamous gym shorts you wore on stage when you were singing/punching audience members in the face with Black Flag were Calvin Klein, huh, Henry? Ian MacKaye must have loved that.

But the truth of the matter is, the words “sell out” don’t mean a lot when it comes to Henry Rollins—or punk music in general—anymore. In fact, Rollins thinks it’s about damn time old timers like himself got paid, and publicly defended punk bands licensing their music for commercials back in 2009:

Still, there are some sensitive souls out there who can’t believe that a guy who had his own History Channel show would stoop so low as to be in a commercial. Metal Sucks has rounded up some of the reactions on Twitter, and The A.V. Club suggests that they avert their eyes for these advertisements featuring classic punk songs and/or artists proving that Rollins’ ad is far from unprecedented:

“Blitzkreig Bop” has also appeared in ads for Taco Bell and GoPro
You may also recall The Buzzcocks’ “What Do I Get?” appearing in a Subaru ad in the ‘90s.
This one’s included more for The Descendents than Travis Barker, honestly.
See also: A 2007 Nissan Rogue commercial featuring “Pressure Drop”
Heroin, cars, whatever.


Perhaps the most notorious of them all. Hey, at least jeans are cooler than butter.

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